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WPLW logo
City of license Hillsborough, North Carolina
Branding Pulse 102
Frequency 102.5 (MHz)
First air date 1989
Format Contemporary Hit Radio
ERP 1,500 watts
HAAT 203.8 meters
Class A
Facility ID 22322
Callsign meaning WPuLse W
Former callsigns WHLQ (1989-2004)
WKXU (2004-2010)[1]
Owner New Century Media Group
Webcast Listen Live
Website www.pulse102.com

WPLW (102.5 FM) is a radio station licensed to Hillsborough, North Carolina, USA. It serves the Raleigh, North Carolina area with a contemporary hit radio format. Its studios are located in Raleigh, and the transmitter tower is in northwest Durham, North Carolina.

The station is owned by New Century Media Group.[2] According to FCC ownership filings, New Century Media Group is 100% owned by Donald W Curtis, Chairman and CEO of Curtis Media Group. WPLW currently simulcasts with Curtis Media Group-owned WWPL.


The station signed on from Louisburg in 1989 as WHLQ, an adult contemporary station branded as Q-102.5.[3] The station later began simulcasting a country music format with its sister AM station, WYRN.[3][4][5]

Curtis Media Group purchased WHLQ and WYRN from Franklin Broadcasting in 2003.[6] The following year, the call letters were changed to WKXU.[1] The station, called Country 102.5, moved in a more contemporary direction, playing only songs from the previous 20 years.[7]

In September 2010, WKXU signed off from its Louisburg site and signed on again October 23 from a new site in northwestern Durham County, licensed to Hillsborough.[8] At that time, the station began stunting, along with new simulcast partner WWMY. On October 27, WKXU changed its call letters to WPLW,[1] while WWMY became WWPL. On October 31, after several days of Halloween music,[9] the stunting ended and both stations debuted their new rhythmic contemporary format as "Pulse 102".[10] The format is described as "sort of the hip-hop and R&B that has crossed over into Top 40."[11] Its primary target audience was women aged 25 to 34, and was expected to compete with Radio One station K 97.5 and Clear Channel's G105, and 93.9 Kiss FM, who ironically transitioned from Rhythmic AC to Rhythmic Top 40 after Pulse 102 signed on. The stations are playing 10,000 songs in a row and promise fewer commercials than other stations. Artists include Lady Gaga, Enrique Iglesias and Ke$ha.[9] By October 2011, WPLW was added to the Mediabase contemporary hit radio panel.

As of 2014, WPLW also can be heard on a translator at W226BV (93.1 FM).


  1. ^ a b c "Call Sign History (WPLW)". CDBS Public Access. Federal Communications Commission. Retrieved October 29, 2010. 
  2. ^ "FM Query Results (WKXU)". FCC. Retrieved 2010-05-05. 
  3. ^ a b "Raleigh-Durham FM Dial". Archived from the original on 2003-02-01. Retrieved 2010-05-05. 
  4. ^ "The radio Station Locator". Retrieved 2010-03-18. 
  5. ^ "Local database". Retrieved 2010-03-18. 
  6. ^ "Changing Hands". Broadcasting & Cable. 2003-03-02. Retrieved 2010-03-18. 
  7. ^ Fred Marion, "Local radio stations switch, tweak formats," Rocky Mount Telegram, July 21, 2005, Marquee section.
  8. ^ http://www.fcc.gov/fcc-bin/fmq?list=0&facid=22322
  9. ^ a b Ranii, David (2010-11-02). "Radio stations target women". News & Observer. Retrieved 2010-11-02. 
  10. ^ "Pulse 102 Debuts In Raleigh/Durham". RadioInsight. October 31, 2010. Retrieved October 31, 2010. 
  11. ^ Ross, Sean (2010-11-01). "First Listen: Raleigh, N.C.'s New Pulse 102". Radio-Info.com. Retrieved 2010-11-02. 

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Coordinates: 36°06′14″N 78°57′58″W / 36.104°N 78.966°W / 36.104; -78.966