|City of license||New York City|
|Broadcast area||New York City area|
|Slogan||"Where Hip-Hop Lives"|
|Frequency||97.1 MHz (also on HD Radio)
97.1 HD-2 HumDesi Radio
|First air date||1948 (as WNNJ at 103.5)|
|Former callsigns||W2XWG (1940–1948)
WNBC-FM (1948–1954 and 1960–1975)
WRCA-R FM (1954–1960)
(Emmis License Corporation of New York)
WQHT (97.1 FM) - also known as Hot 97 - is an American radio station in New York City under the corporate ownership of Emmis Communications. The station broadcasts on 97.1 MHz FM. WQHT. Despite being billed as a Rhythmic CHR station on Mediabase & Nielsen BDS, WQHT primarily plays mainstream urban hits, with a few pop-leaning titles on occasion. It is one of two flagship radio properties of Emmis alongside co-owned KPWR ("Power 106") in Los Angeles.
- 1 History
- 2 Controversies
- 3 Staff
- 4 In popular culture
- 5 See also
- 6 References
- 7 External links
WNBC-FM and variants
The history of the 97.1 frequency goes back to 1940, when station W2XWG came on the air. After several frequency and call letters changes, WNBC-FM was established at 97.1 by 1948. It usually simulcast WNBC's AM programming. In 1954 it changed its call letters to WRCA-FM (Reflecting NBC's then-parent company, RCA), but reverted to WNBC-FM in 1960.
WNBC-FM played classical music in the 1950s; it later switched to pop music. It ran network programming for some time, such as the NBC Monitor weekend series. By the 1970s it was playing a pop/rock format. Beginning on June 4, 1973, it experimented with a fully automated programming scheme with local inserts known as "The Rock Pile"—a forerunner of today's DJ-free Bob FM and Frank FM formats with a wide diversity of pop, rock and R&B that proved to be 30 years ahead of its time—but technical glitches were frequent and listenership dropped. For a brief period starting in late 1974, the station attempted a fully automated beautiful music format for a younger demographic, called "The Love of New York".
NBC Radio then launched the NBC News and Information Service (NIS), a network service providing up to 50 minutes an hour of news programming to local stations that wanted to adopt an all-news format without the high costs of producing large quantities of local news content. WNBC-FM's small audience was deemed expendable to allow the NIS to have a New York outlet. Thus on June 18, 1975, the station became WNWS and branded itself "NewsCenter 97," an allusion to WNBC-TV's "NewsCenter 4" local newscasts. Ratings were low, and the service did not attract enough stations to allow NBC to project that it could ever become profitable (At the network's peak, only 57 stations across the country carried NIS, most of them already NBC Radio News affiliates). On January 1, 1977, NBC shut down NIS and 97.1 adopted an "Adult Contemporary" (AC) format with a rock lean (to compete against WKTU), under the moniker "Y-97". The call letters WNWS were still in use at the time but shortly afterward the station became known as WYNY.
Ratings were fair at best and by the end of 1978, after toying briefly with an all-Beatles format, WYNY evolved to an MOR format featuring Frank Sinatra, The Carpenters, Elvis Presley, Barry Manilow, Tony Bennett, Neil Diamond, Elton John, Carly Simon, and Billy Joel among others. They were an easy listening station without all the elevator music heard on WRFM or WPAT-AM-FM. Ratings went up gradually.
By 1980, WYNY moved away from Frank Sinatra and The Lettermen though they continued running "Saturday with Sinatra" hosted by Sid Mark. Musically they added Motown songs, The Beatles, The Beach Boys, Fleetwood Mac, The Eagles, The Doobie Brothers, Donna Summer, and soft hits by hard rockers.
By 1981, the station format was that of pop hits from 1964 to what was then current music, with an occasional pre-64 rock & roll song. Ratings went up from 1981 through 1983. By 1982, WYNY trimmed the '60s music slightly. Some of the air personalities included Dan Daniel, Bill St. James, Bruce Bradley, Randy Davis, Carol Mason, Mike McCann, Floyd Wright, Steve O'Brien, Bill Rock, Margaret Jones, Paulie, and Ed Baer. On Sunday evenings, the station aired a pioneering advice show, Sexually Speaking, which made its host, Dr. Ruth Westheimer, a national celebrity. The station was also a pioneer of Contemporary Christian Music in the city, airing the weekly show Masterpeace, hosted by Steven Joseph. Sid Mark continued hosting a Frank Sinatra show. On weekend evenings call-in talk shows such as "Mouth Versus Ear" with Dick Summers was an alternative to other station's mundane public service shows.
In 1983, rival stations Z-100 and WPLJ adopted a "Contemporary Hit Radio" (CHR) format, attracting younger listeners. WYNY continued with its AC format. Then in January 1984, Lite FM 106.7 WLTW signed on, taking away older listeners. WYNY ratings plummeted, and in 1986 the station was revamped with the music staying "Hot AC" but marketed as a "Z-100 for Yuppies". The station had new jingles and imaging, and became known as "The NEW 97.1 WYNY". The format, however, was that of the same pop hits from 1964 to the then-present. The station continued to rate low. NBC had problems with sister station WNBC as well. Then in April 1987, a country music station, WHN, announced plans to go sports full-time on July 1, to become all-sports WFAN. In response, WYNY announced it would change to country music on July 1.
This format change was announced to the press in advance but not over the air except on Saturday With Sinatra. At 12:01 a.m. July 1, WYNY ended its AC format with "Hello, Goodbye" by The Beatles and went country, playing "Think About Love" by Dolly Parton. The airstaff all remained, though some gradually left later in the year.
Dan Daniel (who had left WYNY in the mid-1980s and returned), Randy Davis, Carol Mason, Lisa Taylor, Floyd Wright, and others survived the format change and remained with WYNY's country unit long after it would leave 97.1 FM and move to 103.5, where it remained until its 1996 demise. The WYNY call letters resurfaced on the suburban 107.1 frequency in late 1998 at a country station that had started up later in 1996; the format lasted until 2002. As of 2006, the WYNY call letters reside on a station in Gainesville, Florida.
In 1987, Emmis agreed to buy NBC's New York radio stations, which gave Emmis superior signals for use by WFAN and WQHT. Emmis sold its 103.5 license and the rights to WYNY's intellectual property to Westwood One, and the WYNY call sign and format moved to that frequency while WQHT shifted to 97.1.
The All New Hot 97
In the fall of 1988, Emmis purchased 97.1 WYNY from NBC, as well as the license of the WNBC-AM station that was being closed. On Thursday September 22, 1988 at 5:30pm the stations swapped frequencies. WYNY a.k.a. "Country 97 FM" was moved to 103.5FM and transform into "The All New Country 103.5 WYNY". Meanwhile Hot 103 moved to 97.1FM and officially becoming "The All New Hot 97, Your Most Music Station". After the transition to Hot 97, Stephanie Miller & Howard Hoffman were brought in to do the morning show (1988–91), J. Paul Emerson stayed on as newsman, with Daniel Ivankovich, aka Reverend Doctor D, aka Odie Johnson was brought in as producer.
The last song played on Hot 103 was Debbie Gibson's "Stayin' Together" and the first song played on "The All New Hot 97" was M.A.R.R.S.' "Pump Up the Volume". WQHT even had Vanna White from the legendary game show "Wheel of Fortune" was on hand to change huge plastic letters at a big station switch party in Midtown Manhattan. Freddie Colon was the jock in studio before and after the switch, but Bill Lee actually took the listeners through the switch itself.
At 5:30pm, listeners also heard for the first time the new Chuck Riley and Rick Allen produced top of hour ID for the new Hot 97. It was similar to the one used on Hot 103, but was more heavily produced and now said "From the Top of the Empire State Building" and the introduction of the Hot 97 name. The change reflected the use of the antenna for 97.1 being at the Empire State Building rather than the World Trade Center as it was while on the 103.5 frequency. This ID was later copied by other stations across the nation. The station made a contest out of the event by giving listeners 97 dollars in cash if they could name the last song played "over there" and the first song played, as Chuck would say "We're over here now!".
Hot 97's ratings fell slightly in 1989. The station started to lean towards Top 40 as the station added artists such as Milli Vanilli, Bobby Brown, Paula Abdul, Taylor Dayne, MC Hammer, De La Soul, New Kids on the Block, and more. Hot 97 changed their on-air line-up and moved "Fast" Freddie Colon to middays and brought in Greg Thunder, a KDWB and WLOL alum for nights. Thunder brought more of a comical Top 40 approach to nights by rhyming and being more listener interactive with heavy phones. With the addition of Greg, WQHT had two rhyming jocks back to back everyday: "Broadway" Bill Lee from 4:00pm-8:00pm & Greg Thunder from 8:00pm–12:00am.
Another sign of a Top 40 lean was that Hot 97, for the only time, aired jingles from TM on which they recustomized the "K-Power!" jingles with Chuck saying "Hot 97" instead, in the fall of 1989. The jingles weren't jingles per'se, but they were at the end of ramp music beds that DJs could talk over. Jonathan Wolfert of the legendary JAM Creative Productions created a new jingle package for WQHT, they called it "Power Up!", it was featuring the JAM jingle singers rapping instead of singing. But by 1990, the jingles at the end of the ramp music beds were replaced with Chuck saying "Hot 97" instead of the jingle singers, the "Power Up!" jingle package was so popular at Hot 97 that JAM did a customization version of "Power Up!" for KPWR and this version is truly featuring the JAM jingle singers saying "Power 106" instead of Chuck's.
In the summer of 1990, Hot 97 teamed up with MicMac Records and released The Hot 97 MicMac Concert on cassette, LP or CD. The album featured MicMac artists that got airplay on Hot 97 like Johhny O., Cynthia and Tiana.
On July 22, 1990, Hot 97 teamed up with future and now defunct sister station WRKS a.k.a. "98.7 Kiss FM" for a Unity Walk to promote racial harmony in New York City.
In 1990–1991, the station started to play more house and R&B music (aka New Jack Swing) while cutting back on some of the freestyle records. Artists such as Black Box, The Goodmen, Doug Lazy and Daisy Dee received more airplay.
Around this time Hot 97 added new shows focusing on house music such as "The Hot 97's All Night House Party", which was similar in format to "The Hot 103's Original Saturday Night Dance Party", but focused on house music. WQHT broadcast live from area night clubs such as The Tunnel, Roseland and Metrohouse from 2 am until 4 am Saturday into Sunday morning. DJ's included Frankie Bones, Roman Ricardo and Little Louie Vega.
In 1991, Anything Goes with Clivilles & Cole debuted, where legendary record producers Robert Clivilles and David Cole of C&C Music Factory mixed new house and dance music on Saturday nights from 9 pm to 10 pm. The station also added a show spotlighting new house and dance tracks from overseas such as Europe. London jock Dave Kendall was picked to host Planet Traxx, which would air after American Dance Traxx at 12 midnight. 1992 also featured a mix show entitled The Underground Rave, mixed by DJ's Charlie Casanova and Joey Beltram before Glenn Friscia took over. As the rave scene diminished in popularity, this show was canceled.
In the Fall of 1992, Hot 97 added a new station voice, the first time ever since the station signed on in 1986. They added Bobby Ocean (famous from working at KFRC) to voice some promos and sweepers for "Hot Night Cancun," the station concert held that December. During this time, WQHT replaced the long-running Rick Allen-produced and Chuck Riley-voiced "Top of the Empire State Building" top of hour ID. It was replaced with one voiced by Bobby Ocean but without the effects that made the previous ID noteworthy.
From dance to hip-hop and R&B
Towards the end of 1992 and early 1993, Hot 97's ratings hit an all-time low. In response, Emmis named Judy Ellis its General Manager (a position in which she served until 2003) and WQHT started to add more R&B and Rap product. Artists such as Positive K, Mad Cobra and Onyx were phased in while some of the traditional freestyle and house music was drastically cut. The station started a gradual two-year change towards an Urban Hip-Hop format.
During this time, Hot 97 also made several on-air and imaging changes. Long time station voices Bobby Ocean and Chuck Riley was gone, leaving only Eric Edwards as the station voice. Eric also changed his delivery style to fit in with the new urban sound of Hot 97. Eric is still the station voice of WQHT to this day.
Long-time PD Joel Salkowitz was let go, replaced by Steve Smith. The station axed hot jocks Al Bandiero, Jeff Thomas, Fast Freddie Colon, Broadway Bill Lee, Howard & Stephanie, Greg Thunder, Niecie Colon, Rick Allen and others, but Deborah Rath stayed on the longest but shifted over to sister station CD 101.9 in late 1994.
A new generation of hot jocks began appearing on Hot 97. Among the most famous was the addition of a new morning show of Ed Lover and Doctor Dre of Yo! MTV Raps. The ratings rose to number three in one rating period.
Despite the change in format, the Saturday Night Dance Party continued broadcasting from clubs on Saturday Nights. In 1995, DJ Skribble was one of the DJ's featured on the show. Meanwhile, the All Night House Party was still being broadcast on Saturdays from 2-4AM, with Frankie Knuckles and David Morales as the DJs. In 1996 DJ Johnny Vicious joined the mixing team. In 1994 a new Friday Night mix show called "Sounds of the NY Underground" debuted. This was syndicated mix show featuring DJs from around the world. In 1997 the station ceased all dance music shows. At the same time, the new 103.5 WKTU took over the role of the tri-state area's dance music mix show radio station. Johnny Vicious, DJ Skribble and David Morales are among the notable ex-Hot 97 DJ's that started providing content to the new WKTU.
In 1993, Funkmaster Flex joined Hot 97 and was host of the Friday Night Street Jam and weekly two-hour show where he mixed hip-hop live from the studio. Flex eventually rose up through the ranks and became Hot 97's long time night personality.
Other noteworthy personalities included the addition of Wendy Williams to PM Drive, Williams used to be the overnight jock back on Hot 103 in 1988. Angie Martinez, a researcher on "New York Hot Tracks" in the late 1980s and who previously worked in the promotions department, was promoted to nights. A few years later, the two had a public falling out, resulting in Williams being fired from Hot 97 and Martinez assuming afternoon drive, where she remained until she defected to Hot 97's rival New York hip-hop station, Power 105.1 (WWPR-FM) on June 19, 2014. 
In 1995, Hot 97 again became New York's top station in the Arbitron ratings. After Emmis purchased WRKS (98.7 Kiss FM) from Summit Communications in 1994 and gravitated its heritage urban format to the adult audience (dropping hip-hop altogether), Hot 97 went on to be the only radio station in New York for hip-hop until mid-1997 when WBLS reintroduced it on its playlists and moved to urban contemporary, moving WQHT to its current rhythmic contemporary format. In March 2002, Clear Channel Communications launched WWPR-FM (Power 105.1 FM) to challenge Hot 97, and went to number-five in the ratings. In the fall of 2005 Power 105.1 edged slightly ahead of Hot 97 for the first time ever during the same period of time as the Tsunami song parody. Most recently the station resurged back to the top of the ratings, although WLTW (106.7 Lite FM) is still the top-rated radio station in New York City.
As of April 2012, Hot 97 overall Arbitron ratings have been once again nearing all time lows, with typical monthly averages in the low 3's. In the month of March 2012, WLTW was #1, followed by WCBS-FM, WHTZ, WKTU and WSKQ rounding out the top 5. Hot 97 was in 13th place with a 3.2 rating. The previous month their overall # was 2.8.
In May 2007, R&R and BDS moved WQHT back to the Rhythmic Airplay panel after a long tenure as an Urban reporter; however the station was always a rhythmic reporter per Mediabase. More recently, Hot 97 has begun to play more late 90s and early 2000s throwbacks. While the majority of the songs played on the station are current Hip-Hop and R & B Hits, classic hits by artists such as the Notorious B.I.G and Tupac have begun to receive more airplay.
In the fall of 2008, WQHT served as the home of the nationally syndicated Big Boy's Neighborhood, produced by ABC Radio and based from WQHT's sister station, KPWR Power 106 in Los Angeles. However by July 2009 WQHT dropped the program and instead expanded their local morning show hosted by new morning jocks, DJ Cipha Sounds & Peter Rosenberg.
From Urban to Rhythmic CHR
By 2010, due to rivals WXRK (92-3 Now) & Clear Channel Communications' WKTU moving towards rhythmic top 40 directions, Hot 97 switched to Urban Contemporary, ending the longtime rhythmic top 40 format at the station. Mediabase & Nielsen BDS still report the station as a rhythmic top 40. However, the rhythmic contemporary format has since resurfaced at Hot 97 with WXRK reverting to contemporary hit radio.
In April 2011, WQHT is now New York City's only rhythmic contemporary station with the reverting of rival WKTU back to rhythmic adult contemporary. Also, it is the only full standalone station in Emmis' New York cluster after WRKS ended its longtime urban format for ESPN sports under an agreement with Disney.
On Air Sound
New York City FM radio stations have a long tradition of very aggressive audio processing used in their quests to sound "louder" than their competition. WQHT maintains one of the most heavily processed signals today. Substantial amounts of distortion are introduced into WQHT's audio as by-products of creating the "loud" sound. Studies have shown that aggressive audio processing creates listener fatigue. The fatigue reduces the length of a listening session, especially with female listeners. Proponents may argue that the aggressive sound is appropriate for the current format.
HD radio operations
In early 2006, Hot 97 launched an HD2 station called Hot 97 Throwbacks. Hot 97 Throwbacks, located at 97.1-2, uses the format of Classic Hip-Hop. The format is comparable to Sirius XM Radio's BackSpin, but censored and with a few R&B songs.
On September 9, 2008, Emmis announced a programming partnership with WorldBand Media and will be using WQHT's HD-3 signal to produce programming for the South Asian communities in 3 major cities including New York City. In June 2009, WorldBand Meida was removed from WQHT and placed on sister station WRKS's HD2.
In January 2012, Emmis added Rock 101.9, RXP which was formerly on WFAN-FM and streaming online, to the HD2 channel. With this move, the station is no longer streaming online.
As of 2014, WQHT-HD2 airs HumDesi Radio, a South Asian-focusing radio network.
Word to the Badd!
In early November 1991, deejay Freedie Cohen stirred up controversy when he played Michael Jackson's latest single "Black or White" back to back with an early version of Jermaine Jackson's then-single "Word to the Badd!" The single's lyrics involved Jermaine criticizing Michael's selfishness and even insisting Michael was ashamed to be black. Jermaine issued a statement and released a re-written version on his 1991 album You Said.
2004 Indian tsunami parody
On January 17, 2005, Hot 97 Miss Jones provoked a controversy by airing a song entitled "USA for Indonesia" a month after approximately 187,000 people died in the Asian tsunami caused by the 2004 Indian Ocean earthquake. The song, a parody sung to the 1985 tune "We Are the World", was criticized for overtly racist mocking of the Asian and East African victims; the song lyrics contain the racially derogatory word "Chinamen," and calls the drowning victims "bitches." Some of the lyrics included the words "Go find your mommy. I just saw her float by, a tree went through her head. And now your children will be sold. Child slavery".
Miss Info, a fellow on-air colleague of Korean descent, was outraged and spoke against the song on the station. She excluded herself from producing the song and said it was wrong for it to be played. Miss Info immediately found herself subjected to a four-minute, on-air lambasting from the other DJs. Miss Jones accused Miss Info of always distancing herself from the antics of the others, and of acting superior because she is Asian. Another jock on the show named Todd Lynn muttered "I'm gonna start shooting Asians."
Following angry protests from the Asian-American community, bloggers, and networking sites, and other New Yorkers, Miss Jones, DJ Envy, and Tasha Hightower were suspended for two weeks while Todd Lynn and song writer Rick Del Gado were fired. The station issued an apology on its website. Newsday, Sprint, McDonald's, and Toyota all pulled their advertising from the station. The suspended employees' pay was diverted to charities helping victims of the tsunami.
Fights and shootings
In February 2001, a shootout erupted between the entourages of rappers Lil' Kim and Foxy Brown in front of the offices of Hot 97 on Hudson Street, which led to one of Lil' Kim's bodyguards being injured. In February 2005, gunfire erupted in front of the same place between 50 Cent's entourage and The Game's entourage. The Game was quickly met by 50 Cent's crew after being notified he was at the front entrance of the building. A friend of 50 Cent pulled a gun and shot at The Game and his entourage. A bullet hit a member of The Game's entourage in the leg. Both incidents also led to the nickname "Shot 97" by Wendy Williams.
Since its inception, WQHT has held "The Hot 97 Summer Jam" every June. The concert series has ran into controversy, notably in 2006, with Miss Jones dissing Mary J. Blige on air after the singer did not mention her name when she sent shout outs to the Hot 97 DJs, and again in 2012, when moments before Nicki Minaj was about to take to the stage, morning host Peter Rosenberg made a negative comment about her song "Starships", saying to the fans, "I see the real hip-hop heads sprinkled in here. I see them. I know there are some chicks here waiting to sing 'Starships' later—I'm not talking to y'all right now." That comment would prompt Lil' Wayne to pull Minaj and the rest of the acts signed to Cash Money Records out of the event. Minaj later spoke to Funkmaster Flex about the incident, and after that, appeared on Rosenberg's show, with the host apologizing to her on air. She performed two songs with 2 Chainz at the following year's Summer Jam.
The 2014 event that took place on June 2 would be blasted in a comment five days later (on June 6) by Chuck D of Public Enemy, who accused the station of allowing artists who were performing there to use racial slurs and offensive language, calling it a "Sloppy Fiasco," adding that "If there was a festival and it was filled with anti-Semitic slurs... or racial slurs at anyone but black people, what do you think would happen? Why does there have to be such a double standard?" He also cites the lack of WQHT not allowing more up-and-coming artists to perform on stage. This was later addressed by Ebro Darden and Rosenberg on their morning show, responding to remarks that include the charge that Hot 97 is a “CORPlantation,” but Darden, who admits that he agrees with Chuck D on addressing the issues, later pointed out by responding that “I think there’s validity to what he’s saying as to, ‘I guess Hot 97 could be more local,” and added “But people that listen to us when we research the songs don’t vote those songs high enough to stay around. I have this debate and I put the onus back on the public to participate.”
Current Hot 97 Hot Jocks
- DJ Cipha Sounds
- Peter Rosenberg
- Laura Stylez
- Ebro "The Old Man" Darden
- Big Dennis Rivera
- DJ Camilo
- Funkmaster Flex
- Miss Info
- Lisa Evers
- J. Medina
- Shani Kulture
- DJ Big Ben
- DJ Absolut
- DJ Bobby Trends
- DJ C. Lo
- DJ Enuff
- DJ Kast 1
- DJ Kay Slay
- DJ Magic
- DJ Spynfo
- DJ Wallah
- DJ Young Chow
- DJ L. Boogs
- DJ Bobby Konders & DJ Jabba a.k.a The Hot 97's Massive B. Sound System
- DJ Mister Cee
- DJ Threat
Former Hot 103/Early To Mid Hot 97 DJ's
- DJ Cocoa Chanelle
- Sunny Anderson (now hosts Cooking for Real on Food Network)
- Al "Nouveau" Bandiero (now at 103.5 WKTU in New York, NY)
- Scott Blackwell (Hot 103 Saturday Night Dance Party mixer using 3 turntables)
- Yo! Sunny Joe (now at Movin' 100.3 / 96.5 FM in Syracuse, NY)
- Fred "Bugsy" Buggs ("The Mic Wrecker")
- Tim Byrd "The Byrd Man" (now at Sunny 104.3, W. Palm Beach, FL)
- David Morales
- DJ Animal
- DJ Clue? (now at WWPR-FM 105.1 in New York, NY)
- DJ Envy (now at WWPR-FM 105.1 in New York, NY)
- DJ Louie Styles ("The Hightstown Heavy Hitter")
- DJ Skribble
- DJ Whoo Kid
- DJ Red Alert (now at 98.7 Kiss FM (WRKS) in New York, NY)
- Doctor Dré (not to be confused with the rap artist Dr. Dre)
- "Fast" Freddie Colon (now at KTNI in Denver, CO)
- Frankie Knuckles
- Vanessa Scott
- Fatman Scoop
- Glenn Friscia (now at Pulse 87.7 (WNYZ-FM) in New York, NY)
- Howard Hoffman
- Jimmy Howes
- Johnny Vicious
- "Broadway" Bill Lee (now at 101.1 WCBS-FM in New York, NY)
- Vic Latino (now at WPTY-FM 105.3 in Long Island, NY)
- The Legendary Paco (Navarro)
- Lisa G.
- Paco Lopez (now at WNUE 98.1FM La Mega in Orlando, Florida) as an Account Executive
- Ed Lover (now at Sirius/XM's BackSpin)
- Raqiyah Mays
- DJ Megatron
- Stephanie Miller
- Miss Jones (now at 98.9 (WUSL-FM) in Philadelphia, PA)
- "Big" John Montell
- Sue O'Neil (now at 101.1 WCBS FM in New York, NY)
- Star & Buc Wild (now at Pulse 87.7 (WNYZ-FM) in New York, NY)
- Deborah Rath (now at WQCD CD 101.9 in New York)
- Roman Ricardo
- Ray Rossi (now at WKXW / WXKW New Jersey 101.5)
- Gary Spears (now at WJMK 104.3 FM K-Hits in Chicago, IL)
- Stevens & Grdnic
- Mary Thomas
- Greg Thunder (now doing mornings on KS95)
- Baltazar (now at WBQT/Boston)
- DJ Uncut
- La La Vasquez
- Wendy Williams (now at The Wendy Williams Show on BET)
- Steph Lova
- Lil' Nat (now at 98.7 Kiss FM (WRKS) in New York, NY)
- Ralph McDaniels
- DJ Jazzy Joyce
- DJ Green Lantern
- K. Foxx [now at 103.5 the Beat Miami [WMIB] in Miami, FL]
- DJ THREAT[Hot 97,Takin it to the streets]
HOT 97 General Managers
- Judy Ellis: 1993 - 2002
- Barry Mayo: 2002 - 2005
- Dan Halyburton: 2005 - 2007
- Alex Cameron: 2007 - 2014
- Deon Livingston: 2014 - Present
HOT 97 Program Directors
- Joel Salkowitz
- Steve Smith
- Tracey Cloherty
- John Demick
- Ebro Darden
HOT 97 Marketing Directors
- Rocco Macri: 1993 - 2002
- Kevin Cox: 2002 - 2006
- Brian D'Aurelio: 2006 - 2011
- Donyshia Benjamin: 2011 - present
- Koren Vaughan: 2014 - present
HOT 97 Promotion Directors
- Frank Iemetti: 1993 - 1997
- Kevin Cox: 1997 - 2002
- Donyshia Benjamin: 2003 - 2013
- Bethany Kent: 2013 - present
Current Station Voice
- Eric Edwards
Former Station Voices
Former Station Jingles
In popular culture
Films and television:
- In the 30 Rock episode called "The Source Awards", Tracy Jordan mentions Hot 97 as a traditional place to get shot.
- The Sklar Brothers riff on Hot 97 in their Comedy Central Presents special.
- In the Seinfeld episode called "The Pool Guy", Kramer mentions Hot 97 as one of the sponsors to his Moviefone information line.
- In the movie World Trade Center, one of the officers says that his wife heard on Hot 97 that a second plane had hit the towers, to which another officer replies: "Who gets their news from Hot 97?"
- In Puff Daddy's song "All About The Benjamins", he says, "...Ain't nobody's hero, but I wanna be heard on your Hot 9-7 everyday, that's my word..."
- In Jay-Z's song "Death of Auto-tune (D.O.A)" he mentions the radio station, saying "This is for Hot 9-7" and mentions the station's former disc jockey, DJ Clue? as well as two long-time DJs in the line, "I made this just for Flex 'n Mr. Cee."
- In Black Star's song "What's Beef", Mos Def says: "Beef ain't the summer Jam on Hot Ninety-Seven".
- In Big Pun's song with Inspectah Deck and Prodigy "Tres Leches (Triboro Trilogy)", Big Pun says: "Take all you made, call you gay on Hot 97".
- In Grand Theft Auto IV There is a Radio Station Called Beat 102.7 Which Parodies Hot 97 And Have is Real Life On-Show DJ Mister Cee and Funkmaster Flex
- "Emmis and WorldBand Media Partner to Launch First-of-Its-Kind Digital Radio Network" (Press release). PR Newswire. September 9, 2008. Retrieved September 11, 2008. "Top 3 U.S. markets to offer programming in HD for the South Asian ethnic community"
- Reid, Shaheem (January 26, 2005). "Hip-Hop Station Blasted For Song Mocking Tsunami Victims". MTV News. Retrieved June 28, 2009.
- Hinckley, David (January 26, 2005). "Hot 97 is weathering "Tsunami Song" storm". New York Daily News. Retrieved June 28, 2009.
- "Stop the Song". AsianWeek. February 4, 2005. Retrieved June 28, 2009.
- Virasami, Bryan (January 25, 2005). "Call for federal fines, more apologies after station airs 'We Are the World' parody offensive to Asians". Newsday. Retrieved June 28, 2009.[dead link]
- Ogunnaike, Lola (February 3, 2005). "Tsunami Jokers Fired". The New York Times. Retrieved June 28, 2009.
- Hinckley, David (February 2, 2005). ""Tsunami Song" Fallout". New York Daily News. Retrieved June 28, 2009.
- Guzman, Rafer (February 11, 2005). "Newsday pulls ads from Hot 97 show". Orlando Sentinel. Retrieved June 28, 2009.
- D'Angelo, Joe (February 27, 2001). "Lil' Kim Present At Hot 97 Shootout, Police Say". MTV News. Retrieved June 28, 2009.
- Reid, Shaheem (February 28, 2005). "50 Drops Game From G-Unit; Shots Fired At Radio Station". MTV News. Retrieved June 28, 2009.
- "Summer Jams & Hip-Hop Battles" by Dana Hall (From Radio-Info, June 6, 2012)
- Jen Carlson, “Hot97’s DJ Peter Rosenberg: Nicki Minaj ‘Is Inherently Hip Hop… It’s Just That Starships Is Not’,” Gothamist, June 7, 2012.
- Latifah Muhammad, “Nicki Minaj Makes Peace With Hot 97 DJ Peter Rosenberg,” BET, May 28, 2013.
- "Chuck D on Hot 97's 'Sloppy Fiasco' Summer Jam: 'Goal is to Change Urban Radio'" from Billboard (June 6, 2014)
- "Hot 97 Co-Hosts Respond to Chuck D’s Harsh Criticism of Summer Jam" from Billboard (June 7, 2014)
- WNBC-FM Abandons Rock For Popular Music Format – The New York Times, December 18, 1974.
- Asian Media Watchdog - One of the high profile groups that organized Tsunami Song protest
- Freestyle Music Information
- Station info on New York Radio Guide
- Former Presidents and the Hot 97 Controversy
- World Music Central - British MPs deplore Hot 97's racist tsunami song
- World Music Central - Demonstrations planned outside Hot 97 New York
- Media Week Headlines
- UK Chinese - Chinese Community ask George Bush and Tony Blair to take action against Hot 97
- UK Chinese - British MPs and the Hot 97 Tsunami Song
- Club LK.US - UK Sri Lankans denounce Hot 97's racist tsunami song
- Sunday Island Sri Lanka - Two tsunami songs mentioned in the British parliament with kudos to Nimal Mendis by Nan
- House of Congress Press Release from House Democratic Leader Nancy Pelosi: Pelosi Condemns Broadcast of ‘Tsunami Song’
- Hot 97 website
- Hot 97 New Yorker article
- Query the FCC's FM station database for WQHT
- Radio-Locator information on WQHT
- Query Nielsen Audio's FM station database for WQHT
|FM 97.1 in New York, New York
September 22, 1988 – present
|FM 103.5 in New York, New York
August 13, 1986 – September 22, 1988