WSTR (FM)

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WSTR
City of license Smyrna, Georgia
Broadcast area Atlanta metropolitan area
Branding Star 94
Slogan 90s To Now
Frequency 94.1 MHz (also on HD Radio)
Sports talk "790 The Zone" simulcast (on 94.1 HD2)
Mainstream urban "Streetz 94.5" (on 94.1 HD3)
First air date 1967 (as WKXI)
Format Hot adult contemporary
ERP 100,000 watts
HAAT 310.4 meters
Class C0
Facility ID 30822
Callsign meaning W STaR 94
Former callsigns WKXI (1967-1969)
WQXI-FM (1969-1989)
Owner Lincoln Financial Media
Sister stations WQXI
Webcast Listen Live
Website star94.com

WSTR FM 94.1 MHz ("Star 94") is an Atlanta FM radio station airing an hot adult contemporary format. It is owned by Lincoln Financial Media, and has Smyrna, Georgia as its city of license.

History[edit]

94.1 was once WGST-FM and was given away in the 1950s as FM did not take off. In the 1960s, WDJK appeared to occupy 94.1 as a brand new station, associated with WYNX (AM-1550) in Smyrna.

Within two years, 94.1 was sold to the owners of WQXI (AM-790), which was Atlanta's leading Top 40 Rock station. FM-94.1 then became easy listening WKXI. By 1969 the station had adopted WQXI-FM as its call letters, and in mid-1977 the station was officially rechristened 94Q. It became one of Atlanta's dominant FM stations and remained so until 1987, when its audience share began to dwindle. Various tweaks were made to the music mix, followed by an outright change of direction in early 1989 that competed head-to-head with then-dominant CHR WAPW/Power 99 (now WWWQ). 94Q was soundly beaten, and the station began to purge most of its management and on-air talent.

94Q also featured a smooth jazz music program called Jazz Flavors, which eventually served as the genesis for WJZF "Jazz Flavors 104.1", Atlanta's first smooth-jazz radio station (now WALR-FM), and later on, "WJZZ 107.5" (now WAMJ).

At midnight on November 16, 1989, its name was changed to "Star 94" after obtaining the broadcast callsign WSTR from a Sturgis, Michigan radio station (now WBET-FM). The station's format bordered between hot AC and top 40 (CHR), best described as "Adult Top 40" (a hybrid of Hot AC and Top 40). The station avoided most hip hop and rhythmic-oriented music hitting the Top 40 charts. Between 2007 and 2009, WSTR began to incorporate more hip hop songs in its playlist but remained more pop and rock oriented than most top-40-style stations. In September 2010, the station began shifting towards a Hot AC format, therefore Nielsen BDS moved WSTR from the CHR (top 40) to the Adult Top 40 (Hot AC) panel, as the station became more identified with a Hot AC playlist.[1] It also changed its on air slogan to "Your Life...Your Music," to emphasize its acknowledged shift to Hot AC. In February 2011, Star 94 began programming an all 1990's weekend called the "Big 90's Weekend" in response to the all-1980's weekends on WSB-FM. However, by the Fall, the station dropped the All 90's weekends.

Several influential air personalities have worked at the Atlanta station, including American Idol's Ryan Seacrest. Seacrest interned on the night show with Tom Sullivan, who trained him in all areas of broadcasting then gave him his first "on air" shift of his career, before moving to weekends. He did this while attending Dunwoody High School in nearby Dunwoody.

Broadcast facilities[edit]

WSTR has studios and offices located at the Interstate North complex (northeast of the I-75 and I-285 interchange) in unincorporated Cobb County, but carries an Atlanta address.

WSTR FM shares a tower with WPBA TV 30, and in fact shares the same antenna with WSB-FM 98.5 and WVEE FM 103.3. The three radio stations' transmitters are diplexed together, so that they all feed to the radio antenna instead of into each other.

WSTR broadcasts in HD Radio. 94.1 HD-2 currently carries a simulcast of WQXI (AM), while 94.1 HD-3 currently carries a mainstream urban format as "Streetz 94.5". It formerly carried a simulcast of WQXI's sports talk format on their HD-3 channel. WSTR HD-3 is given in the hourly station ID of W233BF FM 94.5, licensed to serve the eastern exurb of Social Circle. Although that station is licenseing as a "broadcast translator" (a service intended to retransmit analog FM stations to distant areas), it is operating independently as "Streetz", under an FCC legal fiction that allows such stations to transmit original programming if it is also simulcast on another station's HD Radio digital subchannel. Since legitimately licensed noncommercial LPFM stations cannot do any of these things (have multiple stations, operate commercially, use higher powers and unlimited heights, or afford to rent an "HD" channel or AM station) despite being in the same FCC class D, no community radio stations have gone on-air in or immediately around the city since the 1980s, and two have been forced off-air in the 2000s.

W233BF is owned by Edgewater Broadcasting, which has been highly involved in the "flipping" of translator stations and licenses for profit. Originally applied-for in 2003 (in what was called the "Great Translator Invasion" by some), the station finally went on the air in July 2007, and immediately requested permission to change to 105.3, becoming W287BI. Due to RF interference from full-power WBZY FM 105.3, it requested to go back to 94.5 in July 2010, regaining its old frequency (and therefore callsign) by December that year. In November however, it had already applied to move closer to Atlanta, where it is currently located north of Conyers, transmitting 122 watts at 313 meters (1,027 ft) HAAT. In late March 2012, it applied to move to the WHSG-TV 63.x (originally WUPA TV 69) tower in the Inman Park neighborhood east of downtown Atlanta, transmitting 250 watts at 325 meters (1,066 ft), except to the north and northwest, where it has a broad and flat null to protect the new WIPK FM 94.5 in northwest Georgia.

On-air staff[edit]

The current staff includes:

  • Star 94 Mornings; 5:30-9am hosted by Cindy Simmons and Jimmy Alexander
  • Heather Branch; 9am-2pm
  • Billy Bush; 10pm-2am

Additional staff:

  • Rob Stadler (News Director and Morning Newsman)
  • Michael Chase (Music Director)
  • Doug Miller (Production Director)
  • Ali Mac (Traffic Reporter)

Former staff:

  • Chase Daniels, former afternoon personality (now at WNTR)
  • Tim Orff, former night and weekend personality (now at Triton Digital)
  • Chris Carter, former traffic reporter
  • Darik At Night, former evening personality. Hosted by Darik Kristofer (now at WIAD-FM)
  • Kristen Gates, former weekender, morning/afternoon show producer. Former mornings @ WKHX. Currently mornings WUBL
  • Bender, former weekend/fill-in personality
  • Billy Brown, former evening personality
  • Mike "Superphat Mikey" Dennison, former co-host of The Morning Mess
  • Craig Hunt, former afternoon personality
  • Tripp West, former mid-day personality currently @ 94.9 WUBL in Atlanta
  • J. Bird, former weekend/fill-in personality
  • Eileen Kimble, former weekend personality
  • Nikki Knight, former evening personality
  • Eric Lauer, former weekend personality
  • Derek James, former weekend personality (now a television anchor and meteorologist for FOX Charlotte)
  • Vikki Locke, former morning personality (now at WSB-FM)
  • Mike Macho, currently on WKHX-FM
  • Ray Mariner, former co-host of Cindy & Ray in the Afternoons and Cindy & Ray in the Morning (unknown)
  • Jamie Massey, now at KNIX Phoenix, AZ, formerly mornings @ WUBL
  • Shannon Murphy, former co-host of The Morning Mess (Now co-host of the Mojo In The Morning Show on WKQI-Detroit Channel 955 from 6AM-10AM Eastern Standard Time. www.mojointhemorning.com)
  • Jim Larsin (Jim Koza), former weekend personality (went to WSB-FM, then retired from radio)
  • Dallas McCade (known as Madison Chase on Star 94 and its predecessor 94Q) is currently doing mornings with Cadillac Jack on WKHX in Atlanta. Previously co-hosted mornings with Rhubarb Jones at WYAY, Eagle 106.7(Now All News 106.7)
  • Steve McCoy, former morning personality (formerly on WSB-FM... last heard on KXKL-FM Denver)
  • Mike Oliver, former traffic reporter (Deceased 12/09)
  • Marc "Marco" Orem, former host of The Morning Mess (now at new station in Indianapolis)
  • Nudge, former evening personality now nationally syndicated Nudge@night
  • Ryan Seacrest is now on American Idol and has a syndicated morning radio show out of Los Angeles, CA.
  • Tony Castle, former weekend personality
  • Tracy St. George, formerly on WWWQ Atlanta All The Hits Q100, moved to West Palm Beach, FL. to take the afternoon slot at WRMF 97.9
  • Kevin Steele, now Program Director of WNGC, WGMG & WPUP/Cox Radio Athens, GA had worked weekends on WKHX
  • Tom Sullivan, former morning personality (last seen co-hosting WXIA-TV Atlanta and Company)
  • Jake Ray - Producer for Steve & Vikki (now at WQHT in New York)
  • Wendy Threatt, former afternoon traffic reporter (Now doing afternoon traffic on WSB-AM and WSB-FM)
  • Mike Stiles (former morning show producer also worked as Billy Ray Evans on WYAY) Now runs Sketchworks Comedy. Recently filled-in on WGST.

The station's general manager, Mark Kanov, has worked at the station since the late 1960s announced his retirement for late July 2008.
Captain Herb Emory, currently doing morning and afternoon traffic at WSB-AM and also hosts the Bellamy Strictland 120 NASCAR show on weekends. John Willyard, former imaging/commercial voice and weekend personality. Now voice of TV, cable, country radio stations and the CMA Awards on ABC-TV since 1996.

References[edit]

External links[edit]

Coordinates: 33°45′33″N 84°20′05″W / 33.7593°N 84.3346°W / 33.7593; -84.3346