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WEZB logo 2012.jpeg
City New Orleans, Louisiana
Broadcast area Southeast Louisiana & Southern Mississippi
Branding B97
Slogan All The Hits
Frequency 97.1 MHz (also on HD Radio)
First air date September 1, 1945 (as WRCM)
Format Analog/HD1:Top 40 (CHR)
HD2: WWWL simulcast
ERP 100,000 watts
HAAT 300 meters
Class C0
Facility ID 20346
Callsign meaning W (East side of the Mississippi River), EZ (EZ Communications; former owner), B (for their former format, Beautiful music)
Former callsigns WRCM (1945-1967)
WNNR-FM (1967-1972)
Owner Entercom
(Entercom New Orleans License, LLC)
Webcast Listen Live
Website B97

WEZB (97.1 FM, branded B97) is a mainstream Top-40 contemporary hit radio (CHR) radio station in New Orleans, Louisiana. The station is owned by Entercom and they broadcast their format at 97.1 MHz with an effective radiated power (ERP) of 100,000 watts. The station's studios are located at the 400 Poydras Tower in New Orleans' downtown area, and the transmitter site is in the city's Algiers district.


According to the broadcasting yearbooks, on September 1, 1945, 97.1 signed on the air. This was WRCM, the FM simulcast of WJMR-AM 990 and sister to WJMR-TV 12 (now WVUE channel 8), all owned by George J. Mayoral. Then, around 1966–67 after the TV station had already been sold, Supreme Broadcasting Company bought the two radio stations and changed the call letters to WNNR AM and FM. At the time, the station was located in the Jung Hotel at 1500 Canal Street in downtown New Orleans. It broadcast a forward power of only 20,500 watts from an antenna 310 feet atop the building.

On January 2, 1972, EZ Communications acquired the FM station and this is when it became WEZB, part of a chain of Beautiful Music stations (WEZC Charlotte, WEZR Washington, et al.) owned by EZ. It was never very successful against formidable competition in that format. Briefly in the 1970s when disco became a popular genre, it became "Disco 97 FM" on Thursday, February 8, 1979, but failed shortly after. "We had a big party in the Atrium at the Hyatt [Regency Hotel]" says Jim Roberts, B-97's first Bee Jock (disc jockey). On January 1, 1980, "Baby New Year was dropped from the ceiling and we switched over from 'FM97, The Rhythm Of The City' to the new 'B-97 FM'."[1] According to Jackson "Jack Da Wack" Tally, who was also one of B-97's first Bee Jocks, in early November 1979, the station slowly started to work more and more Top 40 music into rotation. By the end of that year, the staff was ready for the format change to B-97FM. This station would be a popular Top 40 outlet for years to come, much like "The Mighty 690, WTIX-AM" was in the 1960s and 1970s.

Kent Burkhart, consultant to EZ Communications at the time, states on his website[2] that Dan Vallie was hired on by the company to change the ailing format of WEZB from disco and dance music to Top 40. Over the years, the name went through minor changes (i.e., "The New B-97 FM", "B-97", "97.1 The New B-97 FM", etc.), the transmitting power was increased, and the antenna was moved to a taller location. Currently, many New Orleanians know B-97 as a well-known and established radio station playing the hits.

To note, WEZB has been a prominent Top 40 radio broadcast station in the New Orleans metropolitan area for over 30 years, except for two brief, failed experiments. The first format change was a decision by now-defunct EZ Communications, in which the station changed to a news and hot talk format in the summer of 1994. The decision to return to a music format came on June 7, 1996, in which the station played Billy Ray Cyrus' "Achy Breaky Heart" repeatedly for seven hours. At noon that day, the station returned as an adult contemporary Top 40 format using the same name "B-97", and starting with Hootie & the Blowfish's "Only Wanna Be With You".[3] On July 26, 1998, B-97 returned to its heritage Top 40 contemporary hit radio (CHR) format. The station became more Rhythmic in its musical approach before making the shift in 2002, back to its current, true Top 40 approach.

Hurricane Katrina[edit]

WEZB was also a member of the United Radio Broadcasters of New Orleans, an alliance of broadcast stations formed by the joint ventures of WEZB's parent company, Entercom Communications with Clear Channel Communications, during Hurricane Katrina in September 2005.

Current programming and hosts[edit]



Live and local:

  • The iPod Shuffle, noon – 1 pm, playing music from the late 1980s to 1990s and current music, requests
  • The Corey B at Night Show, Monday–Friday nights beginning at 7 pm
  • Friday Five O'Clock Free-For-All, old-school tunes airing Friday afternoons at 5 pm
  • Hollywood Hamilton's Weekend Top 30, countdown show airing Sunday, 9 am – noon
  • Saturday Night Big Easy Block Party, all-request and party-dedication show airing Saturdays 6 pm – 11 pm

Past programming and staff[edit]

Past programming[edit]

  • The Howard Stern Show
  • Scott Shannon's Rockin' America Top 30 Countdown
  • Countdown USA with Dave Sholin
  • American Top 40 (AT 40) with Casey Kasem
  • Casey's Top 40 with Casey Kasem
  • Elvis Duran Top 30 Hit List (in addition to the station airing his mid-1990s syndicated program, Elvis was at one time part of the B97 staff)
  • American Top 40 (AT 40) with Ryan Seacrest
  • Rick Dees & The Weekly Top 40
  • Hollywood Hamilton's Rhythm Countdown
  • BackTrax USA with Kid Kelly (1980s and 1990s versions)
  • Friday Five O'Clock Whistle (circa 1986) (party music; upbeat, high energy songs from the 1980s and 1970s)
  • Friday Five O'Clock Free-For-All (1980s show from 5 pm-7 pm; later evolved into "Fat City Friday Night's")
  • Fat City Friday Night's (live from Kenny's Key West, Metairie, LA)
  • Saturday Night Throwdown (mix show; aired on Saturday nights)
  • Sunday Night Dedication Party (aired live from Bart's on the Lake, New Orleans, LA)
  • Totally On Demand B (all request show; aired Saturday nights 8 pm-midnight)
  • RadioMixes Crossover (mixshow)

Former Bee Jocks[edit]

(Disclaimer: many people listed below have contributed in the creation of this list)

  • David "Kidd Kraddick" Cradick (1987–2013 Kidd Kraddick In The Morning)
  • James "Fast Jimi" Roberts (B-97 FM's 1st Bee Jock)
  • Johnny Shomby
  • Kenneth "Cajun Ken" Cooper
  • Cami McCormick (news director and host of the "B-97's 60-Second News Update;" worked alongside "Cajun" Ken Cooper in the mornings, and later "Walton & Johnson". Left for Moscow in 1991 to do an all-English radio show until its end in 1994, then became a CNN reporter. Now a dedicated journalist with CBS news. Received three Edward R. Murrow awards, as well as two Gracie Allen Awards, among others)
  • Scoot In The Morning (Scott Paisant; now host of The Scoot Show on sister station "The Big 870" WWL-AM and 105.3 FM)
  • Boomer (hosted "Top 8 at 8", and "Boomer's Rumors")(Later at 93Q KKBQ Houston and one of original DJ's (Jon Paul West) at MIX 96.5 KHMX with Guy Zapoleon in '90)
  • Edward "Fast Eddie" Coyle (did the 10 am – 2 pm and 6 pm – 10 pm time slots at B-97; now sells pre-owned cars and trucks in the Dallas, TX area)[4]
  • Jackson "Jack Da Wack" Tally (One of B-97 FM's 1st Bee Jocks. Was at B-97 in 1979 right after its launch. Jack went on to work at WHTZ a.k.a. "Z100" in Newark, NJ From 1983 to 1991. Now he's Jackson "Cactus Jack" Tally at "The New 93Q" KKBQ-FM in Houston, TX)
  • Brian Pierce Afternoons as "Pierceshow" (later moved to (WZOU Boston and KLUV Dallas.)
  • Thomas "Skinny Tommy" Cheney (worked at WTIX-AM 690 for many years before going to FM on B-97FM. Now doing country artist promotion with the George Strait group in Nashville, TN)
  • Nick Bazoo (PD the station's highest 12+ share of a 12.5)...left to relaunch KMEL as a CHR station in San Francisco under the name of "All Hit 106 KMEL" – also worked as PD at Magic 101.9 (WLMG-FM) KMEZ and 92-3 The Point (WCKW-FM). Also programmed E-Z Communications' "B-94 FM" in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. Deceased.
  • Michael Jackson (not the singer) (possibly B-97 FM's 1st PD [5])
  • Kris O'Kelly
  • Ugly Jock Lousteau (worked sometime during the 1980s)
  • "The Walton & Johnson Morning Show" (John Walton and Steve Johnson)
  • Scott "Shadow Stevens" Wright(VP/PD, 1987–1989 and 1993–1995) (previously from Z-100 (WHTZ-FM) in New York and KQLZ a.k.a. "Pirate Radio 100.3 FM" in Los Angeles)
  • J.J. Malone (known as Geronimo since 1991 on WABB-FM Mobile, WKXX Providence, WBLS New York, WKTU New York and SiriusXM Satellite Radio)
  • Elvis Duran (Former program director for B-97. Now hosting the Morning Zoo for iHeart Media at Z-100 (WHTZ-FM) in New York, NY)
  • Donnie "The Fatman" Banks
  • Ross "The Boss" Cannon
  • Mark "The Slugman" Janefferson (Former intern now assistant Program Director at WEEF in Bokonon)
  • Joe "Mama" Mason (Left for KSHE in St. Louis)
  • Allen "Stevie G's Hero" Beebe (Maybe one of the longest running DJ's on B-97; now part-time at Magic 101.9, WLMG-FM)
  • "Bubba" Carson (Paul Donovan; worked briefly at 101.1 WNOE-FM after a long run on B-97)
  • Kimberly Carson (Worked on country station 101.1 WNOE-FM New Orleans for years. Later went to B-97. She has her own country music band "Kim Carson and The Real Deal")
  • The Monkey Boy (prime time DJ)
  • Ronnie Carter (DJ)
  • Bernard "Buddy" Diliberto (did WDSU-TV 6 sports reports during the morning show with "Cajun" Ken Cooper in the 1980s; deceased)
  • Bob Breck (meteorologist from WVUE-TV 8; gave daily weather reports mornings with "Cajun" Ken Cooper. Retired.)
  • Jeffrey St. John (part-time, spent many years in afternoons at KYLD San Francisco and KBIG in Los Angeles, now afternoons at Movin in SF)
  • ""Rudy Dixon"
  • Eddie Munster (DJ)
  • Eddie "The Hurricane" Monsoon
  • Cadillac Jack (late 1980s; left to do a stint at KQLZ Pirate Radio 100.3 FM Los Angeles. Nowadays he's the PD at WBQT in Boston)
  • Colonel Tom "The Puker" Longstadt (1981–1987)
  • Dave Buss (part-time DJ; early 1990s)
  • Brian Thomas (PD)
  • Rob Halloway ("Rob & Robb In The Morning") (left B-97 to do mornings on MIX 104.1 (KHOM-FM)
  • Scott Robb ("Rob & Robb In The Morning") (left B-97 to do mornings on MIX 104.1 (KHOM-FM); was recently working with Kidd Kraddick)
  • Cat Stevens (Not the singer)
  • Adam Smasher (not the "ATOM" SMASHER of Mix 104.1 (KHOM-FM)
  • Charlie Matkin
  • Rob Wagman (PD and Afternoon DJ, now APD/MD at WXRK/92-3 NOW FM in New York)
  • Regular Joe (PD and DJ)
  • Hollywood Harrison (nights 1988) also as Ted Kelly Nightly Bedchecks (now runs a website for Christian radio HisAir.Net [1]
  • Cheryl Robichaux (mornings at 94.5 KSMB-FM, Lafayette, LA, now Editor-in-Chief of 008 magazine, Lafayette, LA)
  • Patty Steel (now middays at GO-FM in Biloxi; not to be confused with Patty Steele at WCBS-FM in NYC)
  • Catfish (later PD at KIX 106 in Birmingham, AL now at country KNCI in Sacramento, CA)
  • Jake "The Snake" Bowman (part-time)
  • Kid Mellifluous The Tone Def Groove Lieutenant (DJ for Saturday Night Throwdown in mid-1990s)
  • Charese Frugé (now in San Diego; was most recently PD at Star 98.7, KYSR-FM in Los Angeles. Eunice, LA is her hometown.)
  • Woody (part-time DJ)
  • Stacey Brady (former mornings APD/MD (Booker and Brady); currently WEZB Promotions And Marketing Manager. Engaged to John Marty.)
  • Annette Wade (middays 2007–2009; currently WEZB Digital Program Director)
  • Grunt Canasta (Worked at B97 from 1979 until his death in 1981)
  • John Marty (now on 97.5 WABB-FM, Mobile, Alabama hosting the morning show)
  • Danny Cruz (Afternoons, Stu Gray now doing nights on the WAY-FM Network based in Nashville, TN)
  • Janet Gross (news/traffic director and part-time DJ; later went to WVUE-TV to anchor the Saturday morning news; married to WDSU-TV news reporter Heath Allen)
  • Maxwell (Former mornings, now on-air nights WHTZ, Z100 New York)
  • Matthew Cain (Formerly Host of The Bee Morning Buzz, now a Pediatric Registered Nurse in Houston, TX)
  • Will "The Thrill" (former Nights/Afternoon Drive, mobilized for wartime operations in 2005 with the U.S. Army)
  • Carson (in Cincinnati, OH as PD of WKFS)
  • Jason Reed (part-time and overnights; now at Cumulus Media New Orleans, LA (WCKW-FM) "Nash FM 92.3"
  • Celeste Matthews (DJ)
  • Jessica Ryan (was later producing the Ron & Don Show at 106-7 The End, KKND-FM New Orleans, LA)
  • David "Brother Dave" Nichols (DJ)
  • Ricky Idol (went on to Dallas at KHKS and KRBV, later to St. Louis at KSLZ now afternoons on WILN/Island 106 in Panama City, FL and Production Director for Magic Broadcasting cluster all as Kato)
  • Yvonne (part-time DJ)
  • John Tyler (previously from "The Rock of New Orleans," 99.5 WRNO-FM)
  • Billy Brown (now in Florida as a DJ)
  • Michael Bryan (former midday DJ, assistant PD, and music director; recently was PD of XL-106.7, WXXL-FM in Orlando, FL)
  • J.J. (did weekend overnights; most recently known as "G-Man", afternoons on Island 106 (WILN-FM), Panama City, FL)
  • Robert Elfman
  • John Roberts (PD)
  • Teddy Striker (previously worked at Island 106 (WILN-FM), Panama City, FL. Worked briefly at B-97, but left to become PD of Hot 104.1 in Mobile, AL; now a full-time loan officer at a major bank and still in radio, part-time in Seattle, WA)
  • Booker (Mornings with Booker and Brady; spent several years in mornings at WSTO, Evansville, IN; now mornings at KKHH in Houston)
  • Joey Giovingo (PD responsible for the format switch from news/hot talk radio, back to music, 1996)
  • Charlie Scott (DJ)
  • J. Love (evening DJ)
  • Tony Buonoguera (gave local "MetroScan" traffic reports mornings with "Cajun Ken" for a number of years)
  • Barry Foxx (part-time)
  • Anthony "Gangi" (On-Air and Promotions Director; now owns his own television production company)
  • Wankus In The Morning
  • Tom Mitchell (worked in Las Vegas at CBS Radio. Was recently the afternoon drive personality at 94.5 KSMB-FM, Lafayette, LA, his hometown)
  • Bam-Bam
  • Travis Torrence, the #1 Hotboy in the Crescent City (part-time; graduated from Yale Law School, and now practicing law in Texas)
  • Terry "Motormouth" Young (currently a host on XM Radio's "60s at 6" Channel)
  • Jason Peavy (previously worked for 102.5 WFMF Baton Rouge, and later at B-97)
  • Rick Friedman
  • Larry "The Gator" Knight (left for Clear Channel NOLA, spent several years in nights at WWXM in Myrtle Beach, SC)
  • Kimberly Diamond (left Lite 105, WLTS-FM New Orleans for B-97; was recently working in radio in the Biloxi/Gulfport area of Mississippi. Deceased.)
  • David "Skid Marx" Marxx(left MIX 104.1 (KHOM-FM) for B-97; now D.K. Pierce doing Afternoons and PD at 92.9 Bass Country in Springfield, Missouri)
  • Jeffrey Scott (PD, now NSM of Cox Radio stations in San Antonio, TX)
  • Tyler (Ben Stewart) (APD, Imaging Dir, On-Air Middays 2004–2007; Writer/Host of popular podcast, "Tyler's Tinseltown Tattler".)
  • Mike Kaplan (PD, now PD of Alt 98.7 KYSR in Los Angeles)
  • Ron Chatman (Overnights; also producer for "Steve & Gary"; did afternoons on WRNO; now doing afternoons at WZZK/Birmingham.)
  • Scott "Scotty C." Chapin (Production Director, weekends, parody songs with "The Twisted Bees", later being nationally known Television News Voice Talent)
  • Speedy (The Night Time knockdown and The Sunday Night Slow Motion, left B97 on October 28, 2012, as the night time personality at Hot 107.9 in Lafayette / Acadiana. Has returned.)
  • Phillip O'Bryan (Left for KZOU in Little Rock, AR in 1986. later at WRVR in Memphis, TN and KIX 106 in Birmingham, AL before buying a small station in rural Arkansas in 1989.)


External links[edit]

Coordinates: 29°55′12″N 90°01′30″W / 29.920°N 90.025°W / 29.920; -90.025