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|Broadcast area||Greater St. Louis|
|Slogan||St. Louis’ Only Home For Hip Hop and R&B|
|Frequency||104.1 MHz FM (also on HD Radio)|
|First air date||1983|
|Callsign meaning||Where Hip-Hop Lives!|
|Former callsigns||WJBM-FM (1978-1985)
(Radio One Licenses, LLC)
|Website||HOT 104.1's website|
WHHL, known as "HOT 104.1", is a Urban Contemporary radio station serving the St. Louis area. The Radio One owned outlet broadcasts at 104.1 MHz with an ERP of 50 kW and is licensed to Hazelwood, Missouri. Its transmitter is located in St. Louis, just outside Forest Park, and operates from studios in Olivette (with a St. Louis address).
The station signed on in 1978 as WJBM-FM with a full service Country format targeting the more Northern areas of the St. Louis metropolitan area, as well as the Metro East area, with its city of license being Jerseyville. The station's transmitter at the time was located north of the city (near Jerseyville), which was a partial hindrance to any chance for success in the market for the next 2 1/2 decades, despite later moving to a tower on Douglas Road in Florissant. They began targeting St. Louis in September 1985 as Country music station WKKX, "Kix 104 FM", and owned by Shelly Davis' Gateway Radio Partners. Zimmer Broadcasting bought the station out of bankruptcy in July 1991. On January 20, 1994, they would switch frequencies with WKBQ and its Top 40 format (from 106.5), and rebranded as "Q104". (WKBQ's simulcast on 1380 AM would continue with the swap.) Emmis Communications bought the station in November 1996.
On January 24, 1997, the Top 40 format was dropped for Modern AC as "Alice 104.1", WALC. On June 25, 1998, at 3 PM, WALC flipped to active rock as "Extreme Radio 104.1" and the WXTM-FM call letters (adopted July 15). WXTM was the original St. Louis affiliate of The Howard Stern Show. On September 24, 2000, at 2 PM, after playing "Fade to Black" by Metallica, and after Emmis purchased KPNT (and moved Stern to that station), WXTM flipped to All-80s Hits as "The Mall" (WMLL-FM). The format would later evolve into a 80s/90s hits format. On November 20, 2003, at Midnight, WMLL began stunting with Christmas music; on December 25, the stunting changed to a "wheel of formats" by playing music from any given genre, as well as old airchecks from past formats on the frequency.
At Noon on January 8, 2004, the stunting stopped and the station flipped to an Adult Standards format as WRDA, "Red @ 104.1". The first songs on "Red" were "My Kind of Town" and "The Lady is a Tramp", both by Frank Sinatra. The station specialized in "Music with Class" as they called it, playing classic standards singers such as Frank Sinatra and more modern 'crooners' such as Rod Stewart and Michael Bublé. After 18 months of subpar ratings and low advertising revenues, Emmis sold WRDA to Radio One, for $20 million in September 2005. The station flipped to its current format on October 1, 2005 at Midnight. The first song on "Hot" was "Play" by David Banner. The call letters would change to WHHL after their slogan/motto (Where Hip Hop Lives!) to match the "Hot 104.1" handle. Radio One would take full possession of the station in 2006 after running it under an LMA (Local marketing agreement). The station's signal problems were finally solved in 2008, when it changed its city of license to Hazelwood and relocated its transmitter to a site on DeBalleviere Avenue in the city of St. Louis, giving the station full market coverage.
- Stark, Phyllis (January 15, 1994). "Vox Jox". Billboard. 106 (3): 64.
- "1". Retrieved 2008-02-27.
- WHHL Website
- Query the FCC's FM station database for WHHL
- Radio-Locator information on WHHL
- Query Nielsen Audio's FM station database for WHHL