|City||Charlotte, North Carolina|
|Slogan||More Music, Better Variety
Non-Stop Christmas Music (Nov.-Dec.)
|Frequency||104.7 MHz (also on HD Radio)|
|First air date||May 22, 1960 (as WYFM)|
Christmas music (Nov.-Dec.)
|ERP||96,000 watts (directional with beam tilt)|
(nickname for Charlotte)
|Former callsigns||WYFM (1960-1973)
|Owner||Beasley Broadcast Group
(Beasley Media Group, LLC)
|Sister stations||WBAV, WBCN, WNKS, WPEG, WSOC-FM|
WKQC (104.7 FM, "K104.7") is a Beasley Broadcasting Group-owned adult contemporary radio station in Charlotte, North Carolina. WKQC's studios are located on South Boulevard in Charlotte, while their transmitter site is in East Charlotte. WKQC broadcasts in the HD Radio format. WKQC-HD2 airs a "70s hits" format, while WKQC-HD3 is a simulcast of sister station WBCN.
The station receives exceptional co-channel interference from WNOK in Columbia, just 75 miles south of Charlotte. The Chester and Lancaster, South Carolina areas are affected the most with interference from both stations.
WKQC signed on in 1960 as WYFM with a beautiful music format. By 1973, after EZ Communications bought the station, WYFM became WEZC (known by the moniker "EZ-104") and had a 100,000-watt signal. In September 1978, rival WBT-FM changed to rock and became WBCY, leaving WEZC as the city's only beautiful music station. In December 1982, even though the area had two other soft adult contemporary FM stations—WLVV and WZXI—WEZC changed to soft adult contemporary as well. The switch generated so many protests that WZXI moved to fill the gap.
During the 1980s, WEZC gradually evolved from soft adult contemporary to mainstream adult contemporary. The station's most famous personality was controversial morning host Chuck Boozer.
In March 1989, WEZC completed its transition with a name and call letter change to WMXC, "Mix 104.7", and the WEZC call letters were picked up by the former WRLX at 102.9. The station originally wanted the calls WMIX, but at the last minute found out those calls were already being used by a pair of stations in Mount Vernon, Illinois, WMIX AM and WMIX-FM. Furthermore, in a somewhat controversial move, for a time it referred to itself on-air as WMIX, with an announcer whispering its true calls hurriedly during hourly legal IDs; however, the use of WMIX as a brand was short-lived, as the owners of the WMIX stations in Mount Vernon, Withers Broadcasting, registered the "WMIX" branding as a registered trademark. WMXC would gain a sister station in 1992, when Cox Broadcasting sold WSOC-FM to EZ.
On September 2, 1994, with WBT-FM and WLYT (formerly the "new" WEZC) competing, WMXC became WSSS, "Star 104.7", playing "Super Sounds of the Seventies", which evolved to classic hits later in 1997. WSSS would gain 4 sister stations (WBAV-FM, WBAV-AM, WNKS and WPEG) in December 1996 from Evergreen Media, which was part of a large multi-market swap (Evergreen received EZ Communications' Philadelphia stations WIOQ and WUSL in return). EZ would then be bought by American Radio Systems in July 1997. ARS would be bought out by Infinity Broadcasting on September 19, 1997, making WSSS a CBS O&O station (CBS owned Infinity).
In January 2000, WSSS added 1980s music to their playlist, and the station later went all-1980s. WSSS would shift back to Classic hits in 2002. But even though format changes generated brief ratings improvement, nothing worked until the station returned to adult contemporary music, with an emphasis on older songs. The switch to the current format came after stunting with Christmas music beginning on Halloween and continuing all through the 2003 holiday season.
Operations Manager John Reynolds, Market Manager Bill Schoening and AC Programming Consultant Gary Berkowitz designed the rebirth of the station. Plans were to rename the station "Cool 104.7". However, on December 23, just three days before the new format was scheduled to debut, CBS Radio's legal department notified the station that the word "Cool", when used as a noun, had been copyrighted by Clear Channel Communications. A $10,000 jingle package had to be scrapped and Program Director Tom Jeffries and PM Drive host T. Edward Bensen spent Christmas Day re-imaging the station with the quickly revised name of "K 104.7" so the debut could occur as scheduled the next morning.
In January 2007, Tom Jeffries, a former Boston-area programming legend who had been Program Director and Morning Host since the station's flip in 2004, resigned to go into semi-retirement. In April 2007, the station picked up local TV meteorologist Derek James as the new morning host, while promoting Scarlet C. to Assistant Program Director and T. Edward Bensen to Music Director. The station abruptly eliminated its entire on-air staff in October 2008, with the only exception being Holly Haze from 7pm-12am weekdays. Production Director Rick Scaffe and Promotions Director Leah Galloway, as well as sister WNKS Promotions Director Natalie Kirby and long time WSOC-FM newsman Frank Lassiter were also cut at the same time in what was called a cost-cutting move.
The station hired Charlotte radio veteran Jon Robinson to do mornings from 6am-12pm a few months later. On November 18, 2009, his name was abruptly removed from the station website, with no report as to why he was terminated. Later, Robinson revealed that he'd been arrested at the end of his shift one day in October for violating a protective order, and that he and station officials agreed to part ways at the end of his contract so he could focus on recovering from a long term substance abuse problem. By 2010, the station had hired an all-new air staff. In January 2012, WKQC changed its slogan from Charlotte's Cool Music Station to More Music, Better Variety.
WKQC calls itself "Christmas K-104.7" when it shifts to its all-Christmas format. The station also uses holiday-themed jingles. Initially, it airs the all-Christmas format only on weekends leading up to Thanksgiving, with a mix of regular and Christmas songs on the weekdays. On the week of Thanksgiving, the all-Christmas format runs on a full-time basis, as of Christmas 2008. The station bills itself as the Carolinas' radio home for the holidays, a title that WLYT once held exclusively until 2004, when both stations started going head-to-head; as of Christmas 2012, WKQC is the exclusive Christmas music station for Charlotte, thanks to WLYT's aforementioned format flip to adult hits and rebranding to WLKO ("102.9 The Lake").
WKQC also claims to be Charlotte's first eco-friendly station that boasts a promotions fleet of gas saving and flex fuel vehicles. To further promote this, WKQC switched their logo to "Be Cool, Go Green" and promotes a 'green' lifestyle by providing tips and partnering with local community campaigns in the Charlotte area.
On October 2, 2014, CBS Radio announced that it would trade all of their Tampa and Charlotte stations (including WKQC), as well as WIP in Philadelphia to the Beasley Broadcast Group in exchange for 5 stations located in Miami and Philadelphia. The swap was completed on December 1, 2014.
- Jeff Borden, "WEZC Has New Format, Call Letters; New Playlist Aims at Both Sexes", The Charlotte Observer, March 21, 1989.
- Justia Trademarks: "WMIX - Trademark Details"
- Bill Keveney, "Star 104.7 Tweaks Its '70s Format", The Charlotte Observer, January 25, 2000.
- Former Media Star Reveals Dark Life, Charlotte Observer, December 20, 2009
- CBS And Beasley Swap Philadelphia/Miami For Charlotte/Tampa from Radio Insight (October 2, 2014)
- Venta, Lance (December 1, 2014). "CBS Beasley Deal Closes". RadioInsight. Retrieved December 1, 2014.
- Query the FCC's FM station database for WKQC
- Radio-Locator information on WKQC
- Query Nielsen Audio's FM station database for WKQC