|City||Grand Rapids, Michigan|
|Broadcast area||Grand Rapids, Michigan|
|Slogan||Today's Best Mix, without the rap|
|Frequency||95.7 MHz (also on HD Radio)|
|First air date||February 26, 1962 (as WKLW)|
|Format||FM/HD1: Adult Top 40
HD2: Urban AC "Magic 94.1" (WNWZ simulcast)
|Callsign meaning||LigHT Music (previous format)|
|Former callsigns||WZZR-FM (1977-2/4/84)
(Townsquare Media of Grand Rapids, Inc.)
|Sister stations||WFGR, WGRD-FM, WNWZ, WTRV|
WLHT-FM (95.7 FM, "Channel 95.7"), is a hot adult contemporary music formatted radio station in Grand Rapids, Michigan owned by Townsquare Media. Until late April 2006, the station was the home of the husband-and-wife morning team of Dave & Geri.
WKLW, WZZM-FM, and WZZR
The station signed on the same day as WOOD-FM (now WSRW-FM) in 1962. The original call letters of 95.7 FM were WKLW. In the mid-1960s, the station came into common ownership with WZZM-TV Channel 13 and became WZZM-FM. 96 WZZM 96 was spelled the same upside down as right-side up. By 1967, the station was block-programmed, with country music in the morning, Top 40 hit music in afternoon drive, and MOR music at night. Then, in 1968, WZZM-FM converted its format to full-time Top 40. WZZM-FM was one of the first FM Top 40s in Michigan to pose a serious challenge to its AM competition: by the end of 1970 it was ahead of WLAV (1340 AM) and WGRD (1410 AM) in several dayparts, including at night, when the AM competition either had poor signals or was off the air, and on the weekends.
In 1971, WZZM-FM picked up a serious competitor when WGRD added an FM signal at 97.9 (formerly WXTO). The reborn WGRD was an instant success. WZZM reacted by evolving its format into a Top 40-AOR hybrid, and then in 1972, into a Top 40-oldies hybrid. The station gained a "second wind" of sorts and posted a #1 12+ Arbitron showing in Grand Rapids in the summer of 1973, but ratings quickly dropped off again afterwards. WZZM-FM, which in 1977 changed its calls to WZZR and adopted the names "Z96" and "The Wizard of Rock", continued to struggle through the rest of the 1970s and into the 1980s, shifting back and forth between Top 40 and Adult Contemporary. In 1983 WZZR tweaked its format from CHR into a "new wave"/"Rock of the Eighties"-type format, but ratings remained low.
In 1984, WZZR became WLHT and switched to adult contemporary. Once again, 95.7 FM was a pioneer in the market in terms of trying a new format, and once again, its pioneering spirit led to success and acclaim. In 1998 WLHT was named AC station of the year at the Marconi Award ceremonies. Two years later Regent Communications (now Townsquare Media) purchased the station, along with sister stations WGRD-FM, WNWZ-AM, and WTRV-FM.
The 2000s Bring Changes
On April 14, 2006, husband and wife morning team Dave Jagger and Geri Jarvis announced that they would host their final morning show on April 21 after twenty years on the air on W-Lite. They were replaced April 24, 2006, by Denis Pryor and Nanette in morning drive. At the same time, the station changed its on-air nickname from 95.7 W-Lite to Lite Rock 95.7 (but reverted to the "W-Lite" name afterward). WLHT's music rotation also became slightly brighter and more rock-based than previously. The station's ratings have also dipped considerably since Dave and Geri's departure (see: 1).
In November 2007, WLHT shifted to an all-Christmas music format for the holiday season - the first time the station had ever done so - to compete with WOOD-FM (now WSRW), which has been going all-Christmas in November since 2001. However, WLHT's sister station, WTRV, which pioneered the all-Christmas format in Grand Rapids, stuck to its normal Soft AC format.
By August 2009, WLHT had moved its format toward Hot AC (of which WMAX-FM used to carry until 2008), and its previous mainstream AC format had shifted to sister station WTRV, which previously had aired a MOR/soft AC mix. As a result, WLHT-FM had been leaning adult top 40 until the station dropped AC in 2009 (a similar situation done at adult top 40-leaning ACs such as WNIC Detroit). Also in 2009, former WOOD-TV news personality Gerry Barnaby took over the morning show. The radio station's jockeys began referring to the station as LHT, dropping the W except when plugging the station's web page and at the top of the hour for mandatory recitation of the full call sign.
Channel 95-7 Debuts
On October 11, 2010 WLHT became a full-blown Hot AC and changed its moniker to Channel 95-7; however, WLHT-FM was still reported as AC by Mediabase (up until January 2011), even though Townsquare's true AC station in the Grand Rapids market is WTRV. Nielsen BDS now reports the station as a hot AC as of November 2010.
The format change brought changes to the station's on-air lineup as well. Channel 95-7 added The Kidd Kraddick Morning Show, giving the station a syndicated morning show for the first time in its history, but was cancelled in October 2012 to be replaced by former Madison, WI morning show "Connie and Curtis." - and midday host Kim Carson (a veteran of Detroit radio) moved to WTRV, with Wendy Reed, who had formerly held the same shift at WTRV, taking her place.
Channel 95-7 is now an Adult Top 40 station as of September 2015. Through all of the music and staff changes, the station's slogan is still Today's Best Mix, without the rap. The station is doing U-Mix It weekends, with Saturday nights devoted to throwback music from the 80's through the 2000s called the Saturday night throwback party. The station also plays throwbacks from 12:00 to 1:00 PM, titled the throwback lunch.
Jingles and imaging
WLHT, throughout its AC history has used jingles from TM Studios and Reelworld.
Now under the Channel 95-7 moniker, the station is currently using sweepers only, first voiced by Sean Caldwell, later Stacie Bartro and Drew Patterson. The last time WLHT used a jingle package was 2007-2010 under the 95-7 LHT moniker.
- Query the FCC's FM station database for WLHT
- Radio-Locator information on WLHT
- Query Nielsen Audio's FM station database for WLHT