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For the radio station licensed to Lyndon, Kentucky, formerly known as WRKA, see WQNU.
For other uses, see WRKA (disambiguation).
WRKA 103.9TheHawk logo.png
City Louisville, Kentucky
Broadcast area Louisville, Kentucky
Branding 103.9 The Hawk
Slogan True Country
Frequency 103.9 MHz
First air date January 1975 (as WFIA-FM)
Format Classic Country
ERP 1,350 watts
HAAT 149 meters
Class A
Facility ID 48290
Transmitter coordinates 38°15′22.00″N 85°45′29.00″W / 38.2561111°N 85.7580556°W / 38.2561111; -85.7580556
Callsign meaning Robert Knowles & Associates
Former callsigns WFIA-FM (1975-1980)
WXLN (1980-07/02/1990)
WZKS (07/02/1990-03/15/1993)
WHKW (03/15/1993-1994)
WQLL (1994-06/03/1996)
WSJW (06/03/1996-05/29/1998)
WMHX (05/29/1998-11/24/2000)
WPTK (11/24/2000-12/20/2000)
WPTI (12/20/2000-7/18/2008)[1]
Owner Summit Media LLC
Sister stations WSFR, WQNU, WVEZ
Webcast Listen Live
Website hawklouisville.com

WRKA (103.9 FM, "The Hawk") is a radio station broadcasting a classic-based country music format. Licensed to Louisville, Kentucky, United States, the station serves the greater Louisville area. The station is currently owned by Summit Media LLC.[2] The station's studios are located at Chestnut Centre in Downtown Louisville and the transmitter site, also located downtown, is atop National City Tower.


In January 1975, the station first came on the air as WFIA-FM. It was a sister station to WFIA. The call letters were later changed to WXLN and played Contemporary Christian music.

After dropping Christian music in 1990, 103.9 had a history of short-lived and rapidly changing call letters and formats (usually failed attempts to challenge other more dominant stations in the market), with the station typically changing formats every two to four years between 1990 and 2008.

  • July 5, 1990 – March 19, 1992: WZKS "Kiss 104" (CHR)
    • The station's first post Christian format was intended to challenge WDJX. The format ended on January 27, 1992, after WZKS signed a LMA with WDJX, preventing the two stations from competing with each other.[3] After nearly a month and a half of simulcasting WDJX, the station began stunting by playing music from Garth Brooks. On March 23, 1992, the station switched to satellite-fed Country as "Hot Country 103.9", but kept the old WZKS call letters.
  • March 23, 1992—May 24, 1994: WZKS "Hot Country 103.9", WHKW "103.9 The Hawk":
    • During this period, 103.9 became the first FM station in the market intended to challenge longtime country leader itself, the legendary WAMZ. Initially, the station was known as "Hot Country 103.9", which, unlike WAMZ, had no local content, instead relying on Dial Global's Hot Country satellite network for programming. On March 30, 1993, the station was revamped as 103.9 The Hawk, and added local programming. It also changed its call letters to WHKW. The format, call letters, and "The Hawk" branding moved to its more powerful sister station on 107.7 (now WSFR) on May 24, 1994, and again to 98.9 (now WNRW) in May 1996.
  • May 24, 1994 – June 3, 1996: WQLL "Cool 103.9" (Oldies):
    • After "The Hawk" moved to 107.7, 103.9 adopted an oldies format,[4] intended to challenge future sister station WRKA (then on 103.1).[citation needed] The call letters changed to WQLL on June 6. In 1995, the format was changed to all 1970's music, while retaining the station branding.
  • June 3, 1996-May 29, 1998: WSJW "Smooth Jazz 103.9":
    • The station changed its format to Smooth Jazz in June 1996, and changed its call letters to WSJW. This format lasted two years.
  • August 7, 1998-November 2000: WMHX "Mix 103.9" (AC):
    • This format was basically a revival of the AC format dropped by then-WLRS, now WXMA, a year earlier. Like the others, this format lasted two years.
  • November 2000- October 21, 2004: WPTK/WPTI "103.9 The Point" (All-80s Hits):
    • After the station was purchased by Cox Radio in 1999, the station adopted the company's The Point branding and an all-80s hits format in November 2000. The call letters were switched to WPTK on November 24, then a month later, on December 20, to WPTI. The final song on "The Point" was "Goodbye Stranger" by Supertramp.[5]
  • October 21, 2004-July 23, 2008: WPTI "New Country 103.9":
    • Like its previous attempts at country music as "Hot Country" and "The Hawk", the format was intended to challenge WAMZ. The first song on "New Country" was "Here for the Party" by Gretchen Wilson.[6]
  • July 23, 2008–May 23, 2014: WRKA "Country Legends 103.9":
    • The call letters were changed to WRKA on July 18, and changed its format to Classic Country on July 23. The old format moved to its more powerful sister station, WQNU (which prior to this used the WRKA call letters).

On July 20, 2012, Cox Radio, Inc. announced the sale of WRKA and 22 other stations to Summit Media LLC for $66.25 million. The sale was consummated on May 3, 2013.[7][8]

On May 23, 2014, WRKA began stunting by only playing music by Garth Brooks as "103.9 Garth-FM" before announcing they were not able to use Garth's name due to legal issues, rebranding as "XXXXX-FM" (with the "XXXXX" being pronounced on-air as a long beep) and promising a new format to come on the following Monday, June 2, at 7 am. At that time, WRKA relaunched with a 1990s-heavy country format once again branded as "103.9 The Hawk".[9] The first song on "The Hawk" was Gone Country by Alan Jackson.[10]


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