||This article possibly contains original research. (February 2015) (Learn how and when to remove this template message)|
|Broadcast area||metro Atlanta|
|Branding||AM 750 and 95.5 FM News/Talk WSB|
|Slogan||"Atlanta's news, weather, and traffic station: Depend On It!"|
(also on HD Radio)
|First air date||May 1948|
HD-2: Top 40
|HAAT||432 m (1,417 ft)|
|Callsign meaning||An extra B added at the end of heritage callsign WSB|
|Former callsigns||1999-2010: WBTS
1999: WYAP (13 days)
Georgia Bulldogs (IMG)
|Owner||Cox Media Group
(Cox Radio, Inc.)
|Sister stations||WALR-FM, WSB, WSB-FM, WSRV, WTSH-FM, WSB-TV|
WSBB-FM 95.5 is a radio station that broadcasts a news/talk format in the Atlanta metropolitan area. The Cox Media Group outlet broadcasts with an effective radiated power of 40 kW from a position between Flowery Branch and Braselton, on the far edge of the northeastern exurbs. The station's city of license is now Doraville, an inner suburb. WSBB has studios co-located with its radio partners and WSB-TV in Midtown Atlanta.
It is a full-time simulcast of Cox-owned sister station WSB AM 750, the oldest broadcaster in the South. WSBB has an application from 2006 still on file with the U.S. Federal Communications Commission (FCC) to move to the WSB-FM 98.5 broadcast tower in Edgewood, just east of downtown Atlanta. It is on the same tower with WSRV FM 97.1, and a translator for WSB-TV 2.1, also both owned by Cox.
95.5 began in Athens on May 1, 1948 as WGAU-FM on 99.5, broadcasting at 3600 watts, simulcasting sister station WGAU AM 1340 (still owned by Cox). In 1956, the station moved to 102.5, because when channel 11 (now WXIA-TV) came on the air in Atlanta, it created a second harmonic at 199.0, on top of the video carrier at 199.25. In 1962, WGAU-FM broadcast in FM stereo for six hours, the second station in Georgia to do so.
In 1962, WGAU-FM moved to 95.5, and in 1968 became WNGC. The next year, WNGC became north Georgia's first full-time country music station and one of the first in the nation. WNGC went 24 hours a day and began broadcasting at 100,000 watts from a tower located at Neese in 1976.
In 1999, the owners of WNGC (Clarke Broadcasting) wanted to sell their Athens properties. They sold the 95.5 frequency to Cox and it became top-40 WBTS after a brief stint in October as WYAP. Meanwhile, existing Toccoa country station WSTE-FM 106.1 took the callsign WNGC, with Athens the city of license. (Ironically, Cox would buy WNGC 106.1 and its Athens sister stations in 2008.)
When "The Beat" signed on with host Stick On The Radio in October 1999, its direction focused on mainstream pop, dance, and rock, even though it had a rhythmic lean. Under the direction of Program Director Dale O'Brian, it would dropping all mainstream pop/rock and go rhythmic 24/7. It was this move that would pay-off big time in the ratings, putting them among the top 10 stations in Atlanta. With this hip-hop bent, WBTS competed with WVEE FM 103.3 and WHTA FM 107.9, while on the top-40 side it competed with WWWQ 99.7 and WSTR FM 94.1. With the implementation of PPMs in the Atlanta Arbitrons, WBTS had the second-most listened-to cumes in the market behind WVEE.
In October 2005, the station switched its slogan from "Atlanta's New #1 Hit Music Station" to "Atlanta's New #1 for Hip Hop". Despite the shift, Cox was still billing the station as rhythmic top 40 (as the station still added rhythmic-friendly pop artists like Pink to its playlist) and continued to report to R&R's rhythmic reporting panel.
In August 2006, the station tapped on-air personality Murph Dawg from WHZT, a Cox station in Greenville to host a new morning show with 6-year Atlanta veteran Stacy C, billing it as "Murph Dawg in the Morning with Stacy C". The alliance was short-lived, and after only a few months, Murph Dawg found himself solo. In May 2007, 95-5 The Beat hired a member of WHTA's "The A-Team" morning show, CJ. The newly created morning show "Murph Dawg & CJ in the Morning" rose in the 18-34 demographics. In Spring 2008, 95-5 The Beat hit its highest numbers in station history, with a 6.5 share in 18-34. "Murph Dawg & CJ in the Morning" hit 5th place, with later dayparts reaching the Top 2 and Top 3 ranks. In August 2008, 95-5 The Beat again pulled a personality from across the street at WHTA, tapping overnight jock and mixer Mami Chula to fill the Night Show position that had been vacant since former night host Austin left in November 2007 for a gig in Indianapolis.
Other personalities that made up the WBTS weekday lineup included K-Dubb midday, and Maverick afternoons. Kenny Hamilton, Traci Steele, Johnny D, and Mo Reilley rounded-out the weekend lineup with DJ Kidd handling the primary mix show duties. The station Program Director was Cagle with Maverick as the Assistant Program Director/Music Director.
In 2009, it also had to compete with WWVA-FM 105.7, when Clear Channel dropped its Hispanic format and made it "105-7 the Groove", with had a more dance-oriented format that gradually became more like 95.5's. (WWVA would later fill the Rhythmic void after WBTS's format flip, even hiring Mami Chula for nights and Maverick for midday and programming duties after WBTS had pink-slipped the on-air staff.)
On August 16, 2010, Cox abruptly flipped WBTS to a simulcast of WSB AM 750. Cox Radio officials said that the move was necessary to keep WSB, long the dominant radio station in Atlanta, relevant to younger listeners. WBTS's DJs and sales staff were offered jobs at other stations in the Cox Atlanta cluster.
On October 1, 2010, WBTS changed its call letters to WSBB. The move was made to adjust the call letters to parallel its AM parent. The heritage WSB-FM callsign remains at 98.5.
- WBTS official website
- WSB official website
- Query the FCC's FM station database for WSBB
- Radio-Locator information on WSBB
- Query Nielsen Audio's FM station database for WSBB