||This article possibly contains original research. (February 2015)|
|City of license||Doraville, Georgia|
|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|
|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, Georgia, 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. During 1962, WGAU-FM broadcast in FM stereo for six hours, the second station in Georgia to do so. Also in 1962, WGAU-FM moved to 95.5, because when channel 8 (now WGTV) came back on, it created a beat frequency with channel 5 (WAGA-TV) in the Athens area. Now a NPR station with talk radio, political talk, and everyday life topics.
In March 1968, WGAU-FM became WNGC-FM. The next year, WNGC became north Georgia's first full-time country music station, also one of the first FM stations in the nation to program country music full-time. WNGC went 24 hours a day, and began broadcasting at 100,000 watts from a tower located in Neece, Georgia 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 then became top-40 WBTS, with a brief two-week stint in October 1999 as WYAP. WNGC-FM merged with and moved to existing country station WSTE-FM 106.1. Its city of license stayed Athens, Georgia in Clarke County, though as a move-in (done in 1999) it now transmits from the western Barrow / eastern Gwinnett county line, about halfway to Atlanta, in northeast metro Atlanta. The station changed its city of license to the Atlanta suburb of Doraville and now has an application to downgrade to a C2 and put its tower much closer to the city in order to provide a better metro-wide signal. WBTS's engineer was John Talbert, who died while working at the Bethlehem, Georgia transmitter site one hot afternoon.
When "The Beat" signed on with host Stick On The Radio in October 1999, its direction focused on mainstream pop, dance, and rock product, even though it had a rhythmic lean. But by 2000, under the direction of Program Director Dale O'Brian, they would evolve more towards rhythmic product, thus resulting in the station dropping all mainstream rock/pop product and going rhythmic 24/7. It would be this move that would pay-off big time in the ratings, putting them among the top 10 stations in Atlanta. With the hip-hop lean, 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 implentation of PPMs in the Atlanta Arbitrons, WBTS now had the second-most listened-to TSL 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 a rhythmic top 40 (as the station still added rhythmic-friendly pop artists like Pink to its playlist) and continues 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" has continued to rise in its 18-34 demographics. In the Spring 2008 Book, 95-5 The Beat hit its highest numbers in station history, with a 6.5 share in its 18-34 demographics. "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 in middays and Maverick in 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 began to compete with WWVA-FM 105.7, when Clear Channel dropped its Hispanic format and made it "105-7 the Groove", which had a more dance-oriented format that gradually became more like 95.5's. WWVA would later fill the Rhythmic void after WBTS' flip, even hiring Mami Chula for nights and Maverick for middays and programming duties after WBTS pink-slipped the airstaff.
On August 16, 2010, Cox abruptly flipped WBTS to a simulcast to WSB AM 750. Cox Radio officials said that this move was necessary to keep WSB, long the dominant radio station in Atlanta, relevant to younger listeners. WBTS' DJs and sales staff were offered jobs at the other stations in Cox' Atlanta cluster. WBTS' old format moved to digital subchannel on WSRV FM 97.1's second digital channel, despite being on the wrong frequency to match its moniker.
On October 1, 2010, WBTS-FM changed its call letters to WSBB. The move was made to adjust its call letters to parallel its AM sister, since it did not want to infringe on moving the heritage WSB-FM calls from 98.5 to 95.5.
- 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