|Broadcast area||Hampton Roads|
|Slogan||"Virginia's New Hit Music Channel"|
|First air date||October 1, 1962 (as WCMS-FM)|
|HAAT||152 meters (499 ft)|
|Callsign meaning||W Virginia HoT|
|Former callsigns||WCMS-FM (1962-2003)
(MHR License LLC)
|Sister stations||WGH, WGH-FM, WVBW, WVSP|
WVHT (100.5 MHz, "Hot 100") is a commercial FM radio station licensed to Norfolk, Virginia. The station broadcasts a Top 40/CHR music format to the Hampton Roads area. WVHT is owned and operated by Max Media.
Early Years as WCMS-FM
100.5 traces its roots back to July 1, 1954, when AM 1050 WCMS first went on the air. It replaced a legendary African American-oriented radio station, WRAP, which moved to AM 850. In 1961, WCMS was purchased by George A. and Marjorie Crump of Suffolk. The Crumps took the unprecedented step of playing only country music on WCMS when other Norfolk-area radio stations carried different musical styles. Country music was still looked down on in that era. Critics at the time assured the Crumps that their bold decision would fail quickly.
WCMS was originally a daytimer, broadcasting on a clear-channel frequency reserved for 1050 XEG in Monterrey, Mexico. WCMS had to go off the air between sunset and sunrise to avoid interfering with XEG. On October 1, 1962, 100.5 WCMS-FM signed on the air. The FM station allowed WCMS's country music to be heard around the clock, even though only a small number of radios were equipped at that time to pick up FM broadcasts.
During the Crump Family's ownership, WCMS-AM-FM received a number of awards from the Country Music Association and Academy of Country Music for its dedication to music and contribution to the industry. Because there are many recreational boat owners in the Tidewater region of Virginia, WCMS-AM-FM maintained a boat to assist sailors who ran into trouble while on Chesapeake Bay and the rivers that flow into it.
George A. Crump died in 2005, but up until the 1990s, he was occasionally heard on WCMS-AM-FM giving editorials. His famous line at the end of every commentary was "And that, in our opinion, is that."
Purchase by Barnstable Broadcasting
In 1999, Marjorie Crump sold WCMS-AM-FM for $15.5 million to Barnstable Broadcasting. The deal included the corporate office building and studios at 900 Commonwealth Place in Virginia Beach. Barnstable began firing longtime employees, such as Eric Stevens, who had worked at the station for nearly 20 years. As longtime staffers were being let go, the station began using DJs from new sister station "Eagle 97" WGH-FM.
With co-owned WGH-FM airing a mainstream country format, at 3:00 p.m. on April 10, 2003, WCMS-FM shifted to classic country music, after playing "Goodbye Says It All" by Blackhawk. The classic country sound lasted only seven months. After more than 40 years of country music, the format was dropped entirely at 11:30 p.m. on November 28, 2003. WCMS-FM played "On the Road Again" by Willie Nelson as its final song. The station then began stunting with a loop of AC/DC's "You Shook Me All Night Long."
Switch to Rock WXMM
At 3 PM on November 30, 2003, the station flipped to Album Rock as "100.5 MAX-FM." The first song on "MAX-FM" was "Start Me Up" by The Rolling Stones. The call sign changed to WXMM on December 18, 2003.
The country music format returned to its original frequency, 1050 AM. Morning drive time DJ Joe Hoppel continued his duties alongside newscaster Jim Long and co-host Jennifer Roberts. In 2004, Barnstable announced that the country format would end on 1050 WCMS just shy of the station's 50th anniversary. Joe Hoppel was inducted into the Country Music Hall of Fame in Nashville. The WCMS call letters moved to AM 1310 as a sports radio station, while the 1050 frequency was acquired by Davidson Broadcasting, a company specializing in Spanish language stations, and became WVXX.
In 2005, Barnstable Broadcasting sold all its stations to Max Media, which now owns the 100.5 FM frequency. The rock format ended on April 23, 2009, at 5:00 p.m. The station began stunting as "Kung Pao 100.5 FM," playing "Classic Chinese Hits". It was a stunt that had previously been heard on KDOG in Mankato, Minnesota, a few years prior.
At 7:00 a.m. on April 27, 2009, WXMM flipped to Top 40/CHR, branded as "Hot 100.5." The first song was "Boom Boom Pow" by The Black Eyed Peas. The station changed its call sign to WVHT on May 4, 2009.
On January 13, 2014, WVHT made a slight format adjustment. At 8:45 a.m., after stunting for an hour with construction sounds, WVHT kept the "Hot 100.5" name and Top 40 format, but took a more music-intensive approach, as the home for "25 hits in a row." The logo was also changed with the adjustment in format.
On August 7, 2016, WVHT made another adjustment, moving to Adult Top 40. The branding switched from "Hot 100.5" to "Hot 100". But a few months later, the station returned to its mainstream Top 40 sound. WVHT now competes with WNVZ. Around 2015, the Entercom-owned station also moved to a CHR/Top 40 format. It had previously aired rhythmic contemporary music for more than a decade.
- "Call Sign History". Federal Communications Commission, audio division. Retrieved March 26, 2016.
- "WVHT Facility Record". Federal Communications Commission, audio division.
- Broadcasting Yearbook 1963 page B-191
- Broadcasting & Cable Yearbook 2001 page D-473
- "WCMS-FM CANS COUNTRY SOUND: CHANGE IN 40-YEAR RADIO TRADITION CATCHES STATION'S LISTENERS BY SURPRISE.(FRONT)." The Virginian-Pilot (Norfolk, VA). McClatchy-Tribune Information Services. 2003. Retrieved August 22, 2012 from HighBeam Research: http://www.highbeam.com/doc/1G1-110889725.html
- "Call Sign History". FCC Media Bureau CDBS Public Access Database.
- Broadcasting & Cable Yearbook page D-533
- "Max Media brings "Kung Pao 100.5" to Tidewater". Radio Business Report. April 23, 2009.
- "KDOG Becomes Kung Pao 96.7, Plays The (Chinese) Classic Hits". All Access Music Group. April 3, 2006.
- Max Media #hrva adjusts CHR "Hot 100.5" WVHT into a more adult sound as "Virginia's New Hit Music Channel, Hot 100" #VARTV - Robert F. Corbin/VARTV, August 7, 2016
- Hot 100.5 Norfolk Moves to Hot AC - Lance Venta/RadioInsight, August 8, 2016