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|Broadcast area||Hartford/New Haven/Springfield|
|Slogan||Hartford's #1 for Hip-Hop and R&B|
|Frequency||93.7 MHz (also on HD Radio)|
|First air date||1959|
|Format||FM/HD1: Rhythmic Contemporary|
HD2: Classic hip-hop
|HAAT||259 meters (850 ft)|
|Callsign meaning||W Z MiX (former brandname)|
|Former callsigns||WFNQ (1959–1962)|
(Entercom License, LLC)
|Sister stations||WRCH, WTIC, WTIC-FM|
WZMX, better known as "Hot 93.7" is an urban-leaning Rhythmic Contemporary station licensed to Hartford, Connecticut, in the United States. The Entercom-owned outlet broadcasts at 93.7 megahertz. The station's current slogan is "Hartford's #1 for Hip-Hop and R&B". Its transmitter is located in Meriden, Connecticut, and it has studios located at 10 Executive Drive in Farmington, Connecticut.
The 93.7 frequency first signed on in the late 1960s as WLVH, the first Spanish-language radio station in the state of Connecticut. Though the station had a loyal audience, the concept of a Spanish-language FM station in an area with a (then) relatively small Hispanic population was seen as being ahead of its time. With FM prices rising, WLVH later bought 1550 kHz (today's WSDK), and in 1991, sold 93.7 to American Radio Systems, with WLVH moving to AM. With ARS's takeover came the change to a stunt with the local NOAA Weather Radio signal for a week before the launch of the new format: hot adult contemporary, as WZMX, chosen for the station's "Mix 93.7" format by Program Director Herb Crowe (formerly of KIIM-FM in Tucson) and midday personality Ron O. The "Mix" format promised listeners a mix of different varieties of music with little talk or DJ chatter, a directive reflected in the slogan "Four songs in a row - No talk".
Other DJs included WTIC-FM alums and husband/wife team Jonathan Monk and Diana Kelly in mornings, Production Coordinator Ron O (and later, Donna Rose) in middays, Neil Jackson in afternoons, Ted Dalaku in evenings, and Danny Wright in overnights.
In spite of being a "new" station for the majority of the market's listeners, the "Mix" format began well, but it then started to flounder. The purchase of rival WTIC-FM by ARS in 1994 and its subsequent conversion to a hot AC format led ARS to flip the younger WZMX to an all-70s hits format in the middle of that year. To boost the station's listenership, WZMX hired popular morning drive host Sebastian away from WCCC-FM in February 1995, and engaged well-known announcer Chuck Riley to be the station's voiceover talent. After a downturn in 1996, the station added 1960s and 1980s music and reimaged itself as "Classic Hits 93-7".
The "Classic Hits" period produced a lot of creative programming, such as "Saturday specials" which followed a theme (i.e., all disco music, music of the '80s, management staff hosting shows), ran countdowns that at times featured hundreds of songs, and was the Connecticut home of New England Patriots football games and an overflow home of Hartford Whalers hockey games.
By 1998, "Classic Hits" had run its course, and rumors of a format change circulated. After CBS Radio took over the ARS stations that spring, WZMX's format evolved into a broad-based, classic-leaning, rock format as "The Point". This format never had any sort of success, and on May 6, 1999, at 10 a.m., WZMX flipped to a "Jammin' Oldies"-style format as "Dancin' Oldies Z93.7". The first song on "Z" was "Celebration" by Kool & the Gang. As with other stations in that format (and as with past formats of 93.7's existence), the format had early success, but soon dropped in the ratings, and was still the lowest-rated station in the Hartford market.
On March 16, 2001, at 5 p.m., WZMX flipped to an urban-leaning rhythmic format as "Hot 93.7", based on that of sister station WPGC-FM in Washington, D.C.. The last song on "Z" was "Last Dance" by Donna Summer, while the first song on "Hot" was "Stutter" by Joe. The first station playing such a format on FM in the Hartford, New Haven and Springfield markets, WZMX would soon become a regular Top 5 station and often has been the #1 station in the market. Coincidentally, that same format had been proposed as a replacement twice before, but was rejected for fear that it would not work in the Hartford market. The success of "Hot 93.7" led to the launch of rival WPHH ("Power 104.1") in 2003, which had a limited effect on WZMX's success. WPHH was the sister station of Mainstream Top 40-formatted WKSS, whose once-dominant hold on Hartford's Top 40 scene would take a major beating in the wake of WZMX's arrival, which in turn may have served as one of the reason behind WPHH's debut. WZMX also has competition with WKSS and WPHH's sister station in New Haven, Top 40-formatted WKCI, which has also seen its listener base erode slightly after Hot 93.7's debut.
In August 2006, R&R moved WZMX from the Rhythmic Airplay panel to the Urban Contemporary Airplay panel, but in May 2007, placed the station back on the Rhythmic panel due to a shift in its direction which now favors a more broader Rhythmic playlist. This format redirection was done to protect from excessive competition with then-Urban formatted WPHH, thus giving the market two Hip Hop/R&B stations with partially different formats at the time. But even with the shift, WZMX continued to lead the competition in the Hartford Arbitrons. On October 25, 2007, WPHH flipped formats to Alternative, thus leaving WZMX as the area's only outlet for Hip-Hop and R&B. The station also competes with an urban adult contemporary-formatted station, WYBC-FM, from New Haven.
- "Rhythmic Oldies "Z93.7" WZMX becomes Urban "Hot 93.7" - Format Change Archive". formatchange.com. 16 March 2001.
- "CBS Radio To Merge With Entercom - RadioInsight". radioinsight.com. 2 February 2017.
- "Entercom Receives FCC Approval for Merger with CBS Radio". Entercom. November 9, 2017. Retrieved November 17, 2017.
- Venta, Lance (November 17, 2017). "Entercom Completes CBS Radio Merger". Radio Insight. Retrieved November 17, 2017.