September 2, 2011

Radio One Set to Launch Hip Hop Once Again on WPHI 107.9

Radio One Philadelphia completed the first part of their format switch by moving Urban AC station WRNB to 100.3 FM. The Tom Joyner Morning Show along with on air personalities MoShay Laren, Lady B, D.C. Todd and the popular Sunday soul music showcase show featuring Dyana Williams were all apart of the transition.

At 5 p.m. on Friday WPHI 107.9 FM will be the new home of hip-hop music in Philly over the HOT Labor Day Weekend as "Mike Vick Radio." The full launch is not expected until later this month.

Former 100.3 The Beat midday personality Michael Shawn and the crew from "The Star and Buc Wild Morning Show" were two shows that were cut and are no longer with the station. On air personalities Kendra G, Mia Mendez, and DJ Caesar are expected to resurface at 107.9 and make the transition from "The Beat." Former program director Boogie D moved on to the Radio One cluster in St. Louis last month.

Radio One entered into the Philadelphia market as WPHI "Philly 103.9" in 2000. The station was home to The Russ Parr Morning Show with co-host Olivia Fox. The station became "103.9 The Beat" until 2005 when Radio One launched "Praise 103.9" and alternative rock station Y-100 became 100.3 The Beat.


  1. Considering this move amounts to a format swap between 100.3 and 107.9, the question is why?

  2. 100.3 has a better signal than 107.9. WRNB is primed to become a top 10 station. There is not much more that Radio One can do to make The Beat a ratings winner. So even if the new hip hop station on 107.9 does the same numbers, WRNB will do better at 100.3. Urban AC is a much better sell than Hip Hop.

  3. It's not that much better. An urban station that spins hip-hop can sell just as well as an Urban AC, but has all to do with positioning and song choices. If they target 25-34 year olds versus 12-24 year olds, the urban can play current hip-hop and sell just as well as an UAC. However, Radio One has never realized that since the days when corporate takeover of urban radio back in the late 1990's.

  4. "An urban station that spins hip-hop can sell just as well as an Urban AC..."

    Theoretically, yes. However, in practice, the formats tilted toward younger demographics tend to attract sponsors of items considered to be 'impulse buys' rather than durable goods and/or personal services which require more in-depth marketing (and a greater investment) from sponsors. What follows is UC and AC stations get stuck with a lot of unsold time inventory.

    There's also a lack of imagination that especially hampers Black-owned Urban stations' sales to the point they're typically underdeveloped. I can understand Radio One thinking it'll be easy to just move the more sponsor-friendly format to the station with the bigger footprint and new ad revenues will just flood through the door.


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