101.5 FM WBIE > WKHX

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Photos and Video

1980s WKHX television commercials

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(L to R) Bill Celler, Faith Hill, Johnny Gray, Russell Smith, Cadillac Smith, Promotions Dir. Christy Ullman   (Photo courtesy of Bill Celler)
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( Contest ad -Probably mid 80's (courtesy of Bill Celler)
Front Row- Jim Vann - Jill kelly - Moby Back Row Kevin O'Brien - Bill Celler - Cadillac Ja
(Front)  Jim Van, Jill Kelly, Moby
(Back) Kevin O'Brien,  Bill Celler, Cadillac Jack

(Photo courtesy of Bill Celler)
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WKHX control room in the Interstate North Office Park near I-75 and I-285
(Photo courtesy of Bill Celler)
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WKHX sampler-Late 80s
00:00 / 02:57

History

101.5 signed on as WBIE-FM on November 11, 1959. under the ownership of Marietta Broadcasting. Initially, WBIE simulcast the variety programming of its sister station AM 1080 WBIE, but in February 1968 it adopted a full-time country music format under station owner James M. Wilder.

Initially, WBIE-FM power was 1,350 watts, only heard in and around Marietta. In the 1970, WBIE-FM boosted its power to 100,000 watts, and became audible in Metro Atlanta. Its AM companion at 1080 switched its format to Adult Standards and its call sign to WCOB. The power boost made WBIE-FM a candidate to be bought by a large broadcasting company anxious for a strong FM signal in the growing Atlanta radio market, and it was said that owner James Wilder had a drawer full of offers to buy his station from large radio groups all over the country, but he refused to sell.

When Wilder died, his family finally sold the station, and Capital Cities Communications purchased WBIE-FM. In November 1981, Capital Cities switched WBIE-FM's call letters to WKHX, renamed it “Kicks 101.5,” and made the station a contender in the Atlanta ratings.

 

Legendary Cap Cities executive Norm Shrutt was recruited to run the operation, and he brought in his former PD from WKBW in Buffalo, Neil McGinley. Their hire of Morning Personality Moby, recruited from a Houston rock station in 1991, cemented WKHX’s place as a market force in Atlanta radio.

In 1987, WKHX programming began to be simulcast on new sister station AM 590. The AM station became WKHX, while 101.5 added an FM suffix, becoming WKHX-FM. (Today, AM 590 is Christian radio WDWD, owned by Salem Media.)

Capital Cities took over ABC, including its television and radio stations, in 1985. In 1995, ABC bought WKHX-FM's rival country station, WYAY.

WKHX-FM and other ABC Radio stations were acquired by Citadel Broadcasting in 2007, which became Cumulus Media in September 2011.