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104.1 LaGrange

WJZF Jazz Flavors logo.png
Y106 & Y104 logo.jpg

History- (Edited from Wikipedia)

Early years

On September 1, 1947, the station signed on as WLAG-FM in LaGrange (about 40 miles southwest of Atlanta and near the Alabama border) and was the FM simulcast partner for country-formatted WLAG 1240 AM, owned by the LaGrange Broadcasting Company.  Because WLAG-FM's power was 29,500 watts with a 220 foot antenna, it was not heard in the Atlanta area. In 1977, the station changed its call sign to WWCG and continued with a country format.

In the early 1980s, it increased power to 100,000 watts on a tower taller than the Empire State Building, giving it coverage of much of the Atlanta radio market and broadcasting Al Ham's syndicated "Music Of Your Life" adult standards format as WJYF and WJYA-FM, a simulcast partner with WJYA (1080 AM).

In 1985, it was acquired by Zapis Communications, headed by Lee Zapis. In 1987, he switched the format to urban contemporary as WEKS, "Urban Kiss 104."

Zapis then sold the station to NewCity Communications in 1989, which had a plan to pair two different FM stations surrounding Atlanta to create one facility covering the market. WEKS switched back to country music as WYAI (Y104), simulcasting with WYAY FM (Y106.7) on the northeast side of Atlanta. 

In 1994, the simulcast ended, and 104.1 switched to a smooth jazz format. The call letters were WJZF and the station called itself "Jazz Flavors 104.1."

Cox Enterprises entered into a local marketing agreement (LMA) with WJZF. Cox tried to buy the station in 1995. However, the Federal Communications Commission denied the request when challenged by Jacor Broadcasting, even though Cox intended to make changes to the WJZF signal "to avoid cross-ownership conflicts."

On August 30, 2000, Cox acquired 104.1 as part of a complicated deal in which Cox purchased WALR 104.7 from the Dickey family's Midwestern Broadcasting, and then swapped frequencies with Salem Communications. The WALR call letters and urban format migrated to the 104.1 frequency as "Kiss 104.1", displacing jazz. The former WALR-FM (Kiss 104.7) became WFSH-FM, "104.7 the Fish." In Atlanta, the rights to the "Kiss FM" brand had been grandfathered; thus Clear Channel Communications (later iHeart), which trademarked the brand for its Top 40 stations, heard in many U.S. cities such as Los Angeles and Boston, did not attempt to take legal action against Cox.


Switch to urban oldies

On February 21, 2003, WALR-FM switched to Urban Oldies, while retaining the "Kiss" branding. Cox wanted to draw a distinction between "Kiss" and co-owned WFOX (97.1 FM). At the time, WFOX experimented with a format consisting of R&B, hip hop, and rap music from the 1980s to the present. With the format shift, WALR-FM's longtime slogan changed from Atlanta's R&B Station to Atlanta's Old School R&B Station.

In late 2004, WALR switched to a new tower, closer to Atlanta.

WALR-FM became the last Atlanta station owned by Cox Radio targeting the African-American audience. On August 16, 2010, co-owned WBTS flipped from rhythmic contemporary to WSBB-FM, a news-talk simulcast of WSB. Previously, co-owned WFOX had played urban contemporary music as "97.1 Jamz" until 2006, when it flipped to classic hits and classic rock as WSRV "The River."


Return to urban AC

In June 2011, WALR-FM shifted back to urban AC; the station added more contemporary R&B music and dropped some of the older titles, after spending eight years as a classic and gold-based R&B and soul music format.  WALR-FM's logo and slogan were modified as well from Atlanta's Old School R&B Station to Atlanta's R&B; in addition, the station's branding was shortened to simply Kiss 104, omitting the ".1". At the same time, WALR-FM dropped all weekend mix shows and expanded its nighttime slow jams show.

In 2017, WALR-FM changed its city of license from LaGrange to Palmetto, Georgia, a suburban community about 15 miles southwest of downtown Atlanta.

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