94.1 — Smyrna > Smyrna-Atlanta > Atlanta

WSMA > WDJK > WKXI > WQXI > WSTR

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WKXI JingleWKXI
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WQXI FM 94.1WQXI FM
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WQXI FM Aircheck 1969 (via Airchexx) 
credit Bob Jones

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WQXI FM Aircheck 5/26/74 (via Soundcloud) 
credit "Futurecaster"

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11/89 R&R article: WQXI becomes 94Q (click to enlarge)

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10/17/92 94Q newspaper ad
(click to enlarge)

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94Q Russ Davis Aug1982WQXI FM
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94Q Harriet Coffey Aug1982_01WQXI FM
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94Q- Craig Ashwood 3-29-80WQXI FM
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Click to view: An incredible almost 2 hour retrospective of WQXI AM and WQXI-FM recorded in the late 70's by Tom Sullivan. (See article below, too)

Click above for a blog post from Tom Sullivan, The Quixie Quacker (Oct. 2012) 

'87-'89 "Jazz Flavors" scoped aircheck

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(Click above) A 1970s trade ad from equipment manufacturer ITC photographed in the WQXI studios in Tower Place and shows off the chrome decorations and orange and purple artist caricatures decorating the showcase studios. 

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First posted to Airchexx.com back in June of 2013. Instead of one aircheck of a particular show on WQXI, these are clips, or highlights of some of the funniest bits done by Gary McKee and Willis Caswell on the Gary McKee Morning Show between 1974 and 1976. (Courtesy of Airchex.com) 

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Jazz Flavor's host Russ Davis in the 94Q studios with jazz great Earl Klugh and George Benson. (Circa 1987- Courtesy of Russ Davis)

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Star 94 Kickoff 12m 11-16-89_01WQXI FM becomes WSTR
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STAR94_Friday_Morning_Sing-alongMurphy & McKeever (Circa '89) Courtesy of John Willyard
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1980 Star94 TV spot

Star94 Steve and Vicki aircheck (August 1998)

Craig Hunt- Star 94 aircheck (1993)

11/14/96 Jerry Blum article (AJC)
Click to enlarge

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Legendary GM Jerry Blum with long time morning personality Gary McKee. Blum passed away in February, 2019. Click the photo (at right) to read the obituary posted by Rodney Ho on his AJC Radio and TV Talk blog. (Courtesy Atlanta Journal Constitution and Rodney Ho. Photo courtesy of Gary McKee)

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9/17/20 Format flip

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Star94 format flip via R&R 9/17/20
Click to read.

History of 94.1FM Atlanta
Edited from Wikipedia, The Jeffcaster (Jefferson Pilot in-house newsletter),
and personal recollections from Jeff Winter, Dot Blum, and others

(WIKI) — WSTR (94.1 FM, "Star 94") is licensed to Smyrna, Georgia, and serves the Atlanta metropolitan area. Now owned by Audacy, Inc., it is a rhythmic adult contemporary formatted station. Its studios are located at Colony Square in Midtown Atlanta, while the station transmitter is located in Atlanta's Reynoldstown neighborhood.

In the 1950s, 94.1 was assigned to WGST FM, owned by Georgia Tech. But the Georgia Board of Regents turned the back to the FCC, as FM was more than a decade away from commercial viability. 

The station signed on as WDJK on January 1, 1964, founded by WSMA (1550 AM) owner Mitchell Melof; WDJK operated as a simulcast of WSMA.

 

Jupiter Broadcasting of Georgia, then the owner of WQXI (790 AM), purchased the 1,000 watt FM station in 1966, with Kent Burkhart serving as vice president and general manager. WDJK's call sign was changed to WKXI and a beautiful music format was installed, with combined studios at 2970 Peachtree Road NW in Atlanta. Jupiter later bacame The Pacific and Southern Company, forerunners to the modern-day Gannett and Tegna Inc.

 

WQXI-FM (1969-1989)

In the late 60s, the station changed its call letters to WQXI-FM to match its AM sister station. Bob Carr (Later becoming "Willis the Guard" on the Gary McKee morning show) did business news reports, and Jeff Winter who started at WKXI in 1967, was appointed Operations Manager and supervised the staff playing soft adult contemporary music. Beginning in 1971 with the switch to stereo, the station was automated.  Winter left in 1974 to become the first Morning Personality at 96 Rock.

By 1974, the station was live, with an album-oriented rock format. That year, Pacific and Southern sold both stations to Jefferson Pilot Broadcasting, which later became Lincoln Financial.

 

On February 28, 1977, Program Director Don Benson changed the name from "The FM QXI" to "94Q" and the FM adopted a more mainstream adult hits format. The Gary McKee Morning show was simulcast on both stations, with early air staff members including Jim Morrison, Jeff McCartney, Harriet Coffey, Dennis Winslow, Russ Davis, Stevie Brooks, Neil Williamson, and Craig Ashwood.

In the summer of 1980, 94Q's main broadcast antenna was moved to the top of The Peachtree Plaza in downtown Atlanta --at that time, the world's tallest hotel -- and coverage increased by 56 percent. (According to The Jeffcaster.)

 

Around 1987, as new formats entered and fragmented the market. Various tweaks were made to the music mix, followed by an outright change of direction in late 1988 that competed head-to-head with then-dominant Top 40 outlet WAPW (99.7 FM) as "Atlanta's Hit Music, 94Q." However, by the following spring, WQXI-FM's shares began to dwindle, and the station began to purge most of its management and on-air talent.

 

WQXI-FM notably began a smooth jazz-themed program called Jazz Flavors on Sunday night from 7 to midnight beginning in the late 70's.  Fleetwood Gruver was the first host, but when Gruver took over as Program Director for WQXI-AM, the show was handled by jazz-aficianado Russ Davis, and after Davis left, by Cliff Smith. Despite the seeming incompatibility between it and contemporary hits, this program ran nightly on WQXI-FM for several years in the mid-80s, eventually serving as the genesis for the "Jazz Flavors" branding on WJZF (104.1 FM) when that station became the first one in the Atlanta market to adopt the format full-time.

 

WSTR (1989-present)

At midnight on November 15, 1989, "94Q" signed off after 12 years, with the final song being "Imagine" by John Lennon. 94.1 would then relaunch as "Star 94" with the call letters WSTR, and the Murphy & McKeever Morning Show. The first song on "Star 94" was "Oh Atlanta" by Little Feat. The station's format was a hybrid of Hot AC and Top 40, best described as Adult Top 40. The station initially avoided most hip hop and rhythmic-oriented music hitting the Top 40 charts, though it added some rhythmic songs in the mid-1990s. Later, Steve McCoy was brought in as morning show host and was paired with Vikki Locke. McCoy and Locke would helm the station's morning drive for the next 17 years.

 

After WAPW flipped to modern rock as WNNX in October 1992, WSTR was considered the "default" hit music station in Atlanta due to the lack of a mainstream Top 40 outlet; Atlanta once again had a mainstream Top 40 station in 2001 when WWWQ (100.5 FM) signed on.

 

Hot AC era (2010-2020)

In September 2010, Nielsen BDS moved WSTR from the CHR/Top 40 panel to the Adult Top 40 (Hot AC) panel, as the station became more identified with a Hot AC playlist. WSTR changed its on-air slogan to "Your Life...Your Music," to emphasize its shift to Hot AC. In February 2011, WSTR began programming all-1990s weekends, called "Big 90s Weekends" in response to the all-1980s weekends on WSB-FM (98.5). However, in the Fall of 2011, the station dropped the All-90s weekends.

 

Jefferson-Pilot Communications (and later Lincoln Financial Media) had owned WSTR and WQXI since 1974. On December 8, 2014, Entercom announced its purchase of Lincoln Financial Media's entire 15-station lineup, including WSTR and WQXI, for $106.5 million. The stations were operated under a local marketing agreement (LMA) until the sale was approved by the Federal Communications Commission (FCC). Entercom officially took over WSTR and WQXI on July 17, 2015. WQXI was spun off to Atlanta Radio Korea in 2016.

 

In November 2017, Entercom merged with CBS Radio, making WSTR co-owned with WZGC, WVEE-FM and WAOK.

 

In 2019, the station aired Christmas music during the holiday season for the first time.

Rhythmic AC era (2020-present)

On September 17, 2020, WSTR flipped to rhythmic adult contemporary, maintaining the Star branding.