) is an Urban Contemporary radio station
in Jackson, Mississippi
. The station is owned and operated by Roberts Broadcasting
, owners of The CW
television affiliate WRBJ (TV)
. Roberts mainly owns TV stations, so WRBJ-FM is the only radio station under its ownership.
The station was originally paired with WRKN 970 AM in Brandon, Mississippi
, with the call letters WRJH (initially standing for R
oy and J
arris, who were the original owners). Both stations were promoted as "Gospel 97" for many decades. The callsign also came to mean other things as well (W
igher). After Mr. Harris died, Mrs. Harris sold the station to On Top Communications. On Top Communications bought the station in 2000 for the price of $1,600,000.00.
After that time, the WRJH callsign took on a different meaning ("We aRe Jackson's Hot 97.7). At approximately the same time, On Top Communications, was in the process of acquiring several other stations, including Urban/Hip Hop stations in New Orleans, Albany, Georgia and Norfolk. When On Top went bankrupt in 2005, most of its stations either switched formats or went silent (as the case with New Orleans due to Hurricane Katrina).
A short time later, WRJH was sold at a bankruptcy auction. That was when Roberts Broadcasting bought WRJH for $1,950,000.00, eventually moved its studios into TV station WRBJ's and changed the callsign to WRBJ.
WRBJ's playlist mainly consists of Hip Hop and R&B. Unlike most stations, this one plays smoother music during the workday timeframe while it plays newer music later afternoons into the early evening, thusly positioning WRBJ well with its competitors WJMI, WRTM and WKXI-FM.
WRBJ Bans Offensive Music
In response to the Don Imus
controversy, WRBJ's owner, Roberts Broadcasting, took a stand on excessively violent and derogatory hip hop
lyrical content. Rev. Jesse Jackson
and Rev. Al Sharpton
have long taken a stand against, and hip-hop mogul Russell Simmons
began to stand up against it as well, calling on people to accept "social responsibility." Inspired by the move, Roberts Broadcasting, after much reviewing of playlists for content, decided to create a policy to ban the station from playing music that glorifies violence and degrades women as of April 2007. The purpose was to take a stand against racism, self-racism (in the case of Blacks using the N-word
against each other), and promote pride in the African American
community by fighting against the oppressive media. While the revamping of the playlist may not be noticeable to listeners, the owner said that any songs on WRBJ-FM containing content considered offensive (other than censored
language) will be removed. And it may go on to drop syndication rights to the Russ Parr Morning Show
as well, claiming that the morning jock is a borderline shock jock
. This is the first time a radio station owner has done this since Clear Channel
banned certain songs from airplay in response to 9/11
WRBJ-FM is no longer Hot
On Monday, March 17, 2008, WRBJ-FM reimaged itself as just 97-7 (WRBJ)
. The station has fewer hip-hop songs and more R&B music. Russ Parr
's morning show has been replaced by that of Rickey Smiley
. Upcoming changes for WRBJ-FM include several hours' worth of urban gospel
every Sunday, a public affairs
program and neo-soul
. Since September 2008, WRBJ became Jackson's affiliate of Michael Baisden
in the afternoons.