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weather signal

WZMX

WZMX is a Rhythmic Contemporary station licensed to Hartford, Connecticut. The CBS Radio owned outlet broadcasts at 93.7 megahertz. The station's current slogan is "Hartford's #1 Station For Hip-Hop And R&B". Its transmitter is located in Meriden, Connecticut.

History

The 93.7 frequency first signed on in the late 1960s as WLVH, the first Spanish language radio station in the state of Connecticut. Though the station had a loyal audience, the concept of a Spanish-language FM station in an area with a (then) relatively small Hispanic population was seen as being ahead of its time. With FM prices rising, WLVH later bought 1550 kHz (today's WDZK) and in 1991 sold 93.7 to American Radio Systems with WLVH moving to AM. With ARS's takeover came the change to a new format, Hot Adult Contemporary, and new calls, WZMX, chosen for the station's Mix format by PD Herb Crowe (Max on KIIM FM Tucson AZ) and Ron O - Midday DJ, the first on air announcer on Mix 93.7 WZMX Hartford. The "Mix" format promised listeners a mix of different varieties of music with little talk or DJ chatter, a directive reflected in the slogan "Four Songs in a row - No talk".

Other DJs included Monk & Kelly-Mornings, Jonathan Monk of WTIC FM Hartford, WERI FM 'RI-104' Westerly RI alumni, Diana Kelly, Jon's wife also WTIC Hartford alumni, Ron O-Middays & Production Coordinator, later, Donna Rose-Middays, Neil Jackson-Afternoons, Ted Dalaku-Nights. After Spanish-language WLVH-FM ended it's format, management fed the air signal with a portable NOAA weather radio in an attempt to 'clear the air' of the former listeners. For 24 hours, seven days a week and for about a month, the NOAA weather signal was all that was heard before the official sign on of "Mix 93.7".

In spite of being a "new" station for the majority of the market's listeners, the Mix format began well; though the format started to flounder. The purchase of rival WTIC-FM by ARS in 1994 and its subsequent conversion to a Hot AC format led ARS to flip the younger WZMX to an all-70s format in the middle of that year. To boost the station's listenership, WZMX hired popular morning drive host Sebastian away from WCCC in February 1995, engaged well-known announcer Chuck Reilly to be the the station's voiceover talent. After a downturn in 1996, the station added 1960s and 1980s music and reimaged itself as Classic Hits 93-7.

The Classic Hits period produced lot of creative programming, such as "Saturday specials" which followed a theme (i.e., all disco music, music of the 80's, management staff hosting shows), ran countdowns that at times featured hundreds of songs, and was the Connecticut home of New England Patriots football games and an overflow home of Hartford Whalers hockey games.

By 1998, Classic Hits ran its course and rumors of a format change circulated. After CBS Radio took over the ARS stations that Spring, WZMX's format evolved into a broad-based, classic-leaning, rock format as The Point. This format never had any sort of success and in April 1999 WZMX flipped to a "Jammin' Oldies"-style format as Dancin' Oldies Z93.7. As with other stations in that format (and as with past formats of 93.7's existence), the format had early success but soon dropped in the ratings and was still the lowest rated station in the Hartford market.

On March 16, 2001, WZMX flipped to an urban-leaning Rhythmic format as Hot 93.7, based on that of sister station WPGC-FM in Washington, DC. The first station playing such a format on FM in the Hartford, New Haven and Springfield, Massachusetts markets, WZMX would soon become a regular Top 5 station and often has been the #1 station in the market. Coincidentally, that same format had been proposed as a replacement twice before but was rejected for fear that it would not work in Hartford. The success of Hot 93.7 led to the launch of rival WPHH (Power 104.1) in 2003 which had a limited effect on WZMX's success. WPHH was also the sister station of Top 40 Mainstream WKSS, whose once-dominant hold on Hartford's Top 40 scene would take a major beating in the wake of WZMX's arrival, which in turn may have served as one of the reason behind WPHH's debut. In addition, WZMX also has competition with WKSS and WPHH's sister station in New Haven, Top 40 WKCI, who has also seen its listener base erode slightly after Hot 93.7's debut.

In August 2006, R&R moved WZMX from the Rhythmic panel to the Urban panel, but in May 2007 placed the station back on the Rhythmic panel due to a shift in its direction which now favors a more broader Rhythmic playlist. This format redirection was done to protect from excessive competition with then-Urban formatted WPHH anyway, thus giving the market two Hip Hop/R&B stations with partially different formats per se at the time. But even with the shift WZMX continues to lead the competition in the Hartford Arbitrons. On October 25, 2007, WPHH flipped formats to Alternative, thus leaving WZMX as the area's only outlet for Hip-Hop and R&B.

Former logos

External links

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