WHQT (105.1 MHz "Hot 105 FM"), is a commercial FM radio station owned by the Cox Media Group and airing an urban adult contemporary radio format. The station is licensed to Coral Gables and it serves South Florida including the Miami-Fort Lauderdale-Hollywood radio market.
WHQT's studios and offices are located in Hollywood along with its sister stations WEDR, WFLC, and WFEZ. It is licensed as a Class C0 station with an effective radiated power (ERP) of 98,000 watts, broadcasting from a transmitter site in Miami Gardens, which also serves as the tower for ten other FM radio stations and several TV stations. The station uses HD Radio technology and offers traditional (1950s, 60s and 70s) rhythm and blues music, branded as "Classic Soul," on the HD2 channel. Jerry Rushin handles imaging voice-over announcements.
On November 15, 1958, 105.1 FM signed on as WVCG-FM. It simulcast its AM sister station, 1070 WVCG (now 1080 WHIM), the "Voice of Coral Gables." WVCG was the first classical music station in Florida and WVCG-FM was the first FM station in Florida to broadcast in stereo. In 1968, the station became WYOR, "YOuR beautiful music station," airing mostly instrumental versions of popular songs and music from Broadway and Hollywood. WYOR promoted itself using an FM radio dial card, listing WYOR at 105.1 along with the dial positions of other FM stations in the Miami radio market. The card was updated each year.
The station enjoyed a grandfathered license, allowing it to transmit with an effective radiated power (ERP) of 160,000 watts while most Miami FM stations ran with much less power. Its signal really wasn't much stronger than other stations because its antenna was under sixty meters (200 feet) height above average terrain (HAAT). The grandfathered power ended when the transmitter was relocated to a 600 foot tower in downtown Miami in the early 1970s. The station's power then dropped to 100,000 watts, similar to other Miami FM outlets.
In 1983, the station was sold to EZ Communications, which changed its call sign to WEZI as "E-Z 105." The station continued with its easy listening sound, although it began making the transition to a soft adult contemporary format by reducing the instrumentals and adding more vocals. But by the mid 1980s, the easy format was losing its audience.
On January 10, 1985 at 6 a.m., the station changed into a CHUrban format as WHQT ("Hot 105 FM"). "Yo Little Brother" by Nolan Thomas was the first song. The station's initial musical slant was described as "triethnic," playing a mix of R&B, Latin freestyle dance music, and some CHR hits, all targeted at Miami's young black, white and Hispanic audience. By 1987, WHQT moved a bit closer to Mainstream Top 40, playing a larger dose of mainstream artists popular at the time such as Rick Astley, Madonna and even rock group Def Leppard. A notable feature of the station during this era was a no-DJ music-intensive daypart from 9am to 5pm, predating the current trend in automated "jockless" radio.
But with fierce competition from Y-100 WHYI and Power 96 WPOW, Hot 105 dropped Top 40 and went all urban contemporary in late 1988 with their brand new slogan "The Fresh New Sound Of Hot 105 FM". Their main competitor was soon to be future sister station, "WEDR, 99 Jamz." The two stations competed for the 18-49 African-American demographic until 1992, when WHQT evolved to Urban Adult Contemporary. Around that time Cox purchased both stations which led to the end of their competition.
For some time Hot 105 was the only Adult R&B/Soul station in the market until October 2006 when it gained competition from 103.5 WMIB, a former Hip Hop station that moved to Urban AC under the ownership of Clear Channel Communications (now iHeartMedia, Inc.). WMIB returned to Urban Contemporary in late 2008.
NAB Radio Award
WHQT has been committed to public service in the Miami community for over three decades. In 2014, WHQT won a prestigious NAB Marconi Radio Award for "Urban Station of the Year" under Program Director Phil Michaels-Trueba. He has been associated with Hot 105 on and off since 1991 when he started as an intern and rose through the ranks thru 1999. He returned as Program Director in March 2006.
Former Program Directors
Jeff Tyson, Bob McKay, Bill Tanner, Keith Isley, Hector Hannibal, Tony Kidd, Derrick Brown, Tony Fields, Duff Lindsey