Wednesday, March 14, 2007

100.3 History

This is now my fifth station history blog post and this one is all about 100.3 which once was WOKI, a wonderful top 40 FM station back in the 1980s.

100.3 History

WOKI-FM 100.3 signed on the air on April 20, 1974 as an automated station. The station also had jingles from TM's "Pacific and Southern" package. For the first few weeks when WOKI-FM was on the air, Johnny Pirkle spent 5 to 6 weeks loading the automation system with country one week, top 40 the next, and all rock the other. The station began as an automated top 40 station when the automation was in place. The only time WOKI was live was if they were broadcasting UT football or when the automation system was down. By 1976, WOKI-FM was airing top 40 music including southern rock, country, album cuts, soul and funk, etc.

In the early 1980s, WOKI-FM became a live top 40 station with jocks throughout the day and night. WOKI also began airing "American Top 40 with Casey Kasem" which once aired on WNOX-AM 990 when the station aired a top 40 format in the late 1970s. The station went by many names including "FM 100 WOKI", "Hits 100", and "I-100".

In March of 1993, the station changed formats from top 40 to country ending an era of almost 19 years of airing top 40 programming. On January 26, 1998, WOKI kept the country format but with a new name. It was "Outlaw Country 100.3" and it played a lot of current country songs and some classic country songs. The "Outlaw Country" name would be short-lived.

On March 27, 1998, the station changed formats from country to classic hits as "Eagle 100.3". The station played classic hit songs. In April 2001, WOKI changed formats from classic hits to AAA as "100.3 The River". The station even had a DJ named Mayor Joe who would host "Foxville TNZ" on WTNZ-TV 43, the FOX affiliate.

On May 24, 2005, WOKI-FM changed frequencies from 100.3 to 98.7 while WNOX-FM moved from 99.1 to 100.3 on the FM dial. The 100.3 signal began carrying news/talk as "NewsTalk 100 WNOX".


JKersting said...

To clarify, it was April 2001 that 100.3 The River launched. I did not work there at the time, but I was at the launch party down at Calhouns on the River.

Jay Kersting

Derrick said...

Thank you very much for your comment. I was trying to find out when thet launched because I listened to the launch on the radio.