Wednesday, March 14, 2007

97.5 History

This is the sixth station history post on the blog.

Now here is the history of 97.5 which was a longtime easy listening station:

97.5 History

97.5 signed on in April 17, 1967 as WEZK-FM, a very popular easy listening station in Knoxville. Many of the voices on WEZK-FM and one of them was Jeff Jarnigan (currently heard on "B-97.5") who spoke the legal ID at the top of the hour in 1975. Paul Oscar Anderson was another jock at WEZK-FM who played easy listening records at the station. In its final years, WEZK-FM 97.5 was known as "EZ 97". In 1990, WEZK-FM 97.5 changed formats from easy listening to AC.

On September 24, 1994, WEZK-FM became WJXB-FM with soft rock as the new format. The station also became "B-97.5" which continues to this day. The station has evolved from a popular easy listening station to Knoxville's station for today's soft rock.

6 comments:

radiohead said...

I love this site...

Other announcers who appeared on WEZK include Eddy Roy, Mike Clark, David Henley, Chuck Nichols, among many others.

The station was managed at one time by the late great Carlos Kivett.

.j.william. said...

I found some old reel-to-reel recordings circa 1980 that my dad made of this station. The music is amusing, but what I really like is hearing the tag "Knoxville's first stereo station."

Nattie Glomer said...

In 1978 the Sales Manager was Bob Byerly (not sure about the spelling) Does anyone know what became of him?

adguy said...

I worked with Bob and with Harry Stephenson (before Bob). John David was then station manager, after the death of his father. I'd also like to know where Harry is. When Carlos was described as "the late great", has he passed away? He was a good guy. We worked together in sales. He became sales manager after I left the station to move on to an ad agency career.

RLS said...

During that fateful summer of '90, I was a UT grad student working 6am-Noon weekends at WEZK. The great Eddy Roy was our program director when the station was sold and new management came in. At a station-wide staff meeting, the new GM told us not to expect any big changes, that things were going great (WEZK was #3 in the ratings). Not long after, Eddy was gone, to be followed shortly by most of the excellent announcer staff. I was offered a full time slot, but said "no thanks". My final Sunday on the air, they were installing CD players in the control room. That night, the format changed without warning to the audience. A few days later, I came in to pick up my final check; the phones were ringing off the walls from irate listeners. The News-Sentinel published angry listener letters for weeks, to no avail. In fact, new management loved all the angst; free publicity, you know. Today, the station has moved up only one position in the ratings (to #2) from where it stood all those years ago as WEZK.

Visitar said...

I also worked with Harry Stephenson, Carlos, Randy (Steve)Terrell, and John D. and Donna Keathly. Those were great radio days. Gary Drum worked the night shift and was a real trip. Regards, Bob Luedeka