Sunday, March 6, 2011

The Hot Spot Revisited

The last time this blog featured a station at 1570 on the AM dial, the focus was on Warren's WOKG (now WHTX). For those who don't know the history of the frequency in the Youngstown-Warren market, it was originally home to a station spotlighted several times on NEO Airchecks: WHOT. This week's entry is a two-part composite aircheck of WHOT from 1960, taken from an LP featuring radio stations from across the country. Among the personalities heard here are morning man Boots Bell and midday host George Barry. Both would remain with the station well into the 1970's. Longtime PD Dick Thompson is also heard in a promo and some reverb-drenched imaging.

Taking to the airwaves in 1955 with a stable of personalities that included a young Dick Biondi, WHOT was among the earliest stations in the Midwest to adopt a Top 40 format. Despite the apparent misgivings of some advertisers and the station's daytimer status, the format proved to be a hit. WHOT would reign supreme among young listeners for many years thereafter, helped in part by a move down the dial to 1330 in 1963, which freed it from the constraints of sunrise-to-sunset broadcasting. In 1984 the format would make a successful leap to its FM sister station, where it remains to this day. WHOT/101.1 is now owned by Cumulus Broadcasting. The former WHOT/1330, now sporting the call letters WGFT and broadcasting a talk format, is owned by Bernard Radio.

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