In my radio career, I’ve usually been on the other side of ownership changes. I lost my job at WAVA when it was sold to religious broadcasters. Eleven years later, I lost my job at WOKI when its local marketing agreement was transferred to another company. Another ten years have elapsed and this time I work for a company that bought a station. Coincidentally, it’s the same FM signal that brought me to Knoxville.
In 2002, I was hired as the morning show co-host on WOKI when the station was known as 100.3 The River. In 2005, Citadel Broadcasting swapped the call letters of WOKI and WNOX when it moved a talk format to 100.3 FM. They transferred the WOKI call letters to 98.7 FM.
Last Friday, Journal Broadcast Group completed its purchase of 100.3 WNOX-FM. They ran an entertaining stunt format for five-and-a-half days until yesterday when they launched the new Q100.3. They swapped the call letters of WNOX and WCYQ, which means that the historic WNOX call letters now reside at 93.1 FM.
Journal management held a press conference at 8:30 a.m., leading up to the flip of the switch. WBIR and WATE covered the launch of the new station on their evening newscasts. Watching the news report reminds me of one other personal connection to Q100.3. When Journal announced its intention to purchase WNOX, I suggested that they take the auxiliary studio that I used daily and convert it into the broadcast booth for the new station.