WGPR-FM 107.5, the last full-powered independently owned commercial FM radio station in the Detroit market, is in its final hours of that independence programming-wise thanks to a just-announced agreement between WGPR owner the International Masons and broadcasting company Radio One.
At midnight on Sunday night (Monday morning), the hip-hop format of Radio One's 'Hot 102.7' (WHTD) will be moving up the dial to 107.5 as 'Hot 107.5' as Radio One assumes programming responsibilities for WGPR. The entire Hot 102.7 lineup, which includes The Rickey Smiley Morning Show mornings, Paigion middays, Big Greg afternoons, and Shorty da Prince evenings will remain intact in the frequency shift. The change gives the hip-hop format a much stronger market-wide signal, especially in areas to the south and west of Detroit where there is interference from Ann Arbor's country WWWW-FM 102.9.
Back on the 102.7 frequency, Radio One plans on installing a Gospel-based inspirational/religious format as 'Praise 102.7' beginning October 31st on a full-time basis anchored by Yolanda Adams in morning drive.
Market veteran John Mason, who had been hosting mornings on the adult urban WGPR, appears to be without a timeslot on either station. A Radio One spokesperson told The Detroit News that the company intends to explore its options with Mason should he be interested.
Kathy Stinehour, VP and GM of Radio One Detroit commented in a release, "Adding WGPR to our existing portfolio of stations and introducing a brand new inspirational station means Radio One will become the dominant urban provider in the marketplace. We are looking forward to better serving the community and are thrilled Ms. Cathy Hughes and Alfred Liggins are choosing to make this type of major investment in Detroit."
Radio One also owns adult urban WDMK-FM 105.9 and WCHB AM 1200, along with an FM translator for WCHB at 99.9, in the Detroit market. WDMK currently features Tom Joyner in morning drive.
There is no word on the status of the two WGPR side channels currently being leased by Tim Martz's Radio Power with this new agreement between the International Masons and Radio One. WGPR-HD2 carries a smooth jazz format as 'The Oasis' and WGPR-HD3 is rock as 'The Bone'. The Oasis had been heard on an FM translator at 104.7 until earlier this week and The Bone continues to be heard on a translator at 94.3.
Changes are coming to your radio dial this weekend, thanks to some moves by Radio One Detroit that will affect multiple stations.
Full story: Detroit radio dial faces some shakeups (Fri, 10/21)