Infobox Radio Station
name = WKLS
branding = Project 9-6-1
slogan = Live Loud...Play Hard!
airdate = 1960
frequency = 96.1 (MHz)
96.1 HD-2 for New Alternative Rock
former_callsigns = WEOA
erp = 99,000
haat = 300 meters
class = C0
facility_id = 11275
callsign_meaning = W Kennedy Lathom Swan
Clear Channel Communications
sister_stations = WBZY,
WGST, WWLG, WUBL, WWVA
webcast = [http://www.project961.com/cc-common/streaming_new/index.html?refreshed=yes Listen Live]
website = [http://www.project961.com www.project961.com]
WKLS (branded Project 9-6-1) is a radio station in Atlanta, Georgia that plays
active rock. New Alternative Rock music can be heard on its HD subchannel on 96.1 FM ( HD Radioneeded).
WKLS' callsign stands for the initials of the founding owners: Don Kennedy, James Lathom, and Arthur Swan. The 96.1 frequency was originally WGAA-FM in Cedartown GA. They formed WKLS in 1960 with a $25,000 investment. It was sold 10 years later for $750,000. In its first 10 years or so, WKLS played an
easy listeningformat. WKLS changed to a rock musicformat in 1974 and was renamed "96 Rock," the branding it retained until November 2006.
"96 Rock" (1974–2005)
Since 1974, WKLS has always featured rock music, though the focus has changed somewhat over time. In the 1970s, the station played what was then known as AOR; songs from that period are known in the radio business as
classic rocktoday. WKLS also had an AM daytimer on 970 AM in the'80's on the station that is now WNIV.
In the early 1980s, 96 Rock cultivated a somewhat macho image. The station often mocked competing stations which played top 40 hits as "wimp rock". WKLS began to play more and more heavy metal, which was increasing in popularity, especially among teenaged boys. However, a backlash began to develop among the station's more mature listeners. In 1985, the station modified its playlist to a mix of older and new rock.
96 Rock continued to play a mixture of
classic rockand new rock for the next 19 years. WKLS finally became exclusively a classic rockstation in 2004. The 2004 change occurred when competing Atlanta station Z-93 (WZGC) became "Dave FM," switching from classic rock to a broader rock-pop-alternative format. This did not cause a dramatic change in 96 Rock's playlist, however. Even before officially declaring itself a classic rockstation, most of its songs in fact fit that category already; only a few new songs were played an hour.
WKLS's longevity as 96 Rock allowed it to claim to be have the longest-running format on an FM station in the Atlanta market. The station has honored its history and tradition on several occasions. In 1984, the station recognized its 10th anniversary by airing a Labor Day countdown of the top 296 songs from 1974–1984. The station's 30th anniversary was recognized in 2004 with several promotions; one such promotion encouraged listeners to write to the station and reminisce about events in their lives, in which 96 Rock played a memorable role. Some of this correspondence was read on the air and posted on the station's website.
"105.3 the Buzz" (part of 2006)
In 2006, they moved to 105.3 FM temporarily until 2006.Fact|date=September 2008
"Project 9-6-1" (2006-Present)
On November 17, 2006, at 9 a.m., the station dropped the 32-year-old 96 Rock branding in favor of "Project 9-6-1," a more
active rockformat. This action made WVEE-FMthe new longest-running format in the city. At the same time, 105.3 The Buzz (WBZY-FM) ceased independent operations and began simulcasting the new format for several days, until a regional Mexican music format began. The new format is intended to be somewhat of a merger between 96 Rock and The Buzz, although more personalities from The Buzz are on the new station than ones from 96 Rock.
* Mornings: "The Giant Show" with "Giant" Brian Carothers and Shaffee
* Traffic: Art "Madman" Mehring
* Mid-days: Aly (Under The Covers with Aly at 9:30am/12:30pm/3:30pm Weekdays)
* Afternoon Drive: Chris Williams- Program Director (Friday Work Release Program every Friday afternoon)
* Nights: Knox (Project Homegrown at 10pm Weeknights)
* PunkRockalypse (9pm Sundays) :
Amy DumasFormerly known as Lita in World Wrestling Entertainment.
* Fill-Ins/Weekends: Swan
In April 2004, long-time
morning shows the Regular Guys( Larry Wachsand Eric Von Haessler) were firedfor airing graphic sexual language with porn star Devin Laneas the content bled through a Hondacommercial. That content, which aired the previous month, was intended to be played backwards, to mock the FCC indecency crackdown, when they came back from the break. Regular Guys sidekick "Southside" Steve Rickman and former midday host Tim Rhodes took the morning time slot temporarily. A permanent replacement came in the form of the syndicated Bob & Tom Show, as Rhodes and Rickman moved to the afternoon slot. However, WKLS rehired the Regular Guys, who returned to the airwaves on March 21, 2005 and came back to 96 Rock in May, after a brief stint on sister AM talk station WGST.
On October 23, 2006, however, Clear Channel Radio terminated the Regular Guys for good following an incident in which Wachs recorded bathroom conversations between the two morning show hosts on
WWVA-FM(Viva 105.7), while all three men were using the bathroom. The recording was played on the air a couple of days later. The WWVA hosts (known as "Yogi and Panda") complained to management and subsequently sued Clear Channel and The Regular Guys. Wachs said, "A case of a humorous prank has turned into a culture clash, a suppression of First Amendment rights, and a ridiculous smear campaign against me as well as termination of my income without due process."
On July 7, 2007, the "
Atlanta Journal Constitution" reported that the new morning show host for Project 9-6-1 would be "Giant" Brian Carothers, morning producer and sidekick for John DeBellaat WMGK-FMin Philadelphia. Carothers was joined by co-host Shaffee, former radio personality from WRIF-FMin Detroitand The Giant Show debuted on October 1, 2007.
* Morning Drive: The Regular Guys (now on Rock 100.5 in Atlanta), Christopher Rude (now doing Mornings on 680 The Fan in Atlanta), Nick & Jeff, Mark & Steve, McCain & Kimble, Skinny & Bobby Harper, Jeff Winter,Steve Mitchell(Fired from WYAY on 2/29/2008,now runs a voice over and video production company. Also host Thunder Road a weekly syndicated Nasar and Country Music show,heard on WYAY before the format change.) a Co-Hosted the Mark and Steve show,Mark McCain(other half of the Mark and Steve Show,last heard on WYAY).
* Mid-days:Fin (now at 96 Rock in Cincinnati as PD and Afternoon drive host), Tim Rhodes (now at Bulldog 103.7 WPUP in Athens, GA), Johnny Turner, Ditch, Willard, John Boy Bryant, Melissa
* Afternoon Drive: Jennifer Reed (now doing Afternoons in Philadelphia at 94 WYSP), Southside & Rhodes ("Southside" Steve Rickman on The Regular Guys on Rock 100.5 in Atlanta, Tim Rhodes on Bulldog 103.7 WPUP in Athens, GA), Dick & Justice, Christopher Rude "The Rude Ride Home" (now doing Mornings on 680 The Fan in Atlanta), Kaedy Kiely (now the morning host at 97.1 the River WSRV ), Dean Clark
* Nights:Big Rig (Does Mid-days at 98 Rock in Tampa, FL), B.C. and Bubba (also B.C. and Woody & B.C. & Missi), Tim Rhodes (now at Bulldog 103.7 WPUP in Athens, GA), Alan Ayo, Blake "Blade Runner", Bubba The Love Sponge, Willard
* Overnights:English Nick (now on Rock 100.5 in Atlanta), Uncle Jesse, Big Woody, Greg Clarkson "The Dark Side"
* Weekends/Fill In DJs: Geoff Cole, JT (now doing weekends at sister station 94.9 The Bull), Cousin Deke, Mr. Bill, Alfred, Jason Gore, Murray, Sabrina, Rob Butterly.
In 2005 and 2006, in addition to broadcasting music, WKLS carried broadcasts of
Atlanta Bravesbaseball games, along with sister station WGST-AM. When the new format changed, sister station WUBL-FM("94.9 The Bull") took over the broadcasts effective with the 2007 season. The broadcast contract runs through the 2009 season.
WKLS broadcasts in
IBOC digital radio, using the HD Radiosystem from iBiquity.
On January 30, 2006, the station added a separate
HD2carrier, known under the branding "The Incubator," which features an Adult Album Alternativeformat.
list of radio stations in Georgia (U.S. state)
Georgia (U.S. state)
lists of radio stations in North and Central America
* [http://www.project961.com Project 9-6-1]
* [http://www.myspace.com/project961 Project 9-6-1 MySpace Page]
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