Oldies format dumped in favor of R&B

If you have been scrolling up and down your radio dial, you may have noticed ‘the beat’ of something new. Tallahassee has a new radio station, 100.7 FM “The Beat.”

The new station came about because the old station, Kool WOKL-FM, had low listernship and targeted an older demographic.

“Tallahassee is probably one of the youngest, if not the youngest, cities in the state of Florida. And playing 60’s and 70’s oldies wasn’t working for the station,” said “The Beat’s” program director Steve King.

Tallahassee currently has three urban/contemporary radio stations: WHBX; WVHT-FM; WANM FM, FAMU’s radio station.

“Tallahassee has some great radio stations. And they are all good at what they do,” King said.

But, King thinks there is something missing in the Tallahassee radio market.

“We saw that there was a hole in the market for a station that kind of branched what 90.5 does (which is a non-commercial station) and branch it into a commercial stance,” he said.

King wants “The Beat” to be a community-oriented station that brings hip-hop and R&B to all of Tallahassee. Students on campus are excited about the new station.

Cornell Dunlap, 22, a junior management information systems student from Jacksonville was channel surfing when he discovered the new station.

“It (the radio station) is tight. So far, so good from what I heard from it,” Dunlap said.

Currently, the station is playing a mix of Top 10 hits and other hip-hop and R&B favorites. It’s also playing 10,000 songs in a row, commercial free. DJs will be introduced after the 10,000 songs are played. Listeners can expect “strong, polarizing” personalities from The Beat’s DJs.

“The people we’re going to have on here are going to be very broad, in that people will like them,” he said.

King wants to make sure that the DJ’s reflect the station and Tallahassee. DJ’s will have to be able to “feel the beat of Tallahassee.”

In a city where there are already three radio stations like this new one, keeping listeners’ attention could be a challenge. King has a staff that is ready for the challenge of competing for listeners.

According to King, in the eyes of the audience, the “The Beat” will be competing mainly against WHBX.

“I’m not looking to have a nasty fight with them. I’m looking to have a good time, put on a good product and let the best product win,” he said.

Many students think the new station is good because it adds competition to the Tallahassee radio market.

“Tallahassee needs a new station for variety, ” said Devora Simmons, 21, a chemistry student from Moncks Comer, S.C.

She just advises the new station to stick to playing music, this is something that other stations do not do.

“Don’t talk so much. It’s a radio station, play music,” she said.

One of the plans for the new radio station is a local morning show. 96.1 and 105.7 both have syndicated morning radio shows. Although King said he could not reveal anything more, he added, “I think Tallahassee is really going to like what they hear in the morning.”

The station also plans to support local artists. Artists are welcome to submit anything they like King said.

“Not everything will get a response or a call back because the amount of music that comes to a local station,” he said.

The station plans to “hit the streets hard,” promoting wherever people are, in nightclubs and at the local colleges and universities.

“We want to go out and meet people. We want to meet everyone in Tallahassee, if we can,” said King.

“Some radio stations don’t go out of their way to be a part of the public.”

Look for the WOKL “The Beat” van on the campuses of FAMU, FSU and TCC, as well as in the streets. There will be free tee shirts, bumper stickers, giveaways and food.

The station will also have an interactive Web site which will be up and running by the end of the week. Check it out at www.1007thebeat.com.