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wbtj 106.5, wbtj fm
WBTJ is a Mainstream Urban formatted broadcast radio station licensed to Richmond, Virginia, serving the Richmond/Petersburg area[2] WBTJ is owned and operated by Entercom Communications, Inc[4] The station's studios and offices are located just north of Richmond proper on Basie Road in unincorporated Henrico County, and transmitter is in Bon Air in unincorporated Chesterfield County[5]


  • 1 History
    • 11 WRFK-FM
    • 12 WVMX
    • 13 WVGO
    • 14 Howard Stern
    • 15 WRCL
    • 16 WBTJ
  • 2 HD Radio
  • 3 Translator
  • 4 Former Logo
  • 5 References
  • 6 External links



In December 1956, the Union Theological Seminary in Virginia applied for a new noncommercial station; five months later, WRFK-FM 911 signed on, presenting classical music programming as well as religious and educational programs during its four-hour broadcast day[6] The call letters were the initials of the force behind the seminary's efforts to start a radio station, Robert Fitzgerald Kirkpatrick He ran the UTS audiovisual center, operating a tape duplication service and sending tapes recorded at the seminary all over the country[7]

Two years later, WRNL donated a tower to the station, and the seminary applied and was approved to carry out a move of WRFK-FM to 1029 MHz[8] at a much higher effective radiated power of 16,000 watts, and to convert the station from a noncommercial to a commercial license[9] The 1029 frequency had first been used in Richmond by WLEE-FM, a simulcast of WLEE, which operated from 1948 to 1957[10] In 1962, the station relocated to 1065 MHz[9] In 1969, EZ Communications, the new owners of WFMV, Richmond's commercial classical music station, decided to switch to a more profitable format Amid protests from WFMV's listener base, EZ Communications ultimately agreed to donate WFMV's library to WRFK This enabled WRFK to significantly increase its operating hours and upgrade its schedule Later in 1971, WRFK became Richmond's NPR member station

The seminary discovered in the mid-1980s that their charter did not allow them to operate a radio station and decided to sell it A deal was made with the local Federated Arts Council to buy the station and preserve the format, but a larger offer for the increasingly valuable commercial frequency came from a commercial radio operator shortly thereafter and the seminary decided to go with the larger offer[11][12] This caused controversy which resulted in several stories appearing in the local papers about the possible loss of the fine arts/NPR format[13] Though the efforts of the public support groups and some interested businessmen and congressmen who wanted the format preserved, Commonwealth Public Broadcasting, owners of local public TV stations WCVE-TV and WCVW, won a noncommercial license, WCVE-FM, originally at 1011[14] [15]

On May 6, 1988, WRFK signed off and WCVE-FM temporarily signed on at 1011, bringing most of the old WRFK staff, music library and most of their programming to the station[16][17][18]


The protracted sale, delayed by protests, led to a second buyer: in the final deal, Pegasus Broadcasting bought WRFK-FM from the seminary and immediately flipped it to Daytona Group, which paid $65 million[19] Daytona moved the station's transmitter from a 300-foot 91 m tower to a much taller 1,200-foot 370 m tower near Powhatan County that had once been used by defunct TV station WVRN-TV On July 28, 1988, 1065 signed back on as a standard commercial station under the call letters WVMX, "Mix 1065", with a Rock 40 format[20][21] By 1989, seeing competition from WRVQ, WMXB, and WRXL the station flipped formats to Heavy metal and became "MX1065" This lasted a month, and on July 19th, the station flipped to oldies as WVGO[22]


In 1991, Daytona sold the station to Benchmark Communications, with local partners John Crowley and Guy Spiller On August 1st, WVGO flipped to a AAA format, staffed mostly by former employees of crosstown Heritage rocker WRXL, which was looked upon by the former staffers as too commercial and restrictive[23][24] During its short life, the WVGO staff included Nick Perry, Jim Hatcher, Tara Hunter, Dal Hunter, Steve Forrest, Paul Shugrue, Dave Weaver, Mike Hsu, Meg Brulatour, Blake Smith, Kevin Matthews, Mad Dog and others At first, the format was a freeform-type format more akin to a college station with jocks being allowed freedom on the air and to bring in their own records, and aired many specialty programs

In August 1995, a new competitor arrived when 1047 WBZU also known as "The Buzz" signed on[25] In response, Benchmark brought in a new Program Director who dumped all specialty programming, and the format unofficially evolved into a more alternative format

Howard Stern

Another move was to bring in the syndicated Howard Stern morning show in October 1995[26] The Stern show did not garner the expected high ratings, only reaching 10th place overall[27] The Stern show also generated local controversy primarily from local grocer Ukrop's, causing WVGO to lose advertising A complaint to the FCC about a Stern bit eventually brought Benchmark an FCC fine In spring 1996, Benchmark sold WVGO and sister Classic rock WLEE-FM to the owners of WBZU ABS Communications, owned by local music and radio entrepreneur Kenny Brown, dropped Stern due to poor ratings, and on July 24, 1996, shut down WVGO and moved WBZU to 1065 and moved the WVGO calls to the now vacated 1047 frequency and flipped it to oldies[28][29][30][31]


In 1998, ABS was merged with SFX Broadcasting[32] On September 2, 1998, new management decided to dump the alternative format, citing low revenues They stunted with 24 hours of construction sound effects and later stunted with soft rock music and TV theme songs Two days later, they switched to oldies as "Cool 1065", and changed its call letters to WRCL the following month[33][34] WRCL's owners SFX went through a series of mergers, first as Capstar, then AMFM In the fall of 2000, AMFM merged with Clear Channel, which would be renamed iHeartMedia in 2014


On June 11, 2001, at 5 pm, the station flipped to Urban as "1065 the Beat" and changed call letters to WBTJ[35] This was the second time that the "Beat" moniker had been used in the market, the first being WBBT from 1999 to 2000

On November 1, 2017, iHeartMedia announced that WBTJ, along with all of their sister stations in Richmond and Chattanooga, would be sold to Entercom due to that company's merger with CBS Radio[36] The sale was completed on December 19, 2017[37]

HD Radio

WBTJ also broadcasts two HD subchannels:[38]

  • WBTJ-HD2 broadcasts continuous smooth jazz music, with no commercials or DJs
  • WBTJ-HD3 retransmits WPIR, Culpeper, VA, branded as "Positive Hits PER" and featuring Contemporary Christian music


WBTJ-HD2 was relayed by an FM translator, W241AP, to widen its broadcast area[39] The translator was repurposed as a relay of WRVQ-FM/HD2 as "961 the Planet" in 2013

Former Logo


  1. ^ Broadcasting Yearbook 2010 PDF ProQuest, LLC/Reed Publishing Nederland, BV 2010 p D-569 Retrieved July 8, 2015mw-parser-output citecitationmw-parser-output citation qmw-parser-output id-lock-free a,mw-parser-output citation cs1-lock-free amw-parser-output id-lock-limited a,mw-parser-output id-lock-registration a,mw-parser-output citation cs1-lock-limited a,mw-parser-output citation cs1-lock-registration amw-parser-output id-lock-subscription a,mw-parser-output citation cs1-lock-subscription amw-parser-output cs1-subscription,mw-parser-output cs1-registrationmw-parser-output cs1-subscription span,mw-parser-output cs1-registration spanmw-parser-output cs1-ws-icon amw-parser-output codecs1-codemw-parser-output cs1-hidden-errormw-parser-output cs1-visible-errormw-parser-output cs1-maintmw-parser-output cs1-subscription,mw-parser-output cs1-registration,mw-parser-output cs1-formatmw-parser-output cs1-kern-left,mw-parser-output cs1-kern-wl-leftmw-parser-output cs1-kern-right,mw-parser-output cs1-kern-wl-right
  2. ^ a b "Arbitron Station Information Profiles" Nielsen Audio/Nielsen Holdings Retrieved July 8, 2015
  3. ^ "Call Sign History" Federal Communications Commission, audio division Retrieved July 8, 2015
  4. ^ "WBTJ Facility Record" Federal Communications Commission, audio division Retrieved July 8, 2015
  5. ^ Radio-Locatorcom/WBTJ-FM
  6. ^ Clinger, David M May 4, 1957 "TV Trains Future Preachers" Richmond Times-Dispatch p 4 Retrieved January 19, 2020
  7. ^ White, John October 2, 1960 "A New FM Station For Serious Music" Richmond Times-Dispatch p L-5 Retrieved January 19, 2020
  8. ^ "Frequency of UTS Radio Station Being Changed" Richmond Times-Dispatch October 9, 1959 p 27 Retrieved January 19, 2020
  9. ^ a b WBTJ
  10. ^ "Existing FM Stations" PDF Broadcasting February 18, 1957 p 106 Retrieved January 18, 2020
  11. ^ "US appeals court grants extension to group for fine arts radio station", The Richmond Times-Dispatch, September 25, 1987
  12. ^ "WRFK pact may come in a couple weeks", The Richmond Times-Dispatch, November 25, 1987
  13. ^ "Sounds good", The Richmond Times-Dispatch, December 29, 1987
  14. ^ "Silent void possible with WRFK", The Richmond Times-Dispatch, January 2, 1988
  15. ^ "Music lovers awash in February's stormy seas", The Richmond Times-Dispatch, February 27, 1988
  16. ^ "Goodbye, radio WRFK, and hello new WCVE", The Richmond Times-Dispatch, May 5, 1988
  17. ^ "Radio station to change today", The Richmond Times-Dispatch, May 6, 1988
  18. ^ "WRFK-FM crosses river", The Richmond Times-Dispatch, May 7, 1988
  19. ^ "Transactions" PDF Radio & Records March 25, 1988 p 6 Retrieved January 19, 2020
  20. ^ "Station's byword is 'mix'", The Richmond Times-Dispatch, July 27, 1988
  21. ^ "There's confusion in the mix", The Richmond Times-Dispatch, July 28, 1988
  22. ^ "Listen up-changes on tap at WVMX", The Richmond Times-Dispatch, July 20, 1989
  23. ^ "WVGO changes hands, its format", The Richmond Times-Dispatch, August 2, 1991
  24. ^ "New format for WVGO", The Richmond Times-Dispatch, August 2, 1991
  25. ^ "They heard you, now it's here; Modern rock radio bandwagon arrives", The Richmond Times-Dispatch, September 1, 1995
  26. ^ "Vox Jox" Billboard 107 41: 79 Oct 14, 1995
  27. ^ "Ratings: Men tune into Stern, women tune out", The Richmond Times-Dispatch, January 27, 1996
  28. ^ "ABS cuts $145 million deal for WVGO, WLEE", The Richmond Times-Dispatch, June 4, 1996
  29. ^ "Shock jock Stern gets the hook; new owner pulls plug on WVGO, cites decline", The Richmond Times-Dispatch, July 25, 1996
  30. ^ "1047 FM set to air 'good time oldies'", The Richmond Times-Dispatch, August 6, 1996
  31. ^ "Money spoke louder than Stern in a year of radio deal-making", The Richmond Times-Dispatch, December 31, 1996
  32. ^ "Brown sells radio group stake; $375 million deal lets him continue overseeing ABS", The Richmond Times-Dispatch, August 22, 1996
  33. ^ "New oldies station signs on, announced personalities", The Richmond Times-Dispatch, September 5, 1998
  34. ^ http://wwwamericanradiohistorycom/Archive-RandR/1990s/1998/RR-1998-09-11pdf
  35. ^ "Oldies station is no more", The Richmond Times-Dispatch, June 12, 2001
  36. ^ https://radioinsightcom/headlines/120711/entercom-trades-boston-seattle-spin-offs-iheartmedia-richmond-chattanooga-2/
  37. ^ "Consummation Notice" CDBS Public Access Federal Communications Commission December 19, 2017 Retrieved December 21, 2017
  38. ^ http://hdradiocom/station_guides/widgetphpid=56 HD Radio Guide for Richmond, Virginia
  39. ^ "W241AP Facility Record" Federal Communications Commission, audio division

External links

  • 1065 The Beat Online
  • Query the FCC's FM station database for WBTJ
  • Radio-Locator information on WBTJ
  • Query Nielsen Audio's FM station database for WBTJ

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