96.7/The Beat loses lease of 92.3 signal to another hip-hop station owner

Posted Friday, May 4 2018 by RODNEY HO/rho@ajc.com on his AJC Radio & TV Talk blog

Hip-hop station The Beat is no longer on the 92.3 signal, replaced by another hip-hop station called (confusingly) Power 92.3 Jamz.

The Beat, which is owned by the country's largest radio company iHeartMedia, remains on 96.7, which skews to the south of Atlanta. Why is Power 92.3 Jamz confusing? Because iHeartMedia had operated a top 40 station named Power at 96.1 in the same market since 2012.

iHeartMedia has been leasing the 92.3 signal from Immanuel Broadcasting, a Christian broadcaster. But Neil Hopper, who runs Immanuel, decided to drop iHeartMedia and work instead with Enoch Kirkwood and Larry Edwards’ Media One Broadcasting.

According to Hopper, "iHeart and IBN began an 8 year MOU (Memorandum of Understanding) in 2011. Either party could opt out of the agreement in a short amount of time, and IBN  chose to do so." iHeart had used 92.3 for different formats over the years, including comedy and Spanish.

Hopper's rationale? "We weren’t sure what was happening with iHeart, with all the talk of bankruptcy and we felt that moving forward was our best option," he said, referencing the fact iHeart is in bankruptcy protection.

"IBN and iHeart have had a great relationship over the years," Hopper added in the email. "I hope only for the best for all the good people that we have worked with through the years. But for now, we fell that this was IBN’s best option."

Justin Schaflander,  a regional president who runs iHeartMedia in Atlanta, said in an email that the station is dealing with the "Power" conflict "through the proper channels."

I left a message with Kirkwood and Media One Broadcasting but have not heard back.

The Atlanta market is flush with hip-hop stations: market leader V-103, Hot 107.9, Streetz 94.5, O.G. 97.9, 96.7/The Beat and now Power 92.3 Jamz.

The 92.3 signal is a "translator," meaning it needs to be rebroadcast from either another FM or AM station or an HD station. According to Radio Insight, "the translator is now rebroadcasting Cox Media Group’s 97.1 WSRV-HD3 Gainesville, but operating... from the tower utilized by 88.5 WRAS, 94.1 WSTR and multiple translators."

It had previously been on Cumulus Media's 101.5 WKHX-HD2 as "Jamz 101.1."

The Beat debuted in late 2016 and runs the syndicated Breakfast Club show along with local shows by Terry J, E.T. Cali and DJ Scream

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About the Author

Rodney Ho
Rodney Ho
Rodney Ho covers radio and television for the Atlanta Journal-Constitution.