WKHX Relaunches As New Country 101.5; JJ Kincaid Joins Dallas In Mornings
The wolf howling was a decoy as Cumulus Media relaunched Country “Kicks 101.5” WKHX-FM Marietta/Atlanta as “New Country 101.5” at 3pm today.
Former “95.7 The Party” KPTT Denver morning host JJ Kincaid (sans first name) and station vet Dallas McCade will anchor mornings as “Kincaid and Dallas”. Best known for his nine years in afternoons at “Z100” WHTZ New York, Kincaid had mostly spent his entire career in the CHR format with stops at KHKS Dallas, KDWB Minneapolis, WKST Pittsburgh, and WNVZ Norfolk. He will also remain in the CHR waters by adiing a midday airshift at “Q99.7” WWWQ.
Also joining the station for afternoons is Lucas Phelan. Phelan just exited as Program Director/afternoon host at Entercom Country “102.9 The Wolf” KMNB Minneapolis. Prior to joining KMNB in 2016, he spent eleven years at iHeartMedia Minneapolis eventually rising to APD/MD/Afternoon Host of CHR 101.3 KDWB and PD of Classic Hip-Hop “Hot 102.5” K273BH Fridley. He also worked at KQKQ Omaha and KMXV Kansas City.
Corey Dylan, who joined the station earlier this year, remains in middays and Nash Nights Live in evenings. The relaunch follows the addition of longtime “99.5 The Wolf” KWJJ-FM Portland and Entercom Country format captain Mike Moore as Program Director.
WKHX has featured Country music programming since its sign-on in 1959 as WBIE-FM. It had been known as “Kicks 101.5” since 1981.
CUMULUS MEDIA today launched Atlanta’s New Country
101.FIVE (WKHX-FM), an innovative radio outlet celebrating the great songs and sounds of
Georgia’s homegrown artists. These stars feed souls and fill hearts, stadiums and concert halls around the world. “Dirt We Were Raised On” by quintessential Georgian, Macon’s Jason Aldean, kicked off the new station at 3:00PM, followed by songs from The Zac Brown Band, Luke Bryan, Kane Brown, Brantley Gilbert, Thomas Rhett, Sugarland, and Trisha Yearwood, talent with deep local roots, each a testament to the global influence and power of the Georgia Country music scene.
This reimagining of New Country 101.FIVE is the culmination of outreach to — and ideas and input from — artists, radio experts, researchers, and fans, all engaged to create a platform to promote the music of Georgia and deliver all of the hit Country music craved by the Atlanta audience. The heritage Country station, which originally launched in 1959, had been programmed as Kicks 101.5 since 1981.
Some of the U.S.’s most popular radio personalities have been tapped to join the 101.FIVE team, including “Kincaid and Dallas” airing weekdays from 6:00AM-10:00AM, and Lucas Phelan to helm weekdays from 3:00PM-7:00PM.
Mike Moore, Program Director, New Country 101.FIVE/WKHX-FM, said: “This station is borne of the most prolific time in history for Georgia musicians. New Country 101.FIVE reflects these artists’ views and the way they see the world. Their collective sense of pride in being from Georgia forms the common ground that they share with our listeners. You’ll hear it in the station – its music, but also from the voices of the artists and listeners themselves, who share memories and stories of their lives within the New Country 101.FIVE community.”
Brian Philips, Executive Vice President of CUMULUS MEDIA, added: “New Country 101.FIVE is the passion project of an enormous team, including internal and external creatives, writers, artists, musicians, and music-industry friends. We hit the ground this summer, and the ‘Georgia’ idea sprang to life, as if it were meant to be, at this time and place. Cumulus is proud of the youthful fun, fire and excitement of this new station. We will work on the air and in the streets to give these hungry fans the station they are owed—made in Georgia and loved around the world.”
Sean Shannon, Vice President/Market Manager, Cumulus Atlanta, said: “Atlanta is a world class city that is surrounded by towns and cities large and small where civic pride runs as deep as the Georgia red clay. New Country 101.FIVE is a station that is committed to those communities. Not only does country music need Georgia, Georgia needs a country station rooted in these towns. New Country 101.FIVE is Georgia Loud and Georgia Proud. This is what ‘Made in Georgia’ sounds like.”
The station is now promoting on-air “a big announcement” for Thursday, November 14 at 3:00pm. The promos include a wolf howling in the background teasing the rebrand as “101.5 The Wolf“. Considering new WKHX Program Director Mike Moore previously spent sixteen years at “99.5 The Wolf” KWJJ Portland, he may have some expertise with the brand name. And where does the former major market personality known to be spotted lately in the Cumulus Atlanta facilities fit in?
Meanwhile, Country Aircheck reports today that WKHX APD/afternoon host Scott Gaines will be departing the station next month. Gaines joined WKHX in August 2017 from sister WGKX Memphis and has also worked at WSM-FM Nashville and “106.7 The Fox” WDTW Detroit and “96.7 The Twister” KTYS Dallas.