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City & State or ZIP Tonight, this weekend, May 5th...
City & State or ZIP
City & State or ZIP Tonight, this weekend, May 5th...
City & State or ZIP

Atlanta’s newest radio station: hip-hop Streetz 94.5

streetz945

Radio executive Steve Hegwood tried to launch a hip-hop station on 102.9 in 2009.

It was quickly shut down by his former employer Radio One, where he had been operations manager. Radio One filed a lawsuit accusing him of breaching his employment contract and stealing Radio One property (including remixes created by DJs at Hot 107.9). In the end, as part of the settlement, Radio One purchased that 102.9 signal, which now plays a simulcast of Hot 107.9.

[UPDATED Wednesday, June 27, 2012, 3:35 p.m. to include comments from Hegwood]

Three years later, Hegwood has found another FM translator to give Atlanta another hip-hop voice: Streetz 94.5

Hegwood, who worked two stints at Radio One (1995-2001, 2006-09), has owned other radio stations, including one in Arkansas. But he said in an interview Wednesday that he loves Atlanta and was seeking a footprint here. He acknowledged he made some mistakes the first time around but given the legal settlement, couldn’t comment any more.

This time, he sought Christian broadcasters who owned the FM “translators” the Federal Communications Commission cleared three years ago. Journey 97.9 and the simulcast of 680/The Fan at 93.7 are translators, meaning they have to be emanating from another existing signal. They aren’t very powerful but if targeted correctly, can be viable.

Hegwood met with Edgewater Broadcasting, which owned a 94.5 FM signal near Social Circle. He spent the past two years getting FCC clearance to move the signal closer to downtown. Now he says he has a signal that covers inside the Perimeter well and decent swaths outside the Perimeter as well. He said he’s buying the signal from Edgewater with a group of investors that include New York Knicks player Carmelo Anthony. (He knows Anthony’s wife La La from radio circles.)

He also needed a home to “translate” from. Fortunately, the FCC gave radio stations HD channels. Lincoln Financial, which owns Star 94, had a spare HD channel to lease to him.

Formatically, Streetz is going directly after Hot 107.9, owned by Radio One. Hot has been on a major roll lately, its audience steadily growing. In May, the station was ranked No. 2 among 25 to 54 year olds, behind only V-103 (which plays a broader mix of R&B/ hip-hop) and its best performance in its 17-year history.

The Streetz music mix, heavy on Rick Ross, Lil Wayne and T.I., is similar to that of Hot. Hegwood said there will be no “dayparting,” meaning what you hear during the day is what you’ll hear at night. He said he is playing less R&B, more straight rap. And he hopes to add more Atlanta artists once he hires a station manager to look at the music mix.

Over the next 60 to 90 days, he will be hiring sales people and on-air staff. You can contact him at stevehegwood@gmail.com or streetz@gmail.com if you think you’re qualified. You could also try to hit him up at Twitter @stevehegwoodatl or@streetz945atl.  He plans to make this an active station that hosts and sponsors community events, not a low-cost jukebox like Journey 97.9.

In a bit of gamesmanship, Hot 107.9 has grabbed the url www.streets945.com (type in that URL and you’ll get redirected to Hot’s website) and the Facebook page Streetz 94.5. (The actual Streetz Facebook page is Streetz 94.5 Atlanta).

Hegwood doesn’t have millions to promote the station through billboards and traditional media. So he’s banking on social media and selective ad placement on websites heavily read by Atlanta hip-hop fans such as mediatakeout.com. Advertising on air began Wednesday.

Competitively, the other five radio stations targeting African Americans (Hot, V-103, Praise, Kiss, Majic) are doing well in this market. “There are 1.4 million African Americans here,” Hegwood said. “There’s room for us.”

Join my Facebook fan page and Twitter.

By Rodney Ho, Radio & TV Talk

23 comments Add your comment

Wayne stuck in AL

June 26th, 2012
3:05 pm

Does Atlanta need yet ANOTHER rap station?

benita michelle wheeler

June 26th, 2012
3:18 pm

keep hip hop rocking..congrats

World's Second Oldest teenager

June 26th, 2012
3:21 pm

Of course we do not need another rap station. We need an oldies station like Scott Shannon’s True Oldies channel, or current music like that, or a pop new wave hit station featuring acts like Lady gaga, Pink etc and blending them with older and newer new wave styled acts like the Motels, Human Leage, Depeche Mode, etc.

nik

June 26th, 2012
3:30 pm

bring in some fun afternoon dj’s when you get a chance…kep it hip hop/rap and not top 40 LOL!

Mr. Sarcastic

June 26th, 2012
3:41 pm

More Drug-Dealer, Car-Stealer, Let-Yours-Pants-Sag, Cop-Killer Music in The A-T-L!

YAY!

ATLanta killed Hiphop

June 26th, 2012
4:52 pm

There is a HUGE difference between HipHop and RAP…HipHop is Tribe called quest, Common, Mos Def, Nas, Beastie Boys, KRS ONE or Grand master flash…gucci mane and LIl Wayne is rap.. I def welcome a new station versus the usual BS on the radio that gets overplayed and has no meaning

ATLanta killed Hiphop

June 26th, 2012
4:57 pm

@mr Sarcastic With a name like sarcastic I would expect something witty not a bone head reply . This is Atlanta so your comment is expected

MC

June 26th, 2012
6:26 pm

Still no good jazz, and more of this $#!7. Yay.

snottrocket

June 26th, 2012
7:18 pm

I’m with you, MC. Bring back REAL JAZZ…more of the Coletrain’s and less of the Kenny Gs

Lawrence

June 26th, 2012
7:37 pm

I want a job working here… Rodney if you find out any info please pass it along

Carlos

June 27th, 2012
11:38 am

The seventh seal has been broken. The end is upon us.

TheDude

June 27th, 2012
12:19 pm

@MC What are you talking about when you say “no good Jazz”? 91.9 is all that a Jazz station should be and I dare you find a better Jazz/Soul DJ than Jamal Ahmed in the afternoon any where in this country.

Kay Kay

June 27th, 2012
5:17 pm

Here’s to the live new female on air staff member! ME!!!!

JMac

June 27th, 2012
6:02 pm

We need another station that plays Scott Shannon, and we also need a classic rock station that will play Bruce Springsteen, but another pitiful rap station….. I don’t think so!!

squirrelly McCheesy Pon Pon Poin

June 27th, 2012
6:05 pm

I think we need a station that only plays that band FISH. And every five minutes send out an audio code that kills the listeners. Atlanta would instantly be better off.

A person SMART enough to know......

June 28th, 2012
1:21 am

Another Wigger Station!!!!! Just what we need. White kids thinking that the Ghetto Life is to be admired. LOL

missnadine

June 28th, 2012
12:39 pm

I wish the real identities of certain people were shown, especially @A person and @Mr. Sarcastic.

No More hip hop

June 28th, 2012
2:15 pm

Do we really need another hip hop station? SMH!

Learn the Difference

June 30th, 2012
3:38 pm

What Atlanta doesn’t need is another RAP station. Contrary to populare belief, Atlanta does NOT have a HIP HOP station. There is a HUGE difference between rap and hip hop, It’s much more than people spitting words over a beat.

Learn the Difference

June 30th, 2012
3:39 pm

popular not populare. LOL

HOWARD HARLOW

July 2nd, 2012
10:06 am

THE BEST OF JAZZ 24-7 91.9 WCLK CLARK UNIVERSITY . WHERE U BEEN PEOPLE SINCE 1976. CAN NOT GET ANY BETTER!

White Flight outta Atl.

July 3rd, 2012
7:28 pm

It seems as if all things BLACK is in Atlanta now.I think we have enough rap stations now..This is the reason our city is so bad now,I mean THEY are all moving here.When this happens everything goes to hell,,I mean look at Clayton County and now they are bleeding over into henry,,,10 years ago they were nice places to live,,,,,Just like they said more drug dealin,,,,Car stealin music,,,These young kids do whatever these RAPPERs tell them,,,and they want whatever is in a music video,,,,Atlanta used to be a nice place.

nik

July 4th, 2012
4:29 pm

whiteflight, before you move take some basic grammar courses.