With a busy week in TV land getting ready to unveil a new set, this unfortunate news in the radio world crossed my desk.
Quoting thehotfmradio.com: “On Monday Aug 26, 98.1 The Hot FM went off the air. Will it be back? At present time even we are not sure. But, The Staff of THE HOT FM wanted to thanks the Pine Belt for the 1 1/2 years of fun. We sincerely hope we have made a difference in the pine belt, and in the radio industry of South Mississippi. Thanks for the Fun. You our listeners will be missed.”
I would provide a link — but I’m afraid the site will go dark any day now — follow suit with the station going dark.
Actually, they’re not off the air. They got repo’ed this week and 98.1 has been playing Christmas music ever since. Yes, that’s right. We’re at the end of August and it’s “Jingle Bells” all the way. Actually, they’ve been playing portions of Christmas songs along with an announcement stating something new is coming to “98.1FM WMXI Laurel/Hattiesburg” (no “Hot FM” reference).
Now, with all this holiday music airing, my hunch is that 98.1 will be returning to some sort of religious format. After all, we learned in Sunday School Christmas marks the anniversary of Jesus’ birth.
Previously, WMXI was a Southern gospel station and a contemporary Christian music station. WMXI probably should change their calls to WCAT. The station just ended their sixth of nine lives. Prior to the religious formats, WMXI has had three flights as an adult contemporary station.
To the staff of The Hot FM, I send you my best wishes in your future plans. While you didn’t deliver a knockout punch in the head-to-head competition against SL-100, I think you gave them a scare. I applaud your efforts in exposing the realities of the Clear Chuckle mentality and publicizing yourselves as a hometown station.