When Adams Radio Group Fort Wayne purchased Summit City Radio Group and Oasis Radio Group in 2014, the two existing hip-hop stations in Fort Wayne, 96.3 FM and 106.3 FM, didn’t fit into the company’s long term plans; buying two radio groups meant somebody had to go. Wild 96.3 FM, one of the strongest radio signals in the city, was converted to a classic rock station and 106.3 FM, the old ClickHop.com, was donated to Redeemer Radio.
Adams Radio launched B96.9 FM, the R&B + Old School station, but discussions for a hip-hop station never really stopped. The talk got serious two months ago and turned into action two weeks before the station’s launch.
Loud 103.3 FM has reintroduced hip-hop to Fort Wayne radio.
If you’ve noticed the absence of disc jockeys and commercials on the station thus far, it’s part of the station’s soft rollout plan. “The focus right now is for us to say hi to everybody and let them know that hip hop’s back in Fort Wayne,” said JJ Fabini, Adams Operations Manager. Tentative plans are in the works for a proper introduction, “some thing big for the city and for the station,” Fabini said, but nothing grandiose right now.
Since its launch, Loud 103.3 has been focused on playing 100% current hip-hop music, nothing older than eight years ago. So you’re going to get Drake, Cardi B, Kendrick Lamar, or Lil Wayne. No Biggie, No Tupac. You won’t hear something like “California Love,” because a track like that can currently be heard on B96.9.
The old school and R&B station’s primary demographic has always been women ages 35 and older, and, according to Fabini, the radio group doesn’t anticipate a lot of listeners from B96.9 jumping ship. Both radio stations are offering distinct enough genres. “We want there to be a clear separation between what the two brands offer,” Fabini said.
And let’s be honest, hip-hop has had a much-derided reputation. “Some people are scared of [Hip-Hop]. For Adams to go against popular opinion and make their own kind of waves to [ensure that] everyone is represented makes me proud to work for this company.” Kess also emphasized that Loud 103.3 will be a presence out in the community, doing its thing.
Including hip-hop to its roster only adds to Adams Radio Group’s diverse roster, including talk radio, rock, and country.
Big Kess, the face of B96.9 and soon-to-be face of Loud 103.3, will be fronting his own show on the rookie station sometime in the future.“I’m excited, thrilled, and honored to be a part of both stations,” Big Kess said. “I’m right in the middle of both. I’m hip-hop and I’m old school. I’m pretty stoked at the opportunity to give everybody a voice.”