WHTA FM, 107.9 FM, is a mainstream urban radio station based in Atlanta, Georgia that plays mostly hip-hop. Better known as "Hot 107.9", it has done so since the autumn of 2001, after the programming format and callsign were moved by owner Radio One from "Hot 97.5" (now WUMJ FM, "Boom 102.9/97.5"). Its city of license is Hampton, Georgia, and its radio tower is located in Tyrone, while its studios are located inside the Centennial Tower building in downtown Atlanta. It also launched the career of the now famous rapper, Ludacris, when he was known as on-air personality, "Chris Lova Lova" and the careers of MTV VJs La La Anthony and K.K. Holiday.
To facilitate a move-in to add metro Atlanta coverage, Lite Rock WPEZ FM ("Z108") in Macon moved its format from 100,000 watts ERP at 107.9 to an existing frequency at 93.7 in Jeffersonville. The original top-40 format then on 93.7 moved to new Macon-area station WMGB FM 95.1. The broadcast license for 107.9 was then realloted by the FCC, at the request of the original owner, from Macon to Hampton. Prior to this, "Hot 97.5" was to simulcast on (and already had banners printed for) "Hot 107.5", which is now occupied by Radio One's WAMJ instead.
As WHTA Hot 107.9
The station signed on with Atlanta coverage as WEGF "107.9 the End" with a modern rock format. Stunting on its first day, it played "Smooth Criminal" by Alien Ant Farm and "Rollin'" by Limp Bizkit continuously.
As WHTA, what is now "Hot 107.9" originated on 97.5 as a mainstream urban station in 1995. After several weeks with the rock format on this frequency, "Hot 97.5" morning show host Ryan Cameron announced to his audience that his station was moving to 107.9, and it was realized that the rock format was a publicity stunt. WHTA switched frequencies indeed on October 22, 2001; 97.5 later took on a gospel format as WPZE (now on 102.5), then switched to a simulcast of WAMJ as WUMJ in 2009 before being a simulcast of translator W275BK in 2016. Cameron fought Radio One for a stronger frequency since 97.5 had weak signal coverage. The format move gave WHTA a stronger signal over the entire immediate Atlanta region intown and surrounding suburbs, even despite being a rimshot to the southwest.
The station has had many complaints to it and the FCC from residents near its radio tower, because the station's audio has been coming through on just about every electronic device imaginable, from telephones to computer loudspeakers. It got a subsequent construction permit from the FCC to increase the height of the antenna on the tower, but this only reduced the problem rather than eliminating it.
On July 31, 2007, they began a new concept: "Digital Hip Hop". Their new slogan is "Hot 107.9, Your Digital Hip Hop Station."
In October 2008, WHTA became the Atlanta affiliate of the Rickey Smiley Morning Show. It was originally based from its sister station KBFB in the Dallas/Fort Worth Metroplex; it still airs on that station also but WHTA is now the flagship station for the show as of 2011.
As Radio One moved WAMJ from 102.5 to 107.5 (and also simulcast 107.5 on 97.5's signal as WUMJ), and WPZE from 97.5 to 102.5, WHTA is the only station in the company's Atlanta cluster that is left intact by the change.
The weekly on-air line up consists of Rickey Smiley Morning Show (6am-10am), Maria More (10am-2pm), Emperor Searcy (2pm-6pm) and the Durty Boyz, J Nicks and E.T. (6pm-10pm)