WMXJ (102.7 FM, "102.7 The Beach") is a classic hits formatted radio station that broadcasts from Miami Gardens, Florida. The station is owned by Entercom. Its studios and transmitter are located separately in Miami Gardens.
WRBD-FM, then WCKO-FM, has been on the air since 1960. WCKO originally had a soul/R&B format, when it was the sister station of the AM R&B station WRBD 1470 in Broward County. In late 1977 WCKO changed its brand to K-102 and switched to an automated disco format. In 1979 K-102 changed formats again, to a tight rotation of rock hits with DJs Buddy Hollis, Bo Walker, Alan Michaels, Tom Stevens and Geoff Allen. By late 1980 K-102's audience share in South Florida had begun to rise, Zeta-4 had slipped to the number three rock station in the market and was about to switch to a top 40/CHR format since WMJX 96X was losing its FCC license. At this time K-102 was calling itself "South Florida Hottest Rock". In early 1982 K-102 began playing a new wave format and calling itself "K-102 Rock of the Eighties", which infringed on copyright owned by KROQ-FM at the time. In 1983 K-102 was playing an album oriented rock format programmed by broadcaster Neil Mersky. This lasted until the station was sold.
In 1983 the station was purchased by Sconnix Broadcasting which dropped the WCKO call letters to WMXJ-FM, changed the format to adult contemporary and upgraded the signal, moving the station to the master antenna system serving South Florida, the result of another station moving from 92.1 to 92.3. In 1986 the station migrated to a full-time 1950s and 1960s oldies format and was commercially successful in the 25-54 demographic through 1991.
In 1994 the station was sold to Jefferson-Pilot Communications continuing the oldies format thought the mid-to-late 1990s into the early-to-mid 2000s. In 2006 the station slowly transitioned from oldies to its current classic hits format adopting the slogan "The Greatest Hits of the 60s and 70s" after Jefferson-Pilot's television and radio operations were acquired as a division of Lincoln National Corporation and renamed Lincoln Financial Media.
From 2012 Sam Zniber was program director with a steady growth led to a 5.1% share in December 2013 (from 2.8% in April 2012) in the Arbitron PPM ratings. In late 2013, the station hired Ken Payne as Program Director. The station's slogan transitioned from "The Greatest Hits of the 60s, 70s and 80s" to "Miami's Greatest Hits" to "The Greatest Hits of the 70s and 80s" beginning in early July 2013. The lineup included former midday host Mindy Lang and prior evening host Vance Phillips paired together in morning drive, Joe Johnson in Middays, and new hire DJ Holiday in the afternoons after Ron St. John had retired after forty years of broadcasting. The programming now has an emphasis on live and local interaction and engagement both on the air and through station and community events. The station describes itself as a top 40 station aimed at adults, mainly playing hits from the 1970s and 1980s, with a small number of 1960s' singles.
On December 8, 2014, Entercom announced that it was purchasing Lincoln Financial Media's entire 15-station lineup (including WMXJ) in a $106.5 million deal, and would operate the outlets under a deal until the sale was approved by the FCC. The sale was consummated on July 17, 2015.
On December 8, 2015, the entire air staff and management of WMXJ were told that they were being released, this despite having placed sixth in the November 2015 6+ Nielsen Audio PPMs. WMXJ then ran a mix of classic hits and Christmas music through the rest of the month. On January 1, 2016, at Midnight, WMXJ rebranded as "102.7 The Beach", keeping the classic hits format, but taking a decidedly more 1980s-heavy approach. The last song on "Magic" was "The Tide Is High" by Blondie, while the first song on "The Beach" was "The Way You Make Me Feel" by Michael Jackson. "The Beach" currently features Kenny Walker, DJ Holiday, and Jade Alexander.