What happened to Hot 101.5 Tampa?

A seismic change in radio is taking place in the heart of Tampa Bay. Hot 101.5 Tampa’s recognizable rhythms, noted for its infectious pop hits and popular morning program, are disappearing into the past.

But what emerges from the shadows is wrapped in mystery, ready to captivate your ears and imagination.

A new era begins when the curtain lowers on Hot 101.5. The airways are packed with mystery and excitement, and all will be revealed on that fateful September day.

Until then, the city is holding its breath, anticipating a metamorphosis that promises to be greater than anybody could have imagined.

What is Hot 101.5 Tampa?

Hot 101.5 Tampa was a radio station in the city of Tampa, Florida. Cox Media Group controlled it and transmitted an urban adult contemporary format. The station’s call letters were WPOI.

The station debuted in 1974 as WGNB. In 1997, it moved to an adult contemporary format and became known as Hot 101.5.

Miguel and Holly used to host the station’s morning show. Scotty the Body hosts the new morning program on 101.5 The Vibe, which was canceled in 2023.

Hot 101.5 Tampa’s music was a blend of Top 40 singles, oldies, and adult contemporary. The station’s repertoire includes songs by Mariah Carey, Michael Jackson, Celine Dion, and Whitney Houston, among others.

What happened to Hot 101.5 Tampa?

Cox Media Group in Tampa decided to change Hot 101.5 to a new station called 101.5 The Vibe.

The decision by Cox Media Group to rename Hot 101.5 Tampa as 101.5 In response to changing listener habits and the competitive landscape in the Tampa Bay radio market, The Vibe signals a substantial strategic shift.

What happened to Hot 101.5 Tampa?
What happened to Hot 101.5 Tampa?

The station has tapped into the need for a more adult and R&B-oriented music selection by moving from the well-known CHR format to an Urban Adult Contemporary format.

This makeover attempts to appeal to a larger audience of listeners who value the timeless appeal of musicians such as Usher, Alicia Keys, and Mary J. Blige, therefore widening their listening base. 

The shift establishes 101.5 The Vibe as a distinct and refreshing choice in the Tampa radio market, offering residents a soulful and modern listening experience while guaranteeing the station’s relevancy in an ever-changing media landscape.

Why did Hot 101.5 change?

Cox Media Group (CMG) opted to rebrand Hot 101.5 as 101.5 The Vibe because they have a track record of adjusting to shifting programming trends throughout the years.

They’ve covered a wide range of genres since the 1960s, from religious stories to love songs, jammin’ oldies, 80s hits, and the top 40.

They made the move to Adult R&B in 2023 in response to current consumers seeking new songs and additional programming such as podcasts.

Instead of making minor tweaks to the current station, they launched an entirely new one, 101.5 The Vibe, to attract listeners’ attention.

This strategy is consistent with the reality that audiences frequently pay greater attention to new brands than to modest adjustments to existing ones, making rebranding a smart choice.

Is Hot 101.5 Tampa changing?

Yes, Hot 101.5 is being rebranded to 101.5 The Vibe, starting on September 7, 2023. This change also involves a shift in the station’s content focus from the usual Top 40 to adult R&B.

So, Hot 101.5, as it was known before, will no longer be available under its previous format and branding.

What is 101.5 The Vibe?

101.5 The Vibe is a radio station aimed at a younger demographic. The shift occurred on Thursday, just after they played “Just Fine” by Mary J. Blige again.

This new format features music by contemporary singers such as Usher, Alicia Keys, and Mary J. Blige, appealing to a broad variety of listeners.

Unlike in the past, this transition involves more than just music; it now includes Rickey Smiley’s Morning Show, which is noted for its wit and wisdom.

CMG Radio’s VP of Audience & Operations, Chris Eagon, discussed their rebranding intentions.

This shift also benefits marketers by allowing them to interact with the Tampa market and audience more effectively.

Will Hot 101.5 be back?

No, Hot 101.5 Tampa will not be back. The station’s name has been changed to 101.5 The Vibe, and it will continue to broadcast adult R&B music.

Cox Media Group, which owns the station, adjusted to better match the listening preferences of the Tampa Bay area.

Hot 101.5 used to broadcast Top 40 music. However, the popularity of Top 40 radio has diminished in recent years as consumers have shifted to streaming services for their music.

Cox Media Group determined that switching to an adult R&B format would be the best method to reach a larger audience in the Tampa Bay area.

The new 101.5 The Vibe format will feature a mix of vintage and contemporary R&B music. Scotty the Body will also host a new morning program on the channel.

If you miss the old Hot 101.5 format, you may still listen to Top 40 music on other Tampa Bay radio stations. Streaming services such as Spotify, Apple Music, and Pandora are also available.

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1 thought on “What happened to Hot 101.5 Tampa?”

  1. I loved Miguel n Holly it was fun, light comedy when driving in traffic. I also love Scotty the body’s show.
    This new vibe and that guy smiley: too loud n etc. Bye 291.5 the Vibe. I’ll find something else to listen to.


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