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WKJO CountrySuperstars102.3 logo.png
CitySmithfield, North Carolina
Broadcast areaRaleigh-Durham, North Carolina
Goldsboro, North Carolina
BrandingCountry Superstars 102.3
Frequency102.3 MHz
First air date1990 (1990) (as WOKN-FM)
ERP2,600 watts
HAAT153.4 meters (503 ft)
Facility ID61259
Transmitter coordinates35°34′43″N 78°26′10″W / 35.57861°N 78.43611°W / 35.57861; -78.43611Coordinates: 35°34′43″N 78°26′10″W / 35.57861°N 78.43611°W / 35.57861; -78.43611
Callsign meaningWaKe and JOhnston Counties
Former callsignsWOKN-FM (09/24/1982-09/20/1991)
WEQR (09/20/1991-02/28/2001)
WKIX-FM (02/28/2001-03/12/2001)
WKIX (03/12/2001-12/29/2006)
WWNF (12/29/2006-12/24/2008)
WKIX (12/24/2008-03/04/2010)
WWMY (03/04/2010-10/27/2010)
WWPL (10/27/2010-09/12/2014)
WFNL-FM (09/12/2014-01/23/2015)[1]
OwnerRichard Heilmann, Sr.
(Triangle Marketing Associates, Inc.)
WebcastListen Live

WKJO (102.3 FM) is a radio station licensed to Smithfield, North Carolina. The station is owned by Richard Heilmann, Sr., through licensee Triangle Marketing Associates, Inc. Its studios are located just outside of Smithfield, NC at 104 Airport Industrial Drive, Clayton, NC. Its transmitter tower is northwest of Smithfield in rural Clayton, North Carolina.


WOKN was urban contemporary before picking up the WEQR letters and adult contemporary format of what was then WWPL in 1990. WEQR simulcast WEQQ in Pinetops with a hot adult contemporary format and the name "The Double Q".[2]

Beasley Broadcast Group sold WEQR to Curtis Media in the 1996. Curtis Media completed construction of a new tower in Johnston County in 2009 on Little Creek Church Road in Clayton.[3]

WEQQ became WKTC in 1998 and WEQR continued with the format until 2001, when the station began simulcasting WKXU; the country music format and WKIX letters moved from 96.9 FM.[1][2][4] Branding during this time included Kix 102.3[5] and Country 102.[6]

The station swapped call letters with 97.7 FM in Kinston in 2006, becoming WWNF.[1][4] The country music format also moved to 97.7 FM, and on February 1, 2007,[citation needed] WWNF began to simulcast Raleigh oldies station WWMY.[3]

WWNF assumed the WKIX call letters once again late in 2008.[1]

In early 2010, WKIX and WWMY swapped call letters [1][7] and 102.3 FM planned to transmit a new format from a new tower site on Little Creek Church Road near Clayton in Johnston County.

WWMY ended its simulcast with WKIX-FM on October 23, 2010 and began stunting with future simulcast partner WKXU, which also moved to a new transmitter location, as part of a change in city of license from Goldsboro to Smithfield. On October 27, WWMY became WWPL,[1] and WKXU became WPLW. On October 31, the stunting ended and both stations debuted their new rhythmic contemporary format as "Pulse 102".[8] The format is described as "sort of the hip-hop and R&B that has crossed over into Top 40."[9] Its primary target audience was women aged 25 to 34, and the station was expected to compete with Radio One station K 97.5 and Clear Channel's G105 and 93.9 Kiss FM, who ironically transitioned from Rhythmic AC to Rhythmic Top 40 after Pulse 102 signed on. The stations debuted playing 10,000 songs in a row and promised fewer commercials than other stations. Artists include Lady Gaga, Enrique Iglesias and Ke$ha.[10] By October 2011, WPLW & WWPL were both added to the Mediabase contemporary hit radio panel.

In January 2014, Triangle Marketing Associates, Inc. filed an application with the FCC to purchase WWPL from Curtis Media Group's New Age Communications, Inc. On September 3, 2014, the Pulse format moved from WWPL to sister station WBZJ. On September 12, 2014 WWPL changed their call letters to WFNL-FM as the station ended its Pulse FM simulcast and began stunting with liners redirecting Pulse listeners to 96.9 and 102.5. At that time, the WWPL calls moved to 96.9. On September 26, 2014 WFNL-FM ended stunting and launched a bluegrass format, branded as "Bluegrass 102.3".[11] The format launch came days before Raleigh hosted the International Bluegrass Music Association convention and music festival, better known as World of Bluegrass 2014.[12] The FCC approved the sale of WFNL to Triangle Marketing Associates in October, 2014. Though intended to be a temporary placeholder, the bluegrass format continued through November 30, 2014, when Triangle Marketing Associates, Inc. closed on its acquisition of the station.[13][14]

On December 1, 2014, WFNL-FM went silent as Triangle Marketing Associates, Inc began the relocation of station studios from the Curtis Media studios in Raleigh to Johnston County.[13] New owner Triangle Marketing Associates planned to debut a format intended to serve Johnston County.[15]

On January 1, 2015, "Country Superstars 102.3" made its debut. On January 23, 2015, WFNL-FM changed their call letters to WKJO, intended to represent Wake & Johnston Counties. The station's transmitter is located 7 miles from Wake County.


WWPL logo


  1. ^ a b c d e f "Call Sign History (WKJO)". CDBS Public Access. Federal Communications Commission. Retrieved 2010-10-28.
  2. ^ a b "Raleigh-Durham FM Dial". Archived from the original on 2003-02-01. Retrieved 2010-04-29.
  3. ^ a b Baysden, Chris (2008-11-07). "Curtis Media's new tower may lift 102.3 FM". Triangle Business Journal. Retrieved 2010-03-08.
  4. ^ a b "Call Sign History (WZKT)". FCC Media Bureau CDBS Public Access Database. Retrieved 2009-03-24.
  5. ^ "Radio Station Request Lines by Bamah.com". Retrieved 2010-03-09.
  6. ^ "Radio Stations in Goldsboro, NC". On The Radio.Net. Retrieved 2010-03-09.
  7. ^ "Call Sign History (WKIX-FM)". CDBS Public Access. Federal Communications Commission. Retrieved March 8, 2010.
  8. ^ "Pulse 102 Debuts In Raleigh/Durham". RadioInsight. October 31, 2010. Retrieved October 31, 2010.
  9. ^ Ross, Sean (2010-11-01). "First Listen: Raleigh, N.C.'s New Pulse 102". Radio-Info.com. Retrieved 2010-11-02.
  10. ^ Ranii, David (2010-11-02). "Radio stations target women". News & Observer. Retrieved 2010-11-02.
  11. ^ "Curtis Launches Bluegrass FM In Raleigh=". radioinsight.com. September 26, 2014. Retrieved October 1, 2014.
  12. ^ "Bluegrass Radio Station WFNL-FM 102.3 Goes Live for World of Bluegrass". Retrieved 16 November 2014.
  13. ^ a b "Curtis Media Shuffling Raleigh Portfolio". Radio Insight. 2 December 2014. Retrieved 2 December 2014.
  14. ^ "News quiz answers Oct. 5-10". News & Observer. 2014-10-13. p. 3B.
  15. ^ Menconi, David (2014-12-03). "Bluegrass radio on WFNL was a passing thing". News & Observer. Retrieved 2014-12-10.

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