Radio station 104.7 F.M. has been broadcasting since 1948. Since that time the station has had a variety of different owners and has broadcast a variety of music genres. When the station first began operation in 1948, it offered traditional country music and sports under the title “Power Country.” The station was once home to Baltimore Orioles baseball, NASCAR, and Washington Redskins broadcasts. However, when ABS Communications bought the station in 1991 they changed the format as well as the material aired. The new owners changed the name to the Buzz, WBZU Richmond’s New Rock Alternative because grunge music was popular during this time and Richmond did not have a station dedicated to grunge and/or progressive rock. The owners also discontinued sports broadcasts. ABS Communications changed the format once again in 1995 and began broadcasting satellite-streamed oldies music, claiming the new title “Oldies 104.7.” This new format lasted for only three years. In 1998, Fifteen Forty Broadcasting, at that time also owners of the local gospel station 100.3, purchased the station and began to play adult urban music as well as a little bit of gospel.
The station was purchased by its current owner, Radio One, in 1999 and played new country music until January, 2004 when the owner decided to change its format and air inspirational music. The new format was gospel music and the station came to be known as “The Inspiration Station.” The station has now become WPZZ 104.7 and is known as “Praise 104.7,” broadcasting contemporary gospel and urban-rooted praise music. The station claims that it receives one of the highest radio listener ratings in Richmond.
As of 2008, Praise 104.7 features three separate airings daily, from 6:00-10:00 A.M., 10:00-2:00 P.M, and 2:00 to 6:00 P.M. Each session is hosted by a different D.J. and differs in program material. Yolanda Adams and Brother Larry Jones begin their segment weekdays from 6:00 A.M. until 10:00 A.M.. Yolanda Adams in an award-winning gospel singer who, according to the station’s website, believes that “…music brings joy…answers and the solutions” in a more reflective and true manner than “just talking about the problems.” She co-hosts the show with Brother Larry Jones, who provides motivational insights and complements to Yolanda’s ideas throughout the four hour session. According to the station website, Reggie B’s 10:00 A.M. to 2:00 P.M. session “brings you contests and the best gospel music” being produced by musicians today. Finally, Mikki Spencer’s session, popularly known as “The Afternoon Drive with Mikki Spencer,” airs on weekdays from 2:00 P.M. until 6:00 P.M. Her session includes traffic, news, and the 5:00 Praise Party with DJ Drake.
Radio One studio is located on the third floor of the Commerce Plaza on Emerywood Drive, just off of Broad Street. Praise 104.7 broadcasts with 100,000 watts of power enabling its signal to be received all throughout the Central Virginia region. The on-site managers are responsible for overseeing program content.
WPZZ Praise 104.7 F.M., The Inspiration Station
2809 Emerywood Parkway
Richmond, VA 23294
Praise 104.7 News and Community Affairs Director
Radio One Studio employees
Praise 104.7 website
Profile prepared by John Feole