Angie Martinez is moving across town and up the radio dial from Hot 97 to Power 105.1, giving Power the biggest score yet in the city's long-running hip-hop radio wars.
For more than 15 years Martinez's 3-7 p.m. show has helped define Hot 97 (WQHT, 97.1 FM) as America's most influential hip-hop station.
Now, in a switch that was both surprising and swift, she'll be doing the afternoon show at Power (WWPR, 105.1 FM).
Power's parent Clear Channel made the official announcement Thursday morning, less than 24 hours after Martinez said she would be leaving Hot.
Her shift on Power apparently will start at 2 p.m., though no specific details or launch date have been announced.
Martinez's final Hot 97 show Wednesday afternoon was sentimental, warm and sometimes tearful. She did not mention her switch to Power, though it had been widely rumored, saying only that she planned to rest for a few days, take a vacation and then "move on to the next phase of my life."
She thanked a long list of her co-workers and played many of the promotional jingles that artists had cut for her at Hot 97 over the years.
Her new show will be simulcast on sister Clear Channel station 103.5 FM The Beat in Miami, and it is expected Clear Channel may later put her on other hip-hop and urban stations.
There could also be a TV component in the deal for Martinez, 43, who is now seen on "Extra" and has often branched outside radio.
"I do have television ambitions," she told The News's Zayda Rivera last month, "but I don't know. As long as I love (radio), I'm going to do it. I think you could do both, I think it's a great medium. It's a fun gig. I mean who knows where life will take me. As of now, I love it and I have no plans on leaving radio."
She had a fairly brief music career a decade ago, cutting two popular albums and guesting with numerous rappers. She has also has several small movie roles.
Recently she has been seen on the VH1 reality show "This Is Hot 97," which follows station personalities in their off-air time.
The daughter of radio programmer Shirley Maldonado, Martinez started working in radio as a teenager.
Over the years at Hot 97, she developed relationships with many of the top figures in the industry, and she is known for the major names she has interviewed, from Tupac Shakur, Jay Z and Kanye West to Bill and Hillary Clinton and Barack Obama.
Born in the Bronx and raised in Brooklyn, Martinez has never smoothed off her distinctly New York accent, nor has she ever developed a slick traditional radio style.
"That's one of the ways she and Hot 97 changed radio," says Dana Hall, former urban editor for Billboard and Radio & Records. "They didn't sound like traditional 'professional' radio announcers. They sounded like they were from the culture and from the streets."
Before WQHT switched to a hip-hop format in 1993, no station in America had played hip-hop full-time. Within a few years it was so popular that Clear Channel launched Power 105.1 as a rival.
The two stations have jockeyed for the top spot in recent years, with Hot 97 usually holding the lead among younger listeners and Power having an edge with older fans.
In the most recent Nielsen ratings, Hot 97 averaged 3.5% of the total audience, for 10th place, while Power had 3.2%, for 13th place.
The rivalry between the two stations has occasionally boiled over into on-air verbal warfare, particularly with morning shows and Hot 97 evening host Funkmaster Flex.
A number of top jocks have worked at both stations — including Ed Lover and Star, the provocative former Hot 97 morning host who enjoyed bad-mouthing Hot after he resurfaced on Power.
Martinez is known more for helping to resolve disputes than joining them, though she was involved in a famous intra-station fight with Wendy Williams when Williams worked at Hot 97 in 1998.
Soon thereafter, Williams left the station and Martinez moved into her afternoon drive slot, where she remained until this week.