As the translator turns.
If you think the Atlanta translator drama was over, WRONG!
We now know who Immanuel Broadcasting Network's new tenet is
for it's 92.3 W222AF translator, Media One Broadcasting
(whoever they are.) They have launched a new Urban station
called Power 92.3 Jamz feeding off of WSRV-HD3. Trust
me you don't have to be a psychic to see what's coming next.
C&D anyone? [Audio
Sweep of the new power 92.3]aprox. size 1mb
Blog: The FM band’s translator problem.
The recent events regarding W255CJ (98.9) and their problem
with WWGA (98.9) and even more so with W275DF (99.3) and
their problem with WCON (99.3) has to make one wonder; what
was the thinking at the FCC regarding these translator
Way back in 2009 to “revitalize” the HD Radio service the
FCC paved the way for stations to utilize HD radio sub
channels to feed the translators to launch even more brands
on the FM band. Cumulus jumped on the bandwagon and first
launched W250BC (97.9) fed by WWWQ-HD-2 (99.7) and brought
back the 99x brand to FM.
Shortly thereafter the FCC decided to “revitalize” the AM
band by allowing AM stations to attach FM translators to
their stations so as to bring listeners back to AM (or
something like that.) Let’s also not forget the LPFM push
from 2014, so now we have one big conundrum, limited band
space to place any more stations without getting mixed up in
more interference issues with other stations in nearby
Understand that the FCC did all of this not to truly
“revitalize” the bands or digital services but to insure the
cash flow into the FCC. As long as there are AM and FM and
HD signals that’s money to the FCC (government’s) pockets.
Now I’m not saying that any of this is truly bad, for the
consumer it means more programming choices for audio
entertainment but it’s bad for business because it now leads
to more cost for each station in terms of utilities (bigger
power bills) and again money to the FCC to keep everything
What’s truly sad is that not every AM station or HD sub
channel will ever get a Translator there just isn’t enough
room on the band for that to happen and some stations will
be sold off to religious or foreign language operators just
as the case with WDWD (590) WQXI (790), WTZA (1010) and now
WCFO (1160) or just shut down all together as was the case
with WTJH (1260) back in 2014.
99x' FM translator is forced off the air.
FCC ordered W255CJ (98.9) off the air at the stroke of
midnight 4/12 after a four year battle with Gradick
Communications due to interference issues with WWGA 98.9fm
in Carrolton. Cumulus posted this statement:
“Pursuant to a decision by the FCC, 99x will cease
transmission at 98.9 FM at midnight tonight. 99x will still
be broadcast on 99.7 HD2, on the 99x app, Alexa and
streaming at 99x.com.” No word yet as to Cumulus'
next move for the signal, it originally broadcast at 99.1fm
with 99watts of power but was constantly being overrun by
sister station 99.1 WDEN out of Macon. [Audio
of the sign off] aprox. size 1.3mb
One less beat in
translator is silent today (4/12) following the demise of
W255CJ (98.9) and their battle with another station, this
time I-Heart and Immanuel Broadcasting Network have parted
ways, Immanuel owns translator W222AF (92.3) and up to today
had been simulcasting Hip Hop station 'the beat" also heard
on the Southside at 96.7.
I-Heart was leasing
the station but that lease is now up and Immanuel has found
a new operator, unknown at this time who the new operator
is. W222AF first signed on in Atlanta back in the fall of
2011 first simulcasting WGST then all Comedy then Spanish
and then Hip Hop.
Now that 92.3 is gone
and with the limited signal that 96.7 has to cover Atlanta
proper one has to wonder if the current Hip Hop format will
stay It seems pretty unlikely, and chances are pretty high
that 96.7 will flip back to a simulcast of 105.7.
The Ryan King retires?
weeks announcement came to a shock to many in the radio
business however it shouldn't be.
professional radio career began back in the early 90's at
V-103 later moving to Maryland for a short stint before
moving back to Atlanta to become host of the
less than year old station Hot 97.5 WHTA in 1996.
Doing morning's and
a weekly youth talk show called Check Yourself that tackled
topics from teen sexuality to teen suicide and school
violence which aired Monday nights at 9pm from 1997 until
He was also the one
responsible for Hot moving to the bigger signal in in the
after doing a boycott by sitting out his show for a week before
Radio One agreed to move the Hip Hop format to 107.9. In
2005 he left his 9 year stint with WHTA and returned to V103
first in afternoons then mornings for the past 6 years.
However CBS who owned
WVEE decided to sell it's radio properties to Entercom last
year and if history is a good indicator for things to come
every time there is a merger chances are good there will be
casualties and I believe Ryan was a casualty of the merger.
Ratings had not been
as strong over the past few years compared to the other
urban offerings in the market, also with the rehiring of
Frank Ski that with the merger spelled the
perfect storm for his being let go.
With all of that the rumor mill
has been spinning as to the possible return of Frank Ski to
mornings who was the former morning host at V103 from 1998-2012.
Atlanta radio’s winners and losers 2017
The Big winner in 2017 is WSB-AM with the change of moving
former 96 Rock regular guy Eric Von Haessler a libertarian
to replace the replacement of Neal Boortz who retired in
2012 Herman Cain. Along with the first year of an extremely
volatile political and social environment this has helped
keep WSB-AM firmly at the top of the ratings books each
Some of the other winners this year were Christian AC “104.7
The Fish” Urban AC “Kiss 104.1 and Classic Rock Hits “97.1
The River” Side note on the river since moving former 99x
midday-er Steve Craig to mornings and moving former 96 Rock
and Z93 personally Kaedy Kiely back to afternoons and
finally putting a live DJ in midday’s this has helped the
river move into the top 5 this past year.
The big loser as I see it is El Patron 105.3 Atlanta’s only
FM Spanish music station. The ratings have fallen into the
0.x ranges over the past year. As one poster pointed out on
the radio message boards, 105.3 is only being kept around
because it has all of the Hispanic buys in the market.
If that’s true then those advertisers are having their ads
heard only by a handful of people and can’t be sustained in
the long run, as most of the Hispanic population has blended
in with the Urban and Pop crowd leading to the question who
is 105.3 trying to cater to?
Just as reference the
first format on 105.3 were all 1980’s oldies as "the max"
and that station pulled in better numbers than the current
one way back in 2002-2004, as did Viva, and the Buzz.
Some of the other losers continue to be News Radio 106.7,
Alt 105.7, 92.3/96.7 The Beat and Star 94, all have not seen
big gains or have continued to fall as is the case with Alt
105.7 after dropping the 96.7 simulcast and Star 94. B98.5
has also never quite recovered after the firing of Melissa
Carter and continuing to not go all Christmas during the
Nielsen Audio Ratings 12-26-17
99x and the 1.2 share! Blog.
The current ratings just released on Tuesday shows a very
telling story. This rating period covered the last week of
October and the early part of November that just happened to
be the when 99x was celebrating its launch 25 years
ago in October, 1992.
As part of its celebration they brought back the original
morning show with Steve Barnes, Leslie Fram, and Jimmy Baron
for a one day broadcast that lasted for over 6 hours.
This is extremely telling because even a small translator
having personally based programming yields you a really good
return on investment both in ratings and most importantly
The stations overall numbers have been dismal hitting only a
0.2-0.6 share as a jukebox station over the past two years
since its return in its current form. In order for AM/FM
radio to succeed in the long term, investment in personally
should be at the top of the list.
Plug and play automated cyber-jocked stations won’t help you
compete in the fast growing world of internet entertainment;
same also goes for linear TV.
Nielsen Audio Ratings 12-26-17
Old School Classix are
Urban One has flipped HD fed translator 102.9 to urban
oldies, the move takes place just after Steve Hegwood's 87.7
WTBS-LPTV re-branded and Cox Media's Kiss 104.1 WALR
dropping Tom Joyner and with both stations skewing it's
music mix much younger.
The all new Classix 102.9 will play urban oldies from the
70's and 80's with syndicated shows filling in the day parts
with Joyner back in mornings and D. L. Hughley afternoons,
as well has using Mitch Faulkner as stations voice who also
left Kiss 104 during 'Atlanta radio's elder purge'
two weeks ago.
With the change now
leaves Cumulus with the Hip Hop Oldies audience all to
themselves with OG 97.9 whose ratings have outperformed it's
two other competitors Boom and Old School 99.3 both of which
are now gone for good.
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