Atlanta radio dial update
On the HD
radio side Steve Hegwood has leased 101.5 HD-2 from Cumulus
and has launched a new Hip Hop station called Jamz 101.5.
The website is a bit
confusing as they have Porsche Foxx listed as afternoon host
while she already host afternoons at Old School 87.7
The 101.1 W266BW
translator has returned and is simulcasting WPBC 1310am with
a Spanish format, the translator was briefly simulcasting
WSTR-HD2's classic hits format.
Blog: AM Radio and
One of the notes I took away from the devastation of
Hurricane Harvey is with much of the area underwater where
did AM radio fit in to the equation? With less people owning
traditional radios in their homes this day in age with smart
phones and smart speakers taking their place where did AM
radio stand in all this?
AM 740 KTRH was wall to wall coverage however unlike in New
Orleans there was no FM simulcast of its programming. That
had some people asking with all of their excellent coverage
did anyone hear them.
With all the push by major radio companies trying to get
people to download the Nextradio App that unlocks FM chips
in most Android phones as AM would be wiped out with all the
RF that smart phone processors produce not to mention
finding space to add that little magnetic antenna to receive
AM did people even know or have the ability to tune in to
KTRH or any other AM only station in the area or surrounding
areas for their coverage.
This is a problem that AM broadcasters are going to have to
work on, FM translators aren’t the true solution for the
long hull nor having apps that most people forget to use or
can’t use when the power and data networks go down in a time
Blog: The definition of
One of the biggest complaints I read on radio messages
boards is, where’s MY oldies station? The simple answer is
that it never really went anywhere it just moved on from the
same music it was playing 20 years ago.
Today oldies is music from the 1980’s and 1990’s with just a
sprinkle of late 1970’s but even the 70’s is starting to be
phased out and this time next decade the music from then
will be gone replaced solely with music from the 1980s,
1990’s and early 2000’s.
Even those so called nostalgia stations have moved on from
the 1940’s and 1950’s to now playing music exclusively from
the 1960’s and 1970’s with the original oldies playlist from
twenty years ago.
Oldies have evolved just the people who have yet to
understand that have a gripe, not with radio but with life.
There will be a point someday that even today’s Justin’s and
One D’s will be considered obsolete just like cable TV,
desktop computers, CD’s, cassettes and members only Jackets.
I remember how odd it felt to hear Toto’s Africa on our
local oldies outlet WKEU-AM/FM back in 2007 now they have
started to play Cher’s Believe a song that came out in the
late 1990’s, some day those The North Face jackets will be
just as obsolete and stupid looking just as they are now,
welcome to life.
New "Local" station
IHeart Media has flipped the southern simulcast and in town
translator to Hip Hop bringing back the "Beat" brand last
used on Cox Media's 95.5 now FM simulcast of 750 WSB-AM/WSBB-FM.
92.3 and 96.7 The beat is also the new home of the Breakfast
club which had been pulled from Streetz 94.5 in the middle
of October. This makes the 9th urban outlet in Atlanta next
to, Old School 87.7, Streetz 94.5, Majic 97.5/107.5, OG
97.9, Boom 102.9, V103, Kiss 104 and Hot 107.9.
Blog: How to improve
Cumulus Atlanta: (Part 2) "New" Radio 106.7
Cumulus has had a string of really bad format choices on
their Atlanta signals for the past 10 years. The only
correct thing they have ever done is move Q100 off the 100.5
signal on to the big 99.7 stick but other then that
everything they have done has been wrong let’s continue with
almost two decades 106.7 had been a country blowtorch which
always complemented their sister station Kicks 101.5 even if
the morning host Moby/Rhubarb hated each other but it
However when ABC sold off it's radio properties to Citadel
they flipped the format to Oldies which at the time was a
good idea unfortunately oldies radio as a sellable format in
a big market and on a large signal died along with the most
of the artist those kinds of stations aired.
when Cumulus took over the old ABC/Citadel stations they
flipped to an All News format. The launch was cheered as one
of the best out of all of the other FM newsers that launched
around the same time but sadly as is was always known
Atlanta is not a all news radio consumption market no matter
if it was an AM or FM station that format has never worked
nor will it ever work in the smart phone era.
they wanted to have a personality based talk format modeled
after WTKS Orlando it might have worked out much better if
they had moved the regular guys to morning’s, kimmer
afternoons and launched a local midday and night shows with
music filling overnights and all weekend.
However they chose to do the worse thing they could do and
try to hit WSB head on and that is a certain suicide for any
company to do. Other formats that would work are a soft 80’s
based AC format to differentiate it from 98.5 a 70’s based
Classic Rock, or 90’s based Hot AC to complement Q100 and
take listeners away from Star and B simultaneously.
RIP. John "Skim" Moody
out that a long time trading buddy John "Skim" Moody has
passed. We've known each other for almost 16 or so years and
have traded so many tapes I've lost count.
Condolences to his
family from his Aircheck trading family.
If you or know someone
who is dealing with depression and is talking about suicide
help is always available 24/7 1-800-273-8255. Of
course I'm always available to lend an ear if you need
someone to talk to.
Columbus Classic Hits
Flips to Country Oldies
PMB Broadcasting has swapped formats in Columbus, Classic
Hits Boomer has moved to a small in town translator/AM combo
and the Country Oldies format has moved from that to the
Double the Majic again!
months Radio One has flipped WUMJ 97.5 back to the Majic
simulcast from the Boom hip hop oldies simulcast.
Ratings for Boom never
went much higher then when the Hip Hop oldies format was
just on the 102.9 translator.
The Move comes as
Majic 107.5's ratings started to take a big hit allowing Cox
media's Kiss 104 to take second place in the past several
books. Boom will continue to air on the 102.9 translator.
Blog: The new 98.9 it’s
what’s next? (Part 1)
had a hard time figuring out what to do with this signal.
First launched in 2011 at 99.1 at 99 watts then to 98.9 at
the full 250 watts, it was the second home of the ill-fated
“99x” brand after it was killed off the wheel-o-formats
First with Active Rock
“The Bone” then as a Christian/Country hybrid “The Walk”
then as a satellite fed oldies “Oldies 98.9” with Scott
Shannon’s True Oldies Network/Good Time Oldies Networks then
as Classic County “Nash Icon” then Christmas/Soft AC stunt
to it’s extreme current based alternative revival brand of
All within 4 years
time, why has Cumulus been having so many issues with this
signal? Simple answer Atlanta’s demographics have not
matched any of the formats placed on this signal.
It’s an in town urban
only signal that is barely receivable outside 285. So it
stands to reason that a format that matches the population
would work, unfortunately the brains at Cumulus have yet to
grasp this concept. So what would work on 98.9?
The obvious is
anything Urban or Hispanic. Rhythmic CHR would work even a
Hispanic/Urban hybrid would work. An 80’s based urban oldies format would work.
Urban gospel would
work as would a current based R&B format to complement their
other translator 97.9 with its hip hop oldies format.
However a pure
Reggaeton format would perhaps be the best bet for 98.9
going forward. Anything else would just be a waste of signal
and money at least for this signal anyway. I will began a
series of blog's soon on how to help Cumulus Atlanta improve
WKEU-AM add's another FM
AM 1450 WKEU
in Griffin has signed on 102.3 W272DM-FM over the past
weekend simulcasting the AM station. This translator puzzles
me because WKEU-AM has always had an FM side airing the
exact same satellite fed golden pop-rock hits for decades.
First at 97.7 before
being sold to Radio-One and becoming Hot 97.5 in 1995 then
88.9 in 1999. The FM side is a non-commercial station which
the AM is fully commercial however both stations air the
exact programming including the "underwriting spots" the
only exception is 1450 airs the Atlanta Braves games where
as 88.9fm can't.
This really seems to
be a waste of translator space for a AM that is and has been
simulcasting on FM this whole time.
Boomin' loud and clear in
the south metro.
Radio One has ended it's almost 7 year simulcast with Urban
AC Majic 107.5 WAMJ in favor of expanding the Hip Hop Oldies
format "Boom" brand.
Boom had only been heard on the small 147 watt 102.9
translator since it's launch back in December 2014 and was
in second place in the ratings behind Cumulus' OG 97.9 and
was ahead from the now defunct Old School 99.3.
The music heard on boom was originally heard on 97.5 back
when that station was Hot 97.5 WHTA before moving to 107.9
in the fall of 2001, and was the first pure Hip Hop and Rap
station in Atlanta when launched back in the summer of 1995.
Radio One recently
re-hired former Hot 97.5 radio personality DJ Nabs to hold
afternoons on Boom. With one of the original personalities
and the music that started on 97.5 it will be interesting to
see how the ratings will react in the months ahead.
Old School is back but on a Franken-fm
As I posted
sometime ago below after all of the issues with the 99.3
translator and the interference with WCON-FM.
It looks like Steve
Hegwood has ditched the 99.3 translator and have LMA'ed
WTBS-LPTV analog Channel 6 which the audio carrier can be
heard on 87.7fm and has re-launched the Old School format
that was on 1010am WTZA before adding the FM translator.
The Mix is 60's - 90's
R&B the old hip hop has mostly been removed. Time will tell
if this station can be profitable for Hegwood or not and or
if WTBS-LPTV will be allowed to stay on the air in the long
term as the FCC made it mandatory for all TV stations to
drop analog for a digital only broadcast.
Only LPTV stations
have seen a reprieve from that rule for now, as some have
lobbied that the FCC allow channel 6's to run as a
commercial FM radio service.
A new year rings in an old station.
The rumor as stated below turned out to be true as Cumulus
re-launches 99x on the 98.9 translator. The playlist is
current intensive there is almost little to no 90's or early
2000's music they only seem to be dipping back about 5 or 6
Similar to Cox's 107.1 awhile back that station was only
able to pull in a 0.5 share in the ratings, so not expecting
to see any big ratings with this new/old station. No word
yet if they will add DJ's or just run it cheap.
Still in love with your
The rumor mill is spinning tonight towards Cumulus and the
possible return of 99x. The modern rock station
launched back in 1992 and became the new sound of Atlanta.
It rode the Alternative music train all throughout the 90's
quickly becoming the highest rated station in it's format
constantly finishing in the top 5 in the Atlanta Arbitron
ratings and others saw that success and would copy the 99x
However after the new millennium the Alternative
momentum started to slow and towards the end of the last
decade it saw a decline and companies started to scramble to
find new formats for all of it's lower performing
Alternative stations including 99x which flipped in January
of 2008 moving Q100 from 100.5.
Many of them flipped to other formats including WTKS-FM in
Orlando and it's long time Alternative "Real Music Weekends"
to 70's/80's classic rock.
There have been some
push to try to bring the format back in other markets
including Atlanta with I-Heart's 105.7/96.7 and Cox's 107.1
but have really failed to rekindle the magic that was the
90's and Alternative music.
I personally enjoyed
99x growing up in Atlanta in the 90's hearing bands like
Dave Matthews Band, Chumbawamba, Sneaker Pimps, Tonic,
Better Than Ezra, Hootie & the Blowfish and others, but that
magic is long gone.
After 99x went of the
air from 99.7, it for a time lived online and on HD-2,
before returning to the air first on the 97.9 translator
then on 99.1 with 99 watts then to 98.9 at 250 watts before
being killed off for good.
I really don't
understand the re-launching of 99x if this rumor is true. It
will never go anywhere on a low powered signal like 98.9 as
indicated by the rumor.
It's been warm in
Atlanta and on 98.9.
After a stunt of Christmas music Cumulus launched AC Warm
98.9 on December 26 at 12am. It is using Cumulus' owned
Westwood One 24/7 satellite feed AC format.
Old School is still in the past.
It's been 5
months and Old School 99.3 is still off the air due to
interference complaints from WCON-FM. While they tried to
work on fixing issues, every time they sent the FCC a new
application the owners of WCON-FM would shoot it down with a
It seems no matter
what, the two sides can't see eye to eye. On top of the
issue with WCON-FM a new LPFM hit the air over the summer in
Riverdale 99.1 WGRU.
So the antenna pattern
had to be changed to protect that station as well making the
signal almost not even worth the effort to get it back on
the air seeing that how no one can hear it unless you live
within 5 miles due west (towards Smyrna) or within 5 miles
south east towards Redan) certainly two areas hungry for Hip
Hop Oldies format to return (insert sarcasm here).
The Zone has been
new owners of 94.1 WSTR (Star 94) and 790 WQXI has dumped
Sports for a temporary simulcast of Star 94. No word yet as
to what they will eventually do with the station.
The ESPN network has
moved to 1230 WFOM in Cobb County which barely reaches into
the Atlanta Metro although some of it's programming may end
up on sister station 680 The Fan in some form in the future.
Since CBS launched
Sports on 92.9 back in the fall of 2012 and 680 The Fan
gaining an FM translator in 2010 and on top of news talker
WSB adding 95.5, for the past 5 years the Zone has been
scrapping the bottom of the ratings barrel for any signs of
It finally gave up
back in 2013 when the entire local staff was let go and 790
just ran a all ESPN network feed as well as pulling the
falcons radio game play as that moved to CBS' 92.9 fm. The
Zone was pretty much doomed at that point.
Who knows what if any
new format Entercom will put on the station or if it will be
sold off to a church or Hispanic broadcaster or to another
broadcaster is really anyone's guess, but it seems that
Entercom is really not all that concerned with what to do
with the station at this time.
Old School 99.3's translator is off the air for now.
Hegwood's Old School 99.3 translator is off the air after
months of legal issues started to pile up due to the
translator interfering with adjacent country station 99.3
WCON-FM out of Cornelia in north east Georgia.
We are not sure (at
the time of this posting) why Hegwood took the translator
silent but it seems that it will remain off the air for some
time until the issues are addressed to WCON-FM's and the
The Old School format
is still airing on 94.9 WUBL-HD-3 as well as online but for
how long is anyone's guess as there is almost little to no
advertiser investment in that technology for now.
Assuming the station
will return in some form or fashion is anyone's guess, as is
if Hegwood would be able to buy out WCON-FM as he has done
with 94.5 WIPK and 94.5 WFDR which was in similar issues
wile his Streetz 94.5 translator was also interfering with
those stations as well which led to him downgrading the
translator before buying the stations in the end.
This will leave the
remaining two Hip Hop Oldies stations left Cumulus' OG 97.9
and Radio One's Boom 102.9 taking up what little rating Old
School had. It will be interesting to see which one get's
the ratings boost with Old School out of the picture for
New "Local" Format change
one year and one month Cox's X107.1 WTSH/W296BB has ended
and flipped formats back to country however this time the
station is now simulcasting 106.1 WNGC Athens but without
Moby in the Morning. The new name is 106.1-107.1 Your
New "Local" format change
Salem as taken full control of 590 WDWD formerly Radio
Disney after a few weeks of on again off again broadcasting
as they were moving things over.
The station is now airing a different line up of religious
talk from sister 970/1400 WNIV/WLTA's faith talk. Radio
Disney aired on 590 AM from November 1996 as it was one of a
handful of stations to take the format before the national
rollout in 1997 till May 1st, 2015.
New "Local" Station
Inc. owners of WTGA-AM/FM 101.1/1590 has signed on 105.9
WFAL. 105.9 is currently simulcasting Fun 101.1. Not sure if
the simulcast is permanent but from the looks of it, from
comments made by the owner it might be.
After three years with an LMA the rivers family have ended
it's relationship with Steve Hegwood.
When the LMA began Hegwood was airing a 70's based urban
oldies format as Old School 1010 but after acquiring another
FM translator (99.3 W257DF) the format changed to the trendy
Hip Hop Oldies format to skew the audience younger from a
median age of 55 y/o to around 35.
Old School 99.3 is now using IHeart's 94.9 HD-3 for its
translator feed and 1010 WTZA is now airing a Spanish Pop
Language format LMA'ed with Davis Broadcasting.
590 WDWD being sold to Salem
After 19 years Disney is selling off its AM stations
including 590 WDWD. It was announced by radioinsight that
590 has been sold to Salem. Expect 590 to drop Radio Disney
in favor of Salem's Religious/conservative programming by
Blog: What can radio
learn from Sony?
After the major attack on Sony, radio stations should also
be on high alert for hacking issues.
in point back in October 2014 a cluster of stations in
Louisiana was hacked and everything on their computers was
deleted leaving all the stations with dead air and of course
the fake zombie EAS that was broadcast on radio and TV
stations in the Midwest earlier this year also at the hands
Radio stations should always keep their equipment up-to-date
with the latest OS and other software, also making sure that
if your automation system is linked to the internet that you
have the BEST safeguards installed available. Nothing is 100
% but something is better than nothing.
Hip Hop Oldies Overkill in Atlanta
It all started
when R1 flipped formats in Houston, Tx from All News to Hip
Hop Oldies branded as Boom 92. After a duel broke out in DFW
Tx with R1 and IHeartMedia. Steve Hegwood relaunched Old
School 99.3/1010 WTZA to the Hip Hop Oldies format. then
Cumulus at 97.9 displacing the 20 Hits format and now R1
with Boom at 102.9. My bet will be that R1 wins the format
war and hopefully the others will launch other formats
needed in Atlanta.
time sharing agreement
The first day of
the time sharing agreement went off without a hitch sort of,
It was widely reported that Album 88 would continue 24/7
online and via 88.5 HD sub-channel.
The only problem was
there was no HD sub-channel to be found on 88.5. After all
of the delays and tweaks to the agreement on the first day
was no sign of Album 88 on the dial only online.
I am really
wondering if GSU thinks that the Album 88 brand and programming
is even worth anything to them or it's just the money they
are after and the students be damned?
Cox has LMA'd
107.1 FM out of the Rome Georgia area and Atlanta
Translator to launch Alternative "X107.1" the
launch is in the Georgia Archive.
RIP Casey Kasem
knew this was coming but it doesn't make it any easier to
lose someone especially someone who has honed you into the
person you are.
His last year has
been one of horror I'm sure with his kids and his wife
fighting over him and the care he needed. He taught us as
radio people how it is done and there is not a radio personality
alive who can't credit this man for what impact he has had
on this industry.
He along with this business
partner Don Bustany launched "American Top 40"
way back in July of 1970 with a concept to countdown the
top 40 songs in the USA. It turned out to be a huge success
in the long run having the show air not only in the US but
all over the world.
Here is a youtube video on Don remarking on his years with
and lastly here is Casey's final sign off from radio in
I will end this post
as he has always ended his shows with "Keep your feet
on the ground and keep reaching for the stars".
GPB takeover of
WRAS Album 88
GSU has leased
the daytime airtime of 88.5 WRAS-FM to Georgia Public
Radio. GPB will air programming from 5am to 7pm while
Album 88 will continue at night from 7pm to 5am. Album
will also air online and on a HD-2 sub channel.
Less news on
has re-launched 106.7 from all news to talk radio, and
News Radio 106.7 with Kimmer in place from 12pm to 3pm,
the station adds Michael Graham from Boston from 8:30am to
12pm with Cumulus media syndicated talk filling in the
parts at night when the braves don't play the only all
news block will continue in the morning from 5am to 8:30am
and afternoons from 3pm to 7pm.
Check out the "Free Audio
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Is the latest
AM/FM simulcast fad over?
If you look at the
past few months of format changes most of them seem to be
the ending of the AM/FM simulcast of brands and or placing
the AM programming exclusively on FM and launching a new
AM station or putting the AM programming back on AM only
and re-launching FM music stations. Clear Channel as been
one of those companies that has been doing this lately
when they first ended the simulcast of KOGO on 95.7 and
launching a new FM music station. In
, Clear Channel ended its simulcast of 790 KNST on 97.1 FM
to launch “Wild Country 97.1.”
In Tampa Clear
Channel’s 970 WFLA ended it's simulcast on 94.5 and
105.9 in favor of re-launching of the “Thunder”
classic rock brand on those translators filling the void
left when Cox Media re-launched 102.5 The Bone to a
Hot/Talk 24/7 format. Clear Channel also did this here in
when they ended the simulcast of 640 WGST on 92.3 FM in
favor of an all comedy station then later ESPN Deportes
as Fox Sports 930 ended its simulcast on 106.9 and
re-launched the “Planet” rock music brand on
that translator. The latest is from Cumulus when they
ended the AM/FM simulcast of 1070 WAPI in
on 100.5 FM flipping the FM to ESPN Sports.
Some would argue
that most of those stations listed above and others too
numerous to list here only had a small share in the local
ratings and wasn’t helped when they started simulcasting
on FM. The main point (from those companies) to simulcast
AM Talk Radio on FM was to draw a younger crowd who would
not have over wise listen to that same programming on AM.
I have never believed that the band was the problem but
the content on those stations.
As most of the top
talkers are aging along with their audience it’s hard to
bring or connect a younger generation who might not share
some of those same philosophical beliefs. Forcing the
programming on other bands will not help the content in
the long run. Programmers have to figure out a way of
getting a younger audience to tune in without flooding the
bands with the same programming on multiple signals.