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4/14: Morning Mash with Rock 100.5’s musical shift

Rock 100.5 last week began shifting its music, using the moniker “quality rock.”

‘”We’re trying to put a radio station on that maintains its roots and its feel and its compass and anchor points in rock,” said Cumulus head of programming John Dickey Monday. “Rock today means more than just one particular genre of music. We’re all about quality and playing the best of hte best. I guess the best way to describe it, we’re pitching a bigger tent and throwing a bigger party.”

How do you like the new mix of music on Rock 100.5?

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The station debuted a year ago with a fairly aggressive “active rock” mix with healthy doses of Van Halen, Led Zeppelin, Pearl Jam and ZZ Top along with some current rock songs. Those acts are still in the mix but they are now adding more ’90s cuts from softer acts heard on Dave FM such as Counting Crows, R.E.M. and Sting. Currents by Kings of Leon and U2 are being played, too.

Cuts you might hear on the River are heard, too, such as “Maggie May” by Rod Stewart and “Jet Airliner” by Steve Miller Band. And a few songs you might hear on Project 9-6-1, too, such as Shinedown’s “Second Chance” and Pearl Jam’s “Brother.” What’s gone? Harder metal stuff from the 80s such as Motley Crue and the Scorpions are no longer on the playlist.

In other words, a hunk of the songs can be heard or could fit on one of the other three rock stations. Usually, a station can build “time spent listening” by creating a “unique” mix of music e.g. Praise 102.5 or Viva 105.7. So Rock 100.5, by sandwiching itself among the other three, may have a tough time keeping people in the tent when the Regular Guys are not on.

Dickey said the shift is not really a “dramatic” change per se but the station would like to bring in more listeners overall from the 25-54 age range. General Manager Gary Lewis said the station skews a bit too male right now. And the mix suggests the station may be trying to pivot a little bit younger and a wee bit more upscale.

Here’s a sample hour from 1 p.m. yesterday, which shows a fairly broad mix of rock from five decades.

Nickelback “Photograph” (2005)
Gavin Rossdale “Love Remains the Same” (2008)
ZZ Top “Tush” (1975)
Toadies “Possum Kingdom” (1994)
R.E.M. “Driver 8″ (1985)
Sting “All This Time” (1991)
Joe Cocker “Feelin’ Alright” (1972)
Staind “It’s Been Awhile” (2001)
My Morning Jacket “I’m Amazed” (2008)
The Rolling Stones “Shattered” (1978)
The Smashing Pumpkins “1979″ (1996)
Talking Heads “Take Me To the River” (1978)
Incubus “Anna Molly” (2006)
Santana “Evil Ways” (1969)

Cumulus has also purchased a translator station at 97.9 and will likely announce what format it will air on it later this week.

17 comments Add your comment

Nick Wright

April 13th, 2009
9:35 pm

From a personal standpoint, I like it, because it means I can put 100.5 back on my presets. None of the stations in Atlanta are playing what I want to hear more than 10% of the time anyway, so it helps to have more options.

From a business standpoint, I don’t think it makes a lot of sense. 100.5 was the last outpost of the fans of butt rock, so all the Motley Crue fans are going to be out of luck. Of course, they are probably going to be so high on Quaaludes, 8-Balls and whippets that they won’t notice the difference.

It’s important to note that we still don’t have an alternative station in this city. Rock 100.5 has added a few artists that take it in that direction, but Cumulus is dipping its little toe into the water when they should be cannonballing. But this time do it right. Do it like 99X in the 90s, with more indie rock and less of a shared playlist with Project 9-6-1, and reclaim the word “alternative”.

Stan

April 14th, 2009
9:17 am

yeah, another pop station, with another playlist as deep as the puddle my puppy leaves on the carpet. Is there any station in Atlanta that plays Ted Nugent? How about Mothers Finest? How about having a playlist in general that is more than 200 songs only 30 of which get played in heavy rotation. I can play more than that on my MP3 player.

finally

April 14th, 2009
9:51 am

Not a good move, when Rock 100.5 started they played great music, but it has been watered down just like most other stations sadly. I agree with Stan there are many bands that should be played that are completely ignored by radio. The term Quality Rock is corny and vague and I don’t consider Jack Johnson rock period. I did hear Peter Gabriel’s Games Without Frontiers last night on there and that was a pleasant surprise. Looks like they are trying to rope in the yuppies, they even gave away golf prizes last weekend, most rockers aren’t teeing up every weekend, just a strange mess really. I listen to Project 96.1 and The Giant Show, it is funny and very current and so far they haven’t changed the station every few months.

Stone

April 14th, 2009
10:10 am

Interesting mix of music, play good rock and eliminate the dumba$$ hair metal crap, but the station is still saddled with a morning show that appeals mainly to the dumbaSS demo. TRG will be the anchor that keeps this from taking off and flying to success.

Crude

April 14th, 2009
10:22 am

Watering down the rock is never a good idea. Getting rid of 80’s metal is an even worse idea. You see…when you were the only station in town playing these songs (that people still love), you kind of had an exclusive situation. But if the station wants to be all things to all people, it will end up pleasing no one. Radio stations have to have a “personality” of sorts. For instance, I know that if I ever want to listen to acoustic/indie rock, I can turn on Dave FM (and I NEVER do…that music ain’t my thing). Project 9-6-1 has more of a wannabe edgy rock vibe to it, though they refuse to go all the way and they still play classic rock (96 Rock was definitely “southern rock” and it was a MUCH better station).

Since Rock 100.5 wants to get rid of my kind of music, I think I’ll return the favor and delete the preset in my car. (Still gonna listen to The Regular Guys, of course) But as far as music goes? It’s no longer an option.

wbv

April 14th, 2009
10:57 am

I like the playlist on 99x.com, thats all I listen to at work. The Regular Guys Rock!!! I

Lady M

April 14th, 2009
11:17 am

No wonder I heard Ray Lamontagne on Rock 100 yesterday. I had to check my radio twice to make sure I wasn’t on Dave FM. I don’t know how I feel about it. I def like the changes they are making, but I also liked the fact that they played the hair bands (no one else does) so it sucks they’re doing away with that.

Maria

April 14th, 2009
11:57 am

The problem I have with 100.5 is the same problem I have with Dave FM — it’s like The Powers That Be who program these stations used a software program not unlike Amazon’s “People Who Bought X Also Bought Y!” algorithm to figure out what songs to play. And what gets spit out is a list of songs that no one can really argue with (except for the Nickelback song. No one should play Nickelback. Ever), but that doesn’t really excite anyone, either. Casual listeners might be into the Rock 100.5 playlist, but true music fans aren’t going to be into a station that just skims the surface of rock. I’d be happy to hear Rock 100.5 at, say, my dentist’s office, but there’s nothing on the station of late that really compels me to listen. If I don’t listen for a month, I know I won’t have missed anything.

But, really, is there THAT much demand for another station in Atlanta that plays the Counting Crows and Sting? Come on. Pretty soon they’re going to be fawning all over Coldplay — truly, a band for people who Don’t Like Music — the way Dave FM does.

TH

April 14th, 2009
12:53 pm

Rock 100.5 will now be just another boring-run of the mill-corporate radio station lacking any originality. See ya Rock 100.5!! I’ll just stick to my old 80’s & 90’s cassettes from now on.

Dakota

April 14th, 2009
5:20 pm

They lost me as a listener. I agree that a station should have a “feel” to it. That is what 100.5 had, now they don’t. With some of the crap they play, they should also drop “Rock” from the name. We already have a pretentious station in Dave, don’t need another. After TRG, I go somewhere else.

Party1

April 14th, 2009
6:38 pm

This sux!!! I been laid off, the trailer been reposessed, and 2 exwifes are yelling bout child support, and NOW Rock 100.5 stops playing anything I like!! THIS SUX!!

jarvis

April 15th, 2009
9:51 am

Is Nickelback the worst big-selling band of all time? Probably.

rich

April 15th, 2009
12:32 pm

rock 100.5 has become the river and the river sucks. i am very disapointed in there format change as they once sounded different but now have become the old 96rock and if that format still worked people would be listening still. so its back to the IPOD or satellite radio as the folks at rock 100/5 have no clue what audience they are trying to appeal too. last thing atlanta needs is more ofthe same crap they have been playing for 20 years in this city. but then again atlanta radio is the worst in the country for being boring and played out. and btw who is dave and why does he have a radio station anyway??

Mad as Hell

April 15th, 2009
9:34 pm

If I wanted to hear that Crap I wouldn’t have bothered to turn my radio from the other stations that play that Crap. I was raised on WKLS and was mad when Clear Channel dropped it. I was greatful when Cumulus jump started the Atlanta Radio market with the KLS playlists topped off with the Regular Guys in the morning. Well Gary Lewis, at 10:01 I turn off my internet streaming Rock 100.5, and play Pandora.com until I leave work at 7:30 at night. I tuned into your station from 6 in the morning until I get home at 8 at night. I hope the mid town crowd you are trying to chase after gets you the numbers that you won’t reach. Look at Dave and the River. There is a reason your numbers WERE better. Why would you want to shortchange your station?

OMG! PUPPIES!

April 16th, 2009
5:08 pm

You can’t be all things to all people. They are trying to be 96 Rock, DaveFM and Project all wrapped into one. Blah Blah Blah.

Everytime I turn it over there I’m all I continue to hear it Bad Company.

Now that 99x is back (on 97.7 of all places) maybe I’ll have something to listen to. Assuming it’s the 99x from the early and mid 90s.

Lucid

April 16th, 2009
6:14 pm

I really have to wonder when a real, new, hard rock/alternative station is going to come back to atlanta… We have 100.5 who plays “hits from yester-year”, and Failure 9-6-1 who plays Ozzy and finishes it off with live casting a freaking baseball game… I have learned to love my CD player these days.

Lady Strange

April 17th, 2009
1:33 pm

Wow, I was wondering what had happened to 100.5. Looks like I’m stuck with Project 9-6-1 if I want to hear anything remotely worth listening to, and even they replay they same songs too much.

Thank goodness for my MP3 player.