Another day, another format flip.
This afternoon, Atlanta-based Cumulus has ended Journey 97.9, which played an eclectic mix of 1980s and 1990s pop music for just over a year, in favor of some sort of Q100 “spinoff” station. Songs the new “Q100″ station has played so far include “As Long As You Love Me’ by Justin Bieber, “Hello” by Karmin, “Whistle” by Flo Rida and “Let Me Love You” by Ne Yo.
In a press release, John Dickey, co-COO of Atlanta-based Cumulus, said the company has decided to create a Q100 “brand extension,” so to speak on 97.9. “With so much hit music, we needed to add on,” he said. “Q-100’s 20 at 97.9 will give us the room we need to continue to serve up more hit music than any other station/brand in Atlanta. While Atlanta wakes up to Q-100’s The Bert Show on 99.7, kids can get their hit music fix on Q-100’s 20 at 97.9.”
This is partially a response to Clear Channel’s new Power 96.1, which flipped from hard rock Project 9-6-1 last Wednesday. That new top 40 station is gunning directly after Q100’s big numbers. On Friday, Cumulus dumped alternative 99X at 98.9 in favor of hard rock 98.9/The Bone to pick up disaffected Project listeners.
Notably, neither 97.9 nor 98.9 are on terribly strong signals.
Dave FM, the adult rock station in town since 2004, is going away in favor of sports talk in a few weeks. Atlanta’s Greatest Hits at 106.7 died in May in favor of news talk.
That’s five format changes this year. The moves have been bad news for rock fans and fans of somewhat older pop music. For those folks, it’s a good excuse to go to Spotify, Pandora and Sirius/XM. But it’s been great news for top 40 fans and news/talk folks.
Cumulus operates Kicks 101.5, All News 106.7, Q100, Rock 100.5, 98.9/The Bone and now this Q100’s 20 at 97.9. Clear Channel operates 94.9/The Bull, Power 96.1, Wild 105.7/96.7 (which is skewing more hip hop now), news/talk 640/WGST-AM and 105.3/El Patron.
By Rodney Ho, Radio & TV Talk