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Is 99X truly dead? Or in hibernation?

99x-logo-2011When station formats are truly dead, the website urls are usually sent to whatever that particular new format is.

Curiously, when you type in www.99x.com, it doesn’t go to its replacement, the harder-sounding 98.9/the Bone.

Rather, the page is still sitting there, inert, with the old jock lineup and the last few songs played. The station’s annual Mistletoe Jam with Bush is still happening December 4 at the Tabernacle.

The Twitter and Facebook 99X pages are still alive.

So you have to wonder if Cumulus is parking the station for now, perhaps plugging it in soon on 97.9, where the clearly temporary Q100, 20 at 97.9 is at the moment. The 97.9 signal is rather weak but it’s better than nothing. 99X sounded a bit more aggressive in its mix than Dave FM but it also played many acts Dave did, such as the Avett Brothers, Coldplay, Florence + the Machine and the Wallflowers.

I would bet if they did bring it back, it would sound softer to counter sister stations Rock 100.5 and 98.9/The Bone to try to draw some of the disenfranchised Dave fans. (Ironically, Dave in many ways was an attempt to pick up 99X fans who had grown up but still wanted to hear new music. That’s why they hired Steve Barnes, Yvonne Monet and Jimmy Baron.)

For many people. the format really died years ago and that the most recent incarnation on a weak signal was a shadow of its former self. And it kept moving around – first 97.9, then birefly 99.1, then 98.9. 99X’s heyday was from the mid-1990s through the mid-2000s.

I also was wondering if these two station’s departures could hurt venues such as Variety Playhouse.  Maybe not.

“I’m not sure if radio means that much to me,” said Brad Syna, who run Variety Playhouse, which plays a lot of acts that Dave and 99X highlighted. “But I’d rather have them here than not here. It’s weird. Do we need another top 40 or sports talk station in town?”

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52 comments Add your comment

Reduced2Streaming

October 25th, 2012
7:52 am

The old Format has returned AND….with some of the Original Jocks
Live365’s EX99

Sad Music Fan

October 25th, 2012
8:24 am

Forget 99X! Why did DaveFM 92.9 go to sports talk? I can go to 680 for sports, but now my favorite music station in Atlanta (and the only one worth listening to regularly) is gone.

Dale

October 25th, 2012
8:53 am

Atlanta radio is in a sad state of disarray. I spent many years working in radio & glad I’m not a part of it now.

Calling It Like It Is

October 25th, 2012
8:56 am

Even though the genre of “Alternative” may be dead, the fact that some of the old jocks created EX99, it need a terrestrial home. If the format was dead, then why would they be in the top 10 Alternative broadcasts on Live 365? The content has legs and is viable. The amount of likes and fans that they have had since they “went on the air” sure as hell beats what what Power 96.1 is doing with Clear Channel behind them. The commercial they are running on TV is a generic commercial, with a couple of Atlanta references thrown in. They messed up one night last week and instead of everything being Power 96.1, it was all I Heart Radio. Exactly the same commercial.

The only bad thing on the Live 365 program is that it is indeed a podcast and they replay one that they recorded before and they are not being as diverse as they could be or go as deep as they could be, and I’m sure that has to do with royalties. It would be great to have a heritage alternative station that plays the old and some of the new. Alternative is not what the old 99X morphed into or what Project 961 was. It is what EX99 is playing, but is supposed to be going away on Friday at 5. I know there are people out there that say good riddance, but there are some of us that still listen to radio and still like the genre of music.

dje5717

October 25th, 2012
9:09 am

Atlanta radio has reeked for many years, thank God for Satellite radio for the car and pandora/spotify for the home/computer.

Decatur Greg

October 25th, 2012
9:27 am

None of the changes seem to have affected what I listen to. My iPod

sana

October 25th, 2012
9:28 am

NEEDS MOR RAP.

[...] Is 99x really dead? [...]

bubbles

October 25th, 2012
10:00 am

A city of five million without any programming for baby boomers through gen-Xers. No oldies, classic rock, 80s, classic country…it’s bizarre. It’s no doubt these age ranges are NOT interested in the soulless crap being foisted on us by the music industry and terrestrial radio. Are we to listen to “news,” political hacks, or sports blather incessantly? Sure, those who can afford it can invest in new satellite receivers and fork over money for yet another monthly bill (while still being subjected to advertising!)…sad it has come to this. Do the parent companies of Clear Channel, Cumulus, Cox, and the other catalysts in this travesty have a stake in satellite radio as well, so they’ll profit either way? Our hand is being forced: it’s either xm or podcasts. ATL radio is toast.

K-Ster

October 25th, 2012
10:15 am

People are complaining big time about station changes. What happened to popping in a CD or MP3 player in your car, where YOU are the dang jock?

In any case, I’m still fine with STAR 94, especially the morning show. It’s less sleazy and ‘desperate for attention’ like The Bert Show, and they play a decent variation of music (unlike years past where STAR 94 was almost on repeat of the same 10 songs…Remember those jokes?).

c dog

October 25th, 2012
10:20 am

99.7 is number one in music and fun…oh yah, pre-99x

drew

October 25th, 2012
10:44 am

There’s not a single commercial radio station playing worthwhile music anyway…so I say, “good riddance”! Competition has killed them, and it’s a good thing. Let there be more talk-news-radio, and talk-sports-radio, and let’s leave the music programming to those who actually appreciate it, primarily, non-commercial stations (college stations, community-oriented stations, NPR, etc) and satellite radio.

Between mp3’s, ipods, CD’s, and satellite radio, we have more control and variety than we’ve EVER had with commercial radio. Every music oriented commercial station in Atlanta could shut down today and I wouldn’t even notice it…wannabe-comedians trying to pass themselves off as DJ’s, all the while playing the same crappy music day after day after day…

Change is good…especially when it kills corporate controlled mainstream commercial radio.

Peach Buzz

October 25th, 2012
10:47 am

With so many options these days (HD radio, smart phone streaming apps, iPod, car stereos that play MP3s, etc.) commercial-based radio is the dead model walking. Why would anyone want to listen to that garbage anymore? 99X was just another mainstream pop station claiming to play “alternative” music throughout the last two decades. Their local spots regularly consisted of the same Drivin & Crying, REM, and Indigo Girls songs played ad nauseum – I mean, really guys? Not to mention the narcissism of their DJs oozing from the car speakers as Barnes, Lesley and Jimmy read off celebrity sleeze to the Larry Sanders Show’s theme song day after grueling day, pretending to be hip to youth culture instead of the middle aged has-beens that they always were. What a joke. Let’s hope the 99x website gets removed once the domain lease expires. Good riddance to this slacker chic mainstay.

Chris

October 25th, 2012
11:24 am

Had no idea about EX99. Thanks!

Richard Bagge

October 25th, 2012
11:30 am

I was at a traffic light this morning next to somebody so oblivious to whatever commercial station that he had tuned to that he had not noticed the song had ended and he was jamming at maximum volume to an advertisement for a furniture store.

Forty years I’ve lived in or near this town, and I still don’t understand why people who claim to love new rock music don’t turn LEFT of the dial and listen to WRAS or WREK. No commercials, better music, DJs who barely mumble, much less tawk.

PK

October 25th, 2012
12:23 pm

for all of those who suggest listening to a CD or your iPod, where do you find NEW Music ? Eventually, you’ll get tired of listening to the same old music. And if not, you have no taste anyway.

good riddance

October 25th, 2012
12:44 pm

I’m glad Dave FM is gone. Most of the listeners were a bunch of yuppies wanting to be hip. The last thing those types of people need is the platform to conform with a large group.

That Dude Says...

October 25th, 2012
12:49 pm

PK… It’s called reading, internet, and word of mouth.

CarolinaHiker

October 25th, 2012
12:53 pm

Just tell me where Mara lands.

I Can Has Google

October 25th, 2012
12:59 pm

Uh, PK, I see that you’re using the internet here to comment. The same graphics based networking interface also functions as a new music finder of immense power. Try allmusic.com. Type in the name of a group you like and follow the influence and related group tree forever. Or simply look a little south on this page and click on the link to our good friends at Paste. NPR puts new streaming albums up all the time if you’d like to try before you buy. I’m not even scratching the surface. You’re a time traveler from 1978 right?

Where's The Rock

October 25th, 2012
1:00 pm

What happened to rock in this town? There’s nothing. I don’t want classic rock, rap, pop etc… Thankfully I have satellite radio to get hard rock and other music, but it would be nice to not have to pay for it.

SP

October 25th, 2012
1:03 pm

Oh, I sure hope 99x comes back on the air!! I’m in dire need of some Mumford & Sons and other fun alternative bands!!! I am now forced to figure out the new alternative bands via iTunes and internet radio stations in Chicago and LA. Atlanta radio execs need a swift kick in the a** for thinking the only music ATL residents want to hear is hip hop and pop music. BRING BACK AN ALTERNATIVE STATION HERE PEOPLE!!

snottrocket

October 25th, 2012
1:07 pm

There are a few things to consider here:

1) Rock is currently on ignore by the music industry. Not sure why but it is.

Rock has largely been ignored by the industry…pay attention to any awards show and you’ll see what I’m talking about. Grammy awards used to have 12 categories for hard rock…now there’s 4 and they’re more an after thought…a sidebar before the commercials while people area applauding. Billboard music awards? A joke. Adele had nominations in almost every category, including ROCK VOCAL? I like Adele and love the neo-soul sound, but she’s as much a rock artist as Skrillex is a Jazz artist.

99x, was a breakout station: a majority, if not all, of the alternative/modern rock/punk/electronic tracks that have been heard on every top 40 station in Atlanta got played first on 99x…even Dave followed the 99x standard.

Alternative isn’t so much dead..more like redefining itself. 99x was always more of a commercialized version of college rock radio which is part of the reason it was successful, plus the imaging but it’s target market was gen-x and that imagine appealed to the gen-x crowd. But that crowd has, mostly matured, and moved on to a different attitude. Which brings me to my next point…

2) Radio has changed to the point where I think it may as well disregard the 16-35 crowd because, and I put this delicately, terrestrial is becoming a retro format. As 16/17 year old kids start driving…they want music..but they’ve got ipods and smartphones and they want control. They have had instant everything for most of their lives so it shouldn’t be a surprise if that crowd is more interested in using formats that suit the immediate need and give them what they want to listen to without having to endure what they don’t want.

Steaky Cha Cha

October 25th, 2012
1:50 pm

790 is moving to 97.9 cha chas. You can all get more of me!!

Billy

October 25th, 2012
2:30 pm

Rock is dead. Except for a mild resurgence in the late 90s, early 2000s, early 90s grudge killed the goose that laid the golden eggs. CD players are the best revenge. I don’t listen to music unless in my car or on the computer, so the ability to make CDs and forgo the expensive SirusXM option is best. I don’t blame kids, they don’t know quaility. I don’t blame musicians, as the execs tell them what to play. I blame the execs, who took good music and turned it into rap, (poetry, drums, no music). Katy Perry is fun to look at, but her music is horrible, as is all the rest. RIP, good music; it was fun while it lasted…

Braves #17 Fan

October 25th, 2012
2:30 pm

Typical spinning headline.

Lewis

October 25th, 2012
2:46 pm

dje5717 – Satellite radio?? Really?? LOL Satellite radio exists for people who can’t figure out how to work an iPod and don’t care about sound quality.

drew

October 25th, 2012
2:55 pm

PK & SP…start with checking out Slacker Radio and Pandora; both are free online music “stations” and allow you to select artists you like, and then provide you with a list of other similar artists. You can create your own stations, playing only music you want to hear. You’ll probably discover some bands you like that you’ve never heard of before.

Turns out the Buggles were wrong; video didn’t kill the radio star…the internet did it.

Juan

October 25th, 2012
3:08 pm

Rodney, I still get e-mail newsletters from 99X, “99XMAIL” that only promotes Mistletoe Jam, but also Brouhaha and upcoming concerts from old 99X artists. They usually include a graphic alluding to a potential comeback… so they’re definitely up to something!

Juan

October 25th, 2012
3:09 pm

*not* only promotes Mistletoe Jam, sorry.

Perry

October 25th, 2012
3:23 pm

Atlanta CERTAINLY does not need ANOTHER talk station … news, sports or otherwise! AM is full of them. Please bring back DAVE FM … or … 99X!!! PJ

Smokin_SS

October 25th, 2012
3:26 pm

so Steaky Cha Cha – you mention 790 is moving to 97.9 cha chas. You can all get more of me!!

sounds great How can that happen??? 97.9 is a Dickey/Cumulus station that has 680 the fan and 790 is a Lincoln Financial Media station. plus isn’t Steak going the TV route w/ focus on Food/Fun along with Macy’s T-Shirt sales?

Berta

October 25th, 2012
4:01 pm

We need a rock station with a strong signal! I love 100.5, but cannot pick it up where I live (Winder). I’m really missing my rock since Project 9-6-1 left me!! :/

snottrocket

October 25th, 2012
4:15 pm

Aside from the standard ad every 5 or six songs, Spotify does the trick…haven’t used Grooveshark in a while, though.

@Lewis: as if MP3’s are all that much better..average joe doesn’t hear the difference between 96 and 128..and iPods don’t run FLAC files, last I checked.

Glenn

October 25th, 2012
4:39 pm

If someone does what Dave FM did the last month of its existence it would be the biggest station in this city . The suits just don’t get it . When it comes to radio less is more in things that don’t revolve around the play list .

joe

October 25th, 2012
4:51 pm

c dog sounds like an ignorant obama supporter saying 99.7 is “fun.” It sucks. Shut it dude.

Lance

October 25th, 2012
5:45 pm

They are starting to put Pandora in new cars.

Once my phone, my computer and my car can access Spotify and Pandora, radio will be dead.

James

October 25th, 2012
6:53 pm

They keep saying the “format” died years ago but if it wasn’t for 99x and then Dave, bands like .fun, Gotye, Alabama Shakes, SSPU to name a few, wouldn’t have been heard on their way up the charts. Star 94 and Q100 were late to the party with .fun and Gotye.

Dee Osborne

October 25th, 2012
8:48 pm

I want to listent to music in my car without fooling around with with my smartphone, the IPod I don’t have, searching for the CD, or even punching my presets on my radio. All that fooling around takes my eyes off the road and risks someone’s well being. I had that with DaveFM. I did prefer the Radio Without Rules format over the latest Atlanta’s Finest Rock.

Where I live, north Cherokee, of the stations listed above WRAS 88.5 has the best signal and the least talk. It’s not what it used to be musically though and other than the Sunday Spoken Word show I’m finding it difficult to stay tuned.

And I want more music and less talk, especially talk that reduces women to nothing but breasts. Which was the problem I found with every rock station that I flipped through today. Or, the music played is stuff I’ve been hearing since 1970. If I never hear some of those bands again, it would be fine with me. Why does Q100 need 3 frequencies? Same songs, same too much DJ, none of what I want to hear. Maybe I’ll just ride in silence.

JDawg

October 26th, 2012
1:08 am

@Dee “I want to listent to music in my car without fooling around with with my smartphone, the IPod I don’t have, searching for the CD, or even punching my presets on my radio. All that fooling around takes my eyes off the road and risks someone’s well being. I had that with DaveFM.”

That pretty much sums up my daily commute (50 min. ea way). Sure, I’d flip to a CD or different channel sometimes, but 75% of the time I could basically “set it and forget it” on Dave for happy motoring. It may sound silly, but for those with longer commutes, it’s a quality of life thing (a little thing, but little things make a difference).

I appreaciate 88.5, 89.3, 91.1 for what they are, and check them on a regular basis, but they definitely aren’t reliable “set/forget” stations. The past two days I’ve been scanning other stations (in addition to aforementioned frequencies)…and scanning…and scanning. Very annoying/frustrating, so until a new station with some semblance of quality music comes back, I’m sticking with CD’s and will randomly check the college/community/public stations.

Commercial radio in Atlanta is officially pathetic.

Swann

October 26th, 2012
5:51 am

I just got back from a small town in Canada…they had better stateions than Atlanta. Sad.

Nono

October 26th, 2012
6:01 am

Rap is only part of the word… C-R-A-P!

I Cool

October 26th, 2012
7:14 am

atl radio scene—dead. Go with satellite.

The Austrian Brotherhood

October 26th, 2012
8:12 am

Why wuss out on that krap when you can listen to real man music ya bunch of softies.

jm tuffley

October 26th, 2012
1:13 pm

PK- Depends on what kind of new music you’re looking for. My go-to is usually BBC 6 Music. Mostly Alternative leaning but they do play just about everything. Steve Lamaq’s show (on at about 2pm our time) probably has the highest concentration of new stuff. Tom Robinson’s show is also good and plays a lot Brit indie and unsigned bands.

Spotify is quite good- there are a few apps to help point you toward the new stuff (the We Are Hunted app’s even breaks it down by gerne and has an emerging chart- which is nice).

Rob Levy does a great weekly show out of KDHX in St Louis called Juxtaposition. Live on Wednesday nights, but has a streamed 2 week archive.

jm tuffley

October 26th, 2012
1:20 pm

Almost forgot. For local options, WREK and Album 88 was already mentioned further up in the comments here- but worth repeating.

[...] Is 99X Truly Dead? – Rodney Ho questions if 99X is really gone for sure. The website is still live and so are the Facebook and Twitter pages. I really hope it doesn’t go away. [...]

Dave Listeners!

October 26th, 2012
3:50 pm

For all of you sad about daveFM, there is a terrific Minnesota Public Radio station called 89.3 The Current that streams their broadcast (they’ve even got an app for both ios and android) and the playlist is nothing but AAA goodness. Check them out, thecurrent.org. You won’t be sorry.

Tony

October 26th, 2012
5:04 pm

Thanks for those who turned me on to EX99 on Live365, thanks. A little too late, though; it’s playing its last song now. Even the zombie version of 99X is dead.

JS

October 27th, 2012
12:17 am

Wow, this radio market can’t get much worse. Thankfully there are the public stations below 92 (91.9 jazz, 90.1 classical, 88.5 rock) otherwise it’s all Pandora or internet radio for me.

But NOT Live365. Sorry, I’ll miss the team, but that’s just unacceptable.