2011 flashback: 99X at 97.9 moves to 98.9

By RODNEY HO/ rho@ajc.com, originally filed September 12, 2012

We can now call 99X the migrant radio station. It just keeps wandering around.

Cumulus Media, which owns the rock station, plans to moves the signal to 98.9 from 99.1. In a press release, management explained that 98.9 is a much better signal than 99.1, which has been its home for just three months.

The move 99.1 to 98.9 will take place overnight this Thursday morning, September 15th, between 2 and 4 a.m. We’ll know then how much better the signal is.

99X has lost more than half its audience since its move from 97.9 to 99.1 because 99.1 does not cover metro Atlanta nearly as well as 97.9. Its cumulative weekly audience at 97.9 in June was 218,600, according to Arbitron. By August at 99.1, it had fallen to 104,000.

97.9 has since become Journey, pop hits from the 1980s and 1990s and is now generating 176,900 listeners after just a few weeks on the air.

Back in its heyday, 99X was at 99.7, a very strong 100,000 watt signal and would frequently draw more than 400,0o0 listeners a week. The alternative rock station lived there from 1992 to early 2008, when top 40 station Q100 moved from 100.5 to 99.7 and 99X was taken off the FM airwaves and moved online only. Two years later, Cumulus brought 99X back at 97.9, a relatively weak signal. But at least it was back on the FM dial.

For you radio geeks, this is the coverage map for 99.1, which is a mere 99 watts.


Here’s the proposed coverage area of the 250-watt 98.9, according to radio-locator.com, which is comparable to 97.9. (Thanks, Derek for that link!)


Here’s the map for 97.9, which indeed appears identical:


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