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WWWQ-HD2
Digital subchannel of WWWQ, Atlanta
CityAtlanta, Georgia
Broadcast areaAtlanta metropolitan area
Frequency99.7 MHz · HD2 (HD Radio)
Branding99X Atlanta
SloganIt's What's Next
Programming
FormatAlternative rock
Ownership
OwnerCumulus Media Partners
(Cumulus Licensing LLC)
WNNX, WKHX-FM, WWWQ, WWWQ-HD3
History
First air date
c. December 2004
Technical information
Facility IDn/a (WWWQ: 73345)
Classn/a (WWWQ: C0)
ERPn/a (WWWQ: 100,000 watts)
HAATn/a (WWWQ: 340 meters)
Transmitter coordinates
33°48′26″N 84°20′22″W / 33.80722°N 84.33944°W / 33.80722; -84.33944
Translator(s)98.9 W255CJ (Atlanta)
Links
WebcastListen Live
Website99x.com

WWWQ-HD2 (99.7-2 FM) – branded 99X – is a digital subchannel of Atlanta market radio station WWWQ (99.7 FM). Owned by Cumulus Media, WWWQ-HD2 functions as a commercial alternative rock radio station, serving the Atlanta metropolitan area. Using the proprietary technology HD Radio for its main digital transmission, WWWQ-HD2 also simulcasts over low-power analog translator W255CJ (98.9 FM), and streams online. The WWWQ-HD2 studios are located in the Atlanta suburb of Sandy Springs, while the WWWQ-HD2 and W255CJ transmitters both reside in Atlanta's Druid Hills neighborhood.

History

What was then WNNX (99.7 FM) in Atlanta signed on HD Radio operations in December 2004; WNNX-HD1 carried a direct simulcast of WNNX's standard analog transmission, an alternative rock format branded "99X", while WNNX-HD2 would carry classic alternative rock, branded as 99XS. On May 5, 2006, Cumulus Media acquired WNNX owner Susquehanna Radio.

Cumulus performed a series of format changes and call letter changes on January 25, 2008. As part of these moves, WNNX-HD2 changed format from classic alternative rock back to the alternative rock format heard on WNNX; and rebranded the subchannel as 99X;[1] this coincided with WNNX changing format from alternative rock over to contemporary hit radio branded as "Q100".[2] WNNX's callsign was changed to WWWQ on January 29, 2008; thus, the subchannel callsign was changed to WWWQ-HD2. In effect, this new WWWQ-HD2 licensed to Atlanta (99.7-2 FM) became the successor to the previous WNNX licensed to Atlanta (99.7 FM).

Fifteen months later, 99X returned to the FM airwaves in Atlanta. On April 16, 2009, 99X announced that they would be returning to the radio airwaves on April 17 at 9:09 am. At that time, 99X signed-on at its new dial position of 97.9 FM, with "Know Your Enemy" by Green Day being the first song played.[3][4]

On June 9, 2011, 99X began simulcasting on 99.1 FM (W258BU, now W256BO). A few days later, W250BC then began stunting with different genres of music, as well as Atlanta news and history bits and periodic announcements that 99X had moved to the new frequency. At noon on June 17, W250BC launched a new "gold"-based "hot AC" format branded as "Journey 97-9".[5] That station's format and imaging is virtually identical to that of WNNF in Cincinnati, Ohio, which was launched in early June 2011, and also shares the "Journey" moniker.

On September 15, 2011, 99X moved from 99.1 to 98.9, in order to increase the station's power. The translator's callsign was also changed to W255CJ.

On August 31, 2012, at 6 PM, W255CJ unexpectedly began stunting with a ticking clock and a four-minute clip of songs featured on a new active rock format to debut the following day at noon; the final song on 99X at 98.9 was "Up All Night" by Blink 182.[6] WWWQ-HD2 and W255CJ changed formats to active rock branded 98-9 The Bone on September 1, 2012, at Noon. The first song on "The Bone" was "Warrior's Call" by Volbeat.[7][8] The station displaced 99X after nearly a year run on the 98.9 frequency. 99X was less than two months away from its 20th anniversary on October 26.

The Bone was born after longtime active-rock station "Project 9-6-1" (WKLS FM 96.1) flipped to top 40 three days earlier. The huge protest that arose because of the flip prompted Cumulus Media to resurrect the format on one of their stations, in this case, 98.9. The new format sounds like a cross between alternative 99X and hard-rock Project 9-6-1. Unlike most format flips, the 99X staff was not immediately fired, indicating there may be a future for it, possibly on another Cumulus station, pending an announced flip to sports radio of CBS Radio's alternative "Dave FM" (WZGC FM 92.9) in October 2012.

On January 28, 2013, W255CJ and sister station WNNX ("Rock 100.5") began promoting changes to the two stations on their Facebook and Twitter pages, hinting a "bigger and better change" to come February 1. The rumors that state the announcements are a possible merger of the two formats on one frequency, presumably on 100.5, was confirmed two days later, and took place at Midnight, when 98.9 and 100.5 began simulcasting (the final song on "The Bone" was "Self Esteem" by The Offspring). At 10 a.m., 100.5 relaunched with a full-fledged active rock format. The simulcast ended on February 4 at 10 a.m.; following a two-hour stunt of clips of songs with "Walk" in the title, the station flipped to a country-leaning Christian AC, branded as The Walk.[9][10] The first song on "The Walk" was "For The Grace of God" by Keith Urban.

On August 25, 2013, four websites were registered that would signify a format change to classic hits as 98.9 The True Oldies Channel, The True Oldies Channel 98.9, Atlanta's True Oldies 98.9, or Oldies 98.9. This would be the third format change on 98.9 in a calendar year, and would bring the oldies format back to Atlanta after WYAY dropped it for all-news in May 2012. On August 26, at 11:00 a.m., the station began stunting with songs from the 1960s with the word "Walk" in the title. One hour later, the station relaunched as True Oldies 98.9, launching with "Jumping Jack Flash" by the Rolling Stones.[11]

On June 28, 2014, W255CJ switched from The True Oldies Channel to Westwood One's "Good Time Oldies" format, as Cumulus discontinued syndicating the former.

On August 15, 2014 at Noon, W255CJ flipped to a traditional country format branded as Nash Icon 98.9, a spin-off of the Nash FM brand focusing on a mix of veteran and modern country artists. W255CJ was, alongside Savannah sister WZAT, one of the first two stations to adopt the format.[12][13][14]

On November 23, 2015, at Midnight, after playing "She's in Love with the Boy" by Trisha Yearwood, W255CJ began stunting with Christmas music, and rebranded as Warm 98.9.[15][16] A new format, widely expected to be Soft AC, was expected after the holiday season, in order to compete with WSB-FM. At 2 a.m. on December 26, the station launched a mainstream adult contemporary format, with "You Make My Dreams" by Hall & Oates as the first song played. The station utilized Westwood One's "AC Total" network feed. At first, this appeared to be the permanent format; however, this turned out to also be a stunt. At Midnight on January 1, 2016, after playing "Don't Stop Believin'" by Journey (which ended up being abruptly stopped halfway through), 99X and its alternative rock format returned to Atlanta, with "S.O.B." by Nathaniel Rateliff & the Night Sweats being the first song played.[17]

On April 12, 2018, W255CJ, the translator which broadcasts the "99X" format on the terrestrial FM band, was forced off-the-air by the FCC due to interference complaints by WWGA in Tallapoosa. "99X" would remain on WWWQ's HD-2 sub-channel, the iHeartRadio and 99X mobile applications, and online in the interim. W255CJ would remain off air until December 21, 2018, when the translator returned to air, this time with a directional antenna to protect WWGA.[18][19]

FM translator

Broadcast translator for WWWQ-HD2
Callsign Frequency City of license Facility ID ERP HAAT Class Transmitter coordinates
W255CJ 98.9 MHz Atlanta 148550 180 watts 306 meters D 33°48′26″N 84°20′22″W / 33.80722°N 84.33944°W / 33.80722; -84.33944

References

  1. ^ "Q100 Atlanta To Move to 99.7, 99X To Go Online - RadioInsight". radioinsight.com. January 25, 2008.
  2. ^ "99X Atlanta Signs-Off, Q100 Moves In - Format Change Archive". formatchange.com. January 25, 2008.
  3. ^ Cumulus to Return 99X to the Atlanta Airwaves. "Radio Online". radioonline.com. April 16, 2009.
  4. ^ Ho, Rodney (April 17, 2009). "Radio and TV Talk: Morning Mash with the return of 99X — to 97.9". Atlanta Journal-Constitution. Retrieved December 15, 2019.
  5. ^ "Media Confidential: 'Journey' 97-9 FM Debuts In Atlanta". Media Confidential. June 17, 2011. Retrieved December 15, 2019.
  6. ^ Ho, Rodney (August 12, 2012). "Radio and TV Talk: 99X at 98.9 becomes the Bone". Atlanta Journal-Constitution. Retrieved December 15, 2019.
  7. ^ "99X Atlanta Is No More; The Bone Debuts". RadioInsight. September 1, 2012. Retrieved December 15, 2019.
  8. ^ "98.9 The Bone Launches". Format Change Archive. September 1, 2012. Retrieved December 15, 2019.
  9. ^ "Cumulus Planning More Atlanta Moves". RadioInsight. February 1, 2013. Retrieved December 15, 2019.
  10. ^ http://atlradioinsider.blogspot.com/2013/01/flip-watch-989-bone-rock-1005-all-news.html
  11. ^ "Oldies Returns To Atlanta". RadioInsight. August 26, 2013. Retrieved December 15, 2019.
  12. ^ Ho, Rodney (August 15, 2014). "Oldies 98.9 becomes older-skewing country NASH Icon 98.9". Atlanta Journal-Constitution. Cox Media Group. Retrieved August 16, 2014.
  13. ^ "Nash Icons launches across the country". Radio Insight. Retrieved August 16, 2014.
  14. ^ "Wanted for Radio: More Country Greats". Billboard. Retrieved August 16, 2014.
  15. ^ "AC Warm 98.9 Debuts In Atlanta". RadioInsight. December 26, 2015. Retrieved December 15, 2019.
  16. ^ Ho, Rodney (November 25, 2015). "Radio and TV Talk: Cumulus kills Nash Icon 98.9 after 15 months". Atlanta Journal-Constitution. Retrieved December 15, 2019.
  17. ^ "99X Returns Again". Format Change Archive. January 1, 2016. Retrieved December 15, 2019.
  18. ^ "FCC Shuts Down 99X Atlanta Over Interference Complaints". RadioInsight. April 12, 2018. Retrieved December 15, 2019.
  19. ^ 99X Atlanta Returns Again Radioinsight - December 21, 2018
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