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Names: Clear Channel and Cumulus
Ages: 41, 15
Occupation: media behemoths
Last Seen: San Antonio, Atlanta
Bee-otched For: blocking the rock in Atlanta
If you love rock - especially new rock - and you live in Atlanta, well, you're screwed.
Last week, Clear Channel pulled the plug on Project 9-6-1, Atlanta's highest-rated rock station for CHR as Power 96.1. This marks the first time in 38 years a rock format is not heard on 96.1, which was WKLS/96 Rock from 1974 to 2006 and Project 9-6-1 2006 to just last week.
Power 96.1 - whose logo, which resembles the contents of a toilet used by a woman on her period, is similar to WNIC/Fresh 100.3 in Detroit - also features Elvis Duran in the morning and Tinker Bell himself, Ryan Seacrest middays. With the demise of Project, it leaves WZGC/93.3 Dave FM as the highest-rated rocker in town. Of course, Dave's AAA while Project was Active Rock, so it won't help Project's listeners much.
Even worse, Dave's owners, CBS announced that in mid-October, it would be flipping WZGC to all-Sports. So in the end, it would leave Atlanta with one full-powered rocker, the low-rated WNNX/Rock 100.5. While the station does play some currents, it plays a buttload of senior citizen rock from bands like Bad Company and 'Skinner.
But, not to fear! WNNX's parent, Cumulus - based in Atlanta - decided to fetch hard rock fans in town a bone... Literally. They flipped their station at 98.9 from Alternative as 99X to Active Rock as 98.9 The Bone shortly after Project's demise. Cumulus head John Dickey told the Atlanta Journal-Constitution that they are "the saviors of rock" and that Clear Channel was "run out of the format" and "dug themselves a hole". While it's agreeable that it's a nice thing that Cumulus has brought a kick-ass rock station back to Atlanta, there's a small catch:
98.9's signal sucks.
That's right! 98.9 is a 250-watt translator station that hardly makes it to most of Atlanta. However, if you have an HD radio and live in Atlanta, you can still get The Bone on 99.7 HD-2 since legally, translators must broadcast full-powered stations.
Ya gotta love corporate radio, folks. Atlanta already has several hit-based stations, so why need another? I know! It's because in some people's minds, rock is dead while CHR is alive and well, bringing soccer moms and their daughters together.
You know, this is why I love companies like Clear Channel and Cumulus. Want to listen to real rock music? Ya now gotta live next door to the translator. What might be more laughable is the fact that a "Bring Back Project 9-6-1" Facebook page has more likes than Rock 100.5's Facebook page. It's sad when a station that had more listeners than the competition goes away in the name of budget cuts.
But then again, what do you expect from a company that overspends on Rush Limbaugh and Glenn Beck, and is $18 BILLION in debt?
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