Courtesy of Karl Phillips, who sent in a ton of airchecks on reel, here’s one on cassette captured when former Atlanta CHR WAPW “Power 99” flipped to New Rock as 99X. On the tape you’ll hear the old call letters still in use (not WNNX, as this would become), buried in a legal ID buried in a stopset later in this aircheck. The 99X monikker launches just a few minutes into this scoped format change.
At about 12:45 in, you’ll hear… “and now, for posterity, this is the last time you’ll hear…” and the Power 99 jingle played. Very smooth!
Now, your curator has heard a ton of format changes, but this was very classy. They originally kept the CHR jocks during the transition to Rock. Only the name and the music changed. Of course, 99X became somewhat of a legend in Atlanta radio over the years.
22 thoughts on “Format Change: “New Rock” 99X Atlanta is Born | October 26, 1992”
This sounds like this was airchecked during the brief transitional period when the station was jockless. The actual format change took place on October 26th, 1992 at 12 noon with The Bungles “Video Killed The Radio Star” after they’ve played the production piece that’s heard at about midway through this (It’s The Real Thing, etc).
Robyn’s comment is correct. They had been teasing a format flip for a few weeks, with liners like, “Soon, we’ll turn the Power off… Wonder if we can get our deposit back?” Most Power 99 listeners didn’t have a clue about what was coming.
The day of the flip, they kept the morning show on the air until noon. Instead of playing music, they did a 6 hour talk show about the upcoming change. Then at noon, the production piece was played into the Buggles, which launched the format. I was living in Athens, GA at the time and managed to get some of the flip on tape. I’ll see if I can dig it up and send it in for posting.
If you can we’d much appreciate it. Just email me at my address on the front page.
I have a friend at work who is from Atlanta, who says that 99X was the finest rock station he ever heard… raves about the jocks and the huge variety they used to play. His comment to me about it were of disgust because they (in his opinion) watered down the playlist, fired all the good jocks and ruined a great station. It always seems to come down to that bottom line thing, eh?
Thanks a bunch for the comments… and keep em coming!
Your friend was right! 99X WAS a top-self Alternative station in the 90’s. I’ve used to drive to Atlanta just to roll tape (and to check out some trainwatching spots-that’s another story). One of the tapes that I’ve sent to you was several hours of one of those trips that I’ve took back in 1995. That station (as well as WCHZ-Augusta, GA) were my favorite Alternative stations.
As they say, all good things must come to an end. I do hope that things will eventually turn around for them, but I’m not holding my breath.
Actually I meant to say “top-shelf”. I’t about time for me to buy a new keyboard.
The original 99x morning show IS back…kind of. When 99x signed on, the morning show was Leslie Fram, Sean Demery (both carry-overs from Power 99), and producer Jimmy Baron (a new hire at the time). The Morning X with Sean, Leslie, & Jimmy.
Sean was eventually moved to PM drive and they brought in Steve Barnes. The Morning X with Barnes, Leslie, & Jimmy stayed on the air for the next 11 years until Barnes left for a “film career”. Barnes ultimately ended up at WZGC (929 dave fm) to co-host mornings. The 99x morning show THEN became “The Don Miller Morning Show” with Fred Toucher (who moved up from nights), Leslie Fram, and Jimmy Baron.
The name “Don Miller Morning show” was a concept that Jimmy Baron (from what I understand) came up with. It was a very “outside of the box” type name…because there was no one on the show named “Don Miller”. It creaed confusion for listeners (especially those who feared change) so they changed it to Mornings with Toucher, Leslie, & Jimmy.
When Cumulus purchased Susquehana’s radio properties in late 2005, 99x mornings went into a virtual tail spin (as did the entire station, ratings wise). Jimmy Baron was offered a contract renewal for about half of what he was making, so he left.
With increased competition from WZGC, WSRV, & WKLS, they needed to make a change. For several months, mornings consisted of Leslie Fram and PM drive’s Axel. Obviously a temporary fix until something more permanent came along.
Sometime in the mid 1990’s, Sean Demery left for a PD/PM Drive gig in California (SF?). 7 years later, he was approached by the new Cumulus management at 99x to come BACK to Atlanta to do mornings with…Leslie Fram! The ORGINAL 99x morning show. Added to the show was a cat by the name of Jenners. I believe he was a “stunt boy” for a Top 40 in Tampa.
And that’s “The NEW Morning X with Sean, Leslie, & Jenners”…where it is today!
Okay, you can wake up from my boring story now. 😉
OK, time for a round of “Name That Tune”. Can anyone help me ID the song around 2:50?
fyi, Sean went to SF to start up a web-based music service (years before its time). he then went to KITS 105.3 (live 105) as PD… and back to Atlanta, so the story goes.
Song @ 2:50 = “Walk on the Ocean” by Toad the Wet Sprocket.
And it seems 99x will finally come to a end. KSinda sad, lots of great music was played on 99x. We will see how good the online version is in the next few weeks.
Jan 25th – 5:30am It’s over.
My bad, it was the one AFTER the stopset and before Toad The Wet Sproket. Any ideas? Thought it was Sophie B. Hopkins as it sounded like her.
Oh, and who did the sweepers for 99X before Keith Eubanks? Anybody know?
To my recollection -Randy Reeves did the sweepers for 99X before Keith Eubanks when they were Power 99 before the switch to the moniker and format change 99X.
To correct Joey Mills up above it’s not 5:30am, the change from 99X from 99.7fm to 99x.com and for Q100 from 100.5fm to 99.7fm is happening OFFICIALLY at 5:00am ET!
It happened at 5:30am. I have the last hour of 99x on mp3.
Robyn – it’s Moodswings’ “Spiritual High (State of Independence)”. That’s Chrissie Hynde on vocals – I believe that song’s been included on at least one Pretenders’ Greatest Hits.
Hey guys. i love that “power 99” jingle they played just before they unvailed “99 x”. that just proves that radio has gone down the tubes. the production was great… well for the 3 seconds i heard. i looove that jingle!!! you never hear that anymore. I’ve heard a lot about 99 x. the first time i ever heard it was in 1999 when i took a trip to atlanta. it was great!!! well just had to put in my 2 cents. i wished they still produced jingles like that today.
It was Paul Armbruster doing the 99X sweepers and liners before Keith – both are sadly no longer with us. I knew both well and would recognize Paul’s voice (at 7:30 on the tape) anywhere- even with the effects!
BTW that’s Melissa McBride (now a star of AMC’s The Walking Dead) at 17:27 talking about her “X” – and that’s Keith Eubanks at 16:35 right after Paul Armbruster does the 99X ID! Keith was a great commercial writer and producer and voiced many of the spots himself when I worked with him at Power99. So I imagine he continued when it went to 99X. Not sure when Keith started doing the 99X IDs.
It was Paul Armbruster. See my comments below! 🙂
Paul Armbruster went on to do a bunch of other Radio stations in the 90s after 99X was a smash hit. Somewhere along the line people got mixed up with who’s who and Keith Eubanks started getting all those gigs. That’s showbiz!