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City Greenville, South Carolina
Broadcast area Upstate South Carolina
Branding X98.5
Slogan The Upstate's Alternative
Frequency 98.5MHz FM / 107.3MHz HD2
First air date March 27, 2007
Format Alternative rock
ERP 200 W FM
Class D
Facility ID 156113
Transmitter coordinates 34°56′07″N 82°24′18″W / 34.93519°N 82.40505°W / 34.93519; -82.40505Coordinates: 34°56′07″N 82°24′18″W / 34.93519°N 82.40505°W / 34.93519; -82.40505
Owner Tower Above Media LLC
(leased to Summit Radio)
(Tower Above Media LLC)
Webcast Listen Live (prospective Listen Live link as of 8/6/2012)
Website X985FM.com

W253BG, known on-air as X98.5, is an Alternative rock radio station located in Greenville, South Carolina area. Although licensed as a broadcast translator prohibited from carrying its own programming, it broadcasts under a legal loophole allowed by the Federal Communications Commission, by simulcasting on HD Radio channel 2 of WJMZ FM 107.3, allowing such stations to sidestep the restriction on translators, as well as regulations regarding the excessive concentration of media ownership by a single company in a given media market.


98.5 FM began broadcasting in March 2007 in Arial, re-broadcasting WHRZ-LP in Spartanburg, which carries a Christian Contemporary format. In June 2012, an application was filed to move the station to Paris Mountain in Greenville, with a downgrade from 250 to 200 watts, however allowing the station to cover Greenville County, as well as portions of neighboring Pickens and Spartanburg counties with a solid signal. The station would also re-broadcast Cox Radio's WJMZ-FM's HD2 signal. The station's new tower also houses sister station W258CB, 99.5 Chuck FM.

In early July 2012, shortly after the construction permit was granted, a website linked to Cox surfaced that indicated that "Talk 98.5" would launch, with a countdown to "something to talk about" on August 6 featured on the homepage. On Sunday, August 5, the station went live, running a loop of The Neal Boortz Show from sister station WSB. The following day, at 11am, a local talk show came on the air, referring to "Talk 98.5." Shortly after noon, after playing a montage of sound clips, the true station was launched, as X-98.5, "The Upstate's New Rock Alternative." The first song heard on X-98.5 was We Are Young by Fun.

The station registered websites in September 2013, referring to a format change to a gospel format as 98.5 Praise, Gospel 98.5, Praise 98, or Praise 98.5. However, this format change never took place. In June 2014, rumors began to spread that W253BG will instead flip to a simulcast of WRTH as 98.5/103.3 Earth FM, but that turned out to be a rumor also.

On July 20, 2012, Cox Radio, Inc. announced the sale of W253BG and 22 other stations to Summit Media LLC for $66.25 million. The sale was consummated on May 3, 2013.[1][2]


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