W255CJ

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W255CJ
WWWQ-HD2
99x-logo1.png
City Atlanta, Georgia
Broadcast area Atlanta metro area (central)
Branding 99X
Slogan It's What's Next
Frequency 98.9 MHz FM
First air date mid-2000s
Format Alternative rock
ERP 250 W FM / 96,600W×1% HD
HAAT 305 m (1,001 ft)/
324 m (1,063 ft)
Class D / C0
Facility ID 148550 / 73345
Transmitter coordinates 33°48′26″N 84°20′22″W / 33.80722°N 84.33944°W / 33.80722; -84.33944Coordinates: 33°48′26″N 84°20′22″W / 33.80722°N 84.33944°W / 33.80722; -84.33944
Callsign meaning (serially assigned)
Owner Cumulus Media
(Cumulus Licensing LLC / WNNX LiCo)
Webcast Listen Live
Website

99x.com

whatsnextradio.com

W255CJ FM 98.9 is a 250-watt "broadcast translator" radio station in Atlanta, Georgia, US, airing an alternative rock format known as 99X.

Operation[edit]

Facility[edit]

The station's city of license was previously Tallapoosa (west of metro Atlanta), which is now far beyond its current broadcast range, nearly in Alabama. The station's current facility was a move-in in 2011. Previously, it was programmed as 99X, which originally began on full-power station WNNX (now WWWQ) FM 99.7 in 1992, then reappeared on W250BC FM 97.9, before moving to this station in June 2011. It was then followed by active rock "98-9 The Bone" in September 2012, and Christian AC/country "98-9 The Walk" in February 2013. It switched to a satellite-fed oldies format in August 2013, then flipped to a country format known as "Nash Icon" in late autumn 2014. In November 2015, it became "Warm 98-9", playing all-Christmas music through Christmas, and then to an adult contemporary format the day after. The return of 99X occurred a week later at Midnight on New Year's Day, 2016.

Power and range[edit]

It has a power of 250 watts but at great height, and is transmitted from a "broadcast translator" on the WWWQ FM 99.7 radio tower near North Druid Hills, along with several other stations. It has the same height and coordinates as W250BC 97.9 and W229AG 93.7, indicating that it likely shares an antenna with them via a combiner. While on 99.1 at 99 watts as W256BO, it had a broadcast range of approximately 20 miles (30 km), only somewhat less than the two other stations, which are at 250 watts.[1]

On 99.1, the station had to maintain lower power and a slightly directional antenna due partly to WDEN-FM 99.1 in Macon, which often caused RF interference with the station, particularly early on calm mornings due to overnight temperature inversions that enhance radio propagation. It was required to run at less than 100 watts due to the proximity of WRAS FM 88.5, since the intermediate frequency (IF) of 10.7 MHz used in radio tuners puts the station's IF at 88.4, overlapping the lower half of 88.5's channel. For its initial two weeks on 99.1, the station was required to run at half power due to testing required for all new directional antenna installations.

Even after going to full power, the station lost half its over-the-air listeners because of this, so in July 2011, it applied to change one channel down to 98.9 and increase to 250 watts using the same antenna. Two months later, it received its permit and made the switch to the new frequency in mid September. Interference is now mostly on the opposite side of the metro area due to co-channel WWGA FM 98.9 to the west in Tallapoosa (where what is now W255CJ once had its city of license), and WNGH-FM 98.9 (Georgia Public Broadcasting) to the northwest in Chatsworth. Likewise, W255CJ makes it impossible to hear those stations in metro Atlanta anymore.

Circumventing translator restrictions[edit]

Legally, the station acts as a "translator" for WWWQ HD-2, under a low-power broadcast license system intended to allow main stations to be heard in areas where terrain (or great distance to isolated rural communities) blocks their signal. In this case, the "translator" is instead on the same tower as its parent station where the signal is already extremely strong, and broadcasts programming that cannot otherwise be heard except for the extremely limited number of those receivers equipped with the proprietary digital radio system. (Although translators are prohibited from carrying their own programming, the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) allows stations to ignore this if they are simulcasting an HD Radio channel of the parent station on analog FM, also allowing them to circumvent caps intended to prevent excessive concentration of media ownership.)

Various Frequencies and callsigns[edit]

The station's facility has been through numerous channel changes, requiring it to change broadcast callsigns each time, since translators have the channel number included in their callsigns. These past callsigns and frequencies and their official callsign start dates are:

  • W261AS 100.1 – 2004/06/30
  • W208BE 89.5 – 2006/11/30
  • W209BX 89.7 – 2008/12/03
  • W207CA 89.3 – 2009/06/02
  • W205CI 88.9 – 2009/07/20
  • W258BU 99.5 – 2010/12/08
  • W256BO 99.1 – 2011/06/21
  • W255CJ 98.9 – 2011/09/29

The frequencies from late 2006 to mid-2010 are in the reserved band (88 to 92 MHz), indicating it must have rebroadcast a noncommercial educational station at the time. Prior to each callsign change, the station may have been broadcasting on the frequency under program test authority allowed by its construction permit.

Like 99X's former home on W250BC, W255CJ is owned by Cumulus Media, after their acquisition of Susquehanna Broadcasting. WWWQ and WNNX are also under the same ownership. As of 2011, the FCC still lists W250BC as rebroadcasting parent station WNNX FM ("Rock 100.5" in analog and HD1, previously no HD2). That station forced two other LPFM stations (like W250BC and W255CJ) permanently off-air when it moved to Atlanta as WWWQ in 2001: WGHR at Southern Polytechnic State University, and W264AE from Georgia Public Broadcasting.

After the 2011 purchase of Citadel Broadcasting, its sister stations in Atlanta now include WKHX-FM 100.5 and WYAY FM 106.7, in addition to previous Cumulus holdings WWWQ FM 99.7, WNNX FM 100.5, and W250BC FM 97.9.

History[edit]

For the history of 99X, see WWWQ-HD2.

Previously home of the legendary 99X (after it was moved off of their original home at 99.7 FM/HD1 in 2008, then resurrected on W250BC FM 97.9 in 2009, and moved to 99.1 and then 98.9 in 2011), the station began a new incarnation as active rocker "98-9 The Bone" on September 1, 2012, at Noon. The first song on "The Bone" was "Warrior's Call" by Volbeat. 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 AM, 100.5 relaunched with a full-fledged active rock format. The simulcast ended on February 4 at 10 AM; 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." [2][3] The first song on "The Walk" was "For The Grace of God" by Keith Urban.

On August 25, 2013, 4 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 AM, 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.[4]

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.[5][6][7]

On November 23, 2015, at Midnight, after playing "She's in Love with the Boy" by Trisha Yearwood, W255CJ began stunting with Christmas music, branded as "Warm 98.9".[8] A new format, widely expected to be Soft AC, was expected after the holiday season, in order to compete with WSB-FM. At 2 AM 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.[9]

Previous Logos[edit]

Nash Icon 98.9 logo.png Warm989.jpg

References[edit]

External links[edit]