Radio briefs: Old School 99.3/1010, Sonic in San Diego, Q100 at 97.9 going all Christmas, Lois Reitzes

Old School 99.3/1010, which debuted on the FM side in October, has shifted its music mix, getting rid of the R&B from the 1970s in favor of late 1980s through the early 2000s with a harder hip-hop edge.

Core artists include Mary J Blige, Notorious BIG, Outkast, 2Pac, Goodie Mobb, TLC, Jermaine Dupri, Monica, Jagged Edge, the Beastie Boys, Jay-Z, NAS, 112 and Lil Jon.

It had played 1970s music to differentiate itself from Majic and Kiss when it was only on the AM side, but GM Steve Hegwood thinks a more hip-hop feel might differentiate it more from those two much stronger signaled stations, which focus more on R&B.  He is aiming to draw 34 to 49 year olds who grew up with music from that era while his sister station Streetz 94.5 goes after teens through 34 year olds.

The FM signal is very limited and skews west. The AM signal is AM, which means it's not very clear but covers more territory, at least during the day.  You can also listen here on the main site or on TuneIn here.

UPDATE 12/15/14: The signal was moved closer to downtown Atlanta in mid December, so a bigger populace are now able to here it.

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Sonic, who spent two years in Atlanta at Power 96.1, is now at Energy 103.7 in San Diego.

Sean “Sonic” Leckie, who left top 40 station Power 96.1 in September after two years, quickly found a new job back in his home city of San Diego at Energy 103.7. He is the afternoon host there.

"It's good to be home with family and friends," he texted me.

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Q100 at 97.9 is set to go all Christmas with a top 40 skew later this month.  I'm not sure how many "classics" the station will play from classic artists vs. covers by current artists. (Christmas stations nowadays hardly ever play many original holiday songs.)

The signal, like 99.3, is relatively weak so this won't have the impact the way B98.5 or Peach 94.9 had when they played classic Christmas tunes by the likes of Bing Crosby and the Carpenters.

Fish 104.7 had Christmas all to itself last year and benefited from the ratings boost. The contemporary Christian station usually changes over right before Thanksgiving and blends a mix of secular classics ("Wonderful Christmastime, "Please Come Home For Christmas") with more religious tunes ("Hark! The Herald Angels Sing" and "Joseph's Lullaby").

B98.5, which went all Christmas for nearly a decade until 2011, was not hurt by dropping all Christmas the past couple of years and given its younger skew, it's  unlikely the station will ever go back.

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Lois Reitzes this week celebrates here 35th anniversary at 90.1/WABE-FM. She is the longest-running host in Atlanta radio. Her job will change on the FM dial soon. Her Second Cup classical music show will be moved to the HD channel and she will host a 10 a.m. to noon cultural arts program. WABE is cutting classical music soon from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. for talk programming.

List of Atlanta radio stations

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About the Author

Rodney Ho
Rodney Ho
Rodney Ho covers radio and television for the Atlanta Journal-Constitution.
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