Jill Nelson returns to 99X as an evening jock

She is the latest person to return to the station, which is now packed with original DJs.
Jill Melancon will return to 99X Nov. 20, 2023, after a 15-year absence. CONTRIBUTED

Credit: CONTRI

Credit: CONTRI

Jill Melancon will return to 99X Nov. 20, 2023, after a 15-year absence. CONTRIBUTED

99X has brought back yet another original radio host: Jill Melancon, who goes professionally as Jill Nelson. .

She starts Monday, Nov. 27, and will be heard 7 p.m. until midnight. She will resurrect the original name of her show: Planet Jill.

99X, in the meantime, has seen ratings jump in recent months. In October, it garnered its best monthly Nielsen ratings since the station returned last December, finishing No. 3 among 25-54 year olds behind only 97.1/The River and V-103.

Brian Phillips, chief content officer for Atlanta-based Cumulus Media, was the program director during 99X’s early years and given his current position at Cumulus, was able to bring back not only the station’s original alternative rock format but also many of its original players.

The surprisingly strong ratings and revenue enabled Phillips to hire Melancon. He called her an “important original contributor. It’s time for us to add some cool and fun at night.”

Melancon is joining a station that includes fellow on-air hosts who were all around during 99X’s 1990s heyday including morning hosts Steve Barnes and Leslie Fram, midday host Steve Craig, afternoon host Will Pendarvis and weekend host Matt Jones.

“I have so many good memories of my time there and the people I worked with ― and not just the other jocks,” said Melancon. “It truly wasn’t like a job. Instead, it was more of a family. Going back is like heading home for a family reunion after not seeing my family for a really long time. Like a family, there are always going to be disagreements, but you know that you are always there for each other. It’s good to be home.”

Melancon worked either part time or full time at 99X from 1992 to 2008.

Melancon over the years has also done traffic and jockey work at other stations, taught at different schools and produced podcasts for Creative Loafing.

Since its return, 99X has focused largely on classic alternative music, only occasionally spinning newer music from older acts.

Melancon said she plans to air an hour of new music every evening though which hour has not been finalized.