Update 09.10.12: A press release has confirmed more details of the new EX99, found online at EX99radio.com. The channel will launch at 7AM Eastern on September 13, 2012 and will feature of number of the personalities detailed in the original article.
From the press release, “EX99 Radio will feature personalities like Barnes, Jimmy Baron, Steve Craig, Jill and more to be announced soon with invitations out to Leslie Fram, Will Pendarvis and Sean Demery.”
A DeadJournalist.com exclusive
It appears a group of current and former Atlanta radio personalities may getting the band back together, after all.
Led by Steve Barnes, it seems that a group of Atlanta-radio legends are involved with the pending launch of EX99, a streaming radio station that will attempt to, in part, fill the void left in the Atlanta market by recent and pending format changes on over-the-air radio. According the the station’s Facebook page, the site is set to go live on September 13, 2012.
Joining Barnes could be Leslie Fram, Jimmy Barron, Axle Lowe and Steve Craig, all former colleagues at 99x (WNNX) who rose to stardom behind big rates and the rise of the Alternative radio format in the mid-1990′s.
Barnes – who with Fram (a former morning co-host and award-winning program director at WNNX) left for the New York market last decade after a falling out with station management – is spearheading the new, on-line station.
Although giving no timeline on how long the station will be on the air, he did say that he hopes to recapture aspects of what made 99X a powerhouse for almost a decade.
In a dialog I had with Barnes this morning about the new station’s format, he said that along with “a jukebox of the ‘great’ 99x years” that has been missing from the Atlanta market, EX99 will play new music as well.
When asked about the type music – new Alternative rock, post-Indie, etc., he said he was, “not going to define it as we did when we started 99x. It just has to sound good.”
The new EX99 (coyly named in reference to being ex-99x staff) has set-up a Facebook page.
Word of the new station came from Jimmy Barron’s Twitter account, with a link to the Facebook page with @’s of Barnes, Fram, Lowe and Craig – whose time at DaveFM 92.9 may come to an end once the station’s format changes to Sports Talk later this month.
As first reported by Rodney Ho in the AJC, the staff at Dave FM 92.9 is under a gag order to not discuss the formatting change, so Craig is unable to comment.
Fram has most recently been working as Senior VP at CMT, while Barron has been working on his own site and appearing, occasionally, on WXIA’s morning TV program as part of Q&A panel. Lowe is currently a DJ on 98.9 in Atlanta, which had branded itself as “99X” until it recently re-formatted to a modern/hard rock format.
Barnes, Craig and Fram all spent years on-the-air in New York City after leaving Atlanta, with Fram also working with fellow radio legend Matt Pinfield prior to her move to CMT.
The last month has seen sweeping changes in the Atlanta radio market, with both 92.9 and 96.1 – signals that had carried Rock on various formats for decades – switching to Sport Talk and Pop, respectively. Additionally, at least three other stations have seen a change in format as well.
Although there has been no firm, formal comment on the specifics of who will be joining EX99 – or in what capacity – it will be happening.
I have reached out to Barnes for further comment and hope to have more information soon.
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