|Broadcast area||North Atlanta|
|Slogan||Atlanta's New Hits
All the Hits
Atlanta's #1 Hit Music Station
Your Station, Your Hit Music!
|Frequency||99.7 MHz (also on HD Radio)|
|Translator(s)||97.9 W250BC (Atlanta, relays HD3)
98.9 W255CJ (Atlanta, relays HD2)
|First air date||1955 (as WLTA)|
|Format||Top 40 (CHR)
HD2: Alternative rock "99X"
HD3: Classic hip hop "OG 97.9"
|Callsign meaning||WWW Q100|
|Former callsigns||WLTA (1955-1984)
|Owner||Cumulus Media Inc.
(Radio License Holding SRC LLC)
|Sister stations||WNNX, WKHX-FM, WYAY|
Q100 Webstream (iHeart)
Listen Live (99X Webstream)
OG 97.9 Webstream
WWWQ FM 99.7, known as "Q100", is an Atlanta radio station airing a top-40/CHR format. It is owned and operated by Cumulus Media. The station broadcasts from studios in Sandy Springs alongside its sister stations WNNX "Rock 100.5", W255CJ/98.9 "99X", W250BC/97.9 "OG 97.9", WKHX-FM/101.5 "Kicks 101-5", WYAY/106.7 "News 106.7". WWWQ's main competition is WWPW/96.1, "Power 96-1" and WSTR/94.1, "Star 94." It broadcasts from a transmitter site in unincorporated DeKalb County west of Emory University.
On January 25, 2008, the Q100 programming and moniker and its WWWQ callsign moved from 100.5 to 99.7, replacing long-time alternative rock station 99X. Its WNNX callsign was swapped back to 100.5, now known as "Rock 100.5".
For most of its early years, 99.7 played host to an easy listening format. Oddly, one of its most popular music blocks in the late 1970s was "Golden Sundays", a rock & roll oldies show (8-10pm) originating live from Timothy John's restaurant in Sandy Springs. It began including contemporary vocals around 1980 and gradually became Soft Rock. In 1983, following the WSB-FM (98.5) change to soft AC, the station shifted further in that direction, opened up its announcers' personalities and became "Warm 100".
By 1985, with digital-tuning radios becoming mainstream, the station began ID-ing as "Warm 99". That did not sit well with WSB-FM's parent company Cox Radio. They sued, claiming "copyright infringement". In a landmark case, Cox v. Susquehanna Broadcasting, the judge was handed a digital radio and asked to tune to 100.0 MHz. There was no signal, as this is between channels. To find the nearest station, he pressed the "scan" button, and it stopped on 101.5 MHz. Next, he entered 99.0 MHz, which again is between channels and so contained no signal. Scanning from there, the radio hit 99.7. In his precedent-setting decision, the Federal district judge stated that on a radio dial "a radio station's frequency is its address" and one cannot copyright an address. He ruled in favor of Warm 99. Soon thereafter, WSB-FM became known as "B98.5", as it still is today.
At 3 p.m. on March 5, 1986, Warm 99 went head-to-head with dominant local top-40 station Z-93 (WZGC-FM 92.9), becoming "Power 99.7". The new format launched with "The Power of Love" by Huey Lewis & the News. Z-93 eventually lost their lead, and attempted to shift to a more urban-oriented format (as "Hot New Z-93") to compete, but conceded the battle in January 1989 by flipping to classic rock. The station would change call letters to WAPW on February 10, 1988, and would rebrand as "Power 99".
By the turn of the 1990s, Power 99 was the dominant top-40 station in the Southeast. However, the success of Nirvana at the end of 1991 and the subsequent rise of "alternative" music gave station management pause. In early September 1992, Power 99 brought in Will Pendarvis to host an all-alternative program on weeknights called "Power 99 On the Edge". After receiving a solid amount of positive feedback, the station decided to make the full switch.
99X would become one of the most influential alternative rock stations in the United States, and would play a key role in breaking numerous acts during its early years. Music director Sean Demery's push behind The Cranberries' "Linger" in 1993 helped earn the band national attention in the U.S. On a trip to Australia in early 1995, program director Brian Phillips brought back a copy of fledgling band Silverchair's debut EP, which the station began to spin. The day after the release of their debut album Frogstomp, the band played its first US show at the Roxy in Atlanta as a 99X Freeloader show.
On May 5, 2006, Cumulus Media acquired Susquehanna Radio and all of its stations, including 99X and sister station Q100. Over the next 20 months, Cumulus continued to support 99X's modern rock format, despite a noticeable decline in Arbitron ratings.
The current format for WWWQ originated in 2001 on 100.5 FM when that frequency was reallocated from nearby Anniston, Alabama. On January 25, 2008, at 5:30 a.m., 99X ceased to broadcast on the standard 99.7 FM frequency, with "Good Riddance (Time of Your Life)" by Green Day being the final song, and Top 40 (CHR) formatted "Q100" was moved from 100.5 to 99.7. At that point, 99X was moved to the 99.7 HD2 signal (replacing classic alternative rock "99XS") and online at 99x.com. The call letter swap between the two stations would take place on January 29, 2008. In the case of WWWQ, it was a rarity for a radio station to keep the exact same branding upon a frequency switch, but it was only because 99.7 would be rounded to 100 FM on analog radio tuners and Q100 simply moved four frequencies down. The "new" WNNX has since taken on a mainstream rock format.
Q100's main competitors are WWPW, a CHR-formatted station, and WSTR, which airs a hot adult contemporary format, but has flirted with the CHR format in the past. Under Cumulus Media's ownership, WWWQ briefly flirted with a Hot AC format in 2009, but as of 2010, the music more resembles that of a CHR. In addition, from 2011-2013, it also faced competition from Rhythmic contemporary simulcast WWVA-FM/WWLG.
On April 17, 2009, 99X returned to the regular analog airwaves, by simulcasting with broadcast translator station W250BC at 97.9 FM. To get around FCC rules which require these stations to relay another station, it technically carries the HD Radio channel 2 signal from WNNX FM 100.5 according to FCC records, although "99X on 97.9" is its branding and is clearly its primary outlet. 99X moved to 99.1 FM on June 15, 2011, and again to 98.9 on September 15.
W250BC FM 97.9 is a broadcast translator licensed to Riverdale, although its original 6 watts reached only Morrow, Lake City, most of Jonesboro, and part of Forest Park, skimming only the eastern edge of Riverdale. In early February 2009 it was issued a construction permit to move to the "Richland" site in North Druid Hills and go up to 250 watts (but still not reach Riverdale within its official service contour). In November 2007, the FCC approved the sale of the station by Clark Atlanta University (WCLK FM 90.1) to Extreme Media Group LLC of Woodstock, Virginia. It was then transferred via asset exchange to Cumulus Licensing LLC in mid-February 2009, in return for WZBN FM 105.5 in Camilla, Georgia. In January 2009 it requested special temporary authority (STA) to remain "silent" (off-air) for 60 days due to technical issues. On April 17 of that year, the translator station began to rebroadcast the signal of 99X on 97.9 MHz using common analog FM. Recent FCC regulatory decisions permit such use of a broadcast translator to rebroadcast in standard analog FM the content of a digital-only HD Radio subchannel of another radio station. Some consider such an arrangement to be a loophole in the intent of the FCC regulations, as the regulations were, they argue, designed to require broadcast translators to be used to fill in for reception gaps inside an existing station's licensed coverage area, not to make channels previously accessible only with less common HD Radio receivers now also available to those with standard, analog-only FM radios. The station currently rebroadcasts WWWQ-HD3, which is formatted as a classic hip hop station and branded as "OG 97-9"
W255CJ FM 98.9 is a broadcast translator simulcasting WWWQ-HD2 carrying an alternative rock format known as "99X"
W229AG FM 93.7, which was assigned to WWWQ in 2010, is now assigned directly to WCNN AM 680 "The Fan". It is located on Sweat Mountain, and for several years previously carried KAWZ FM, a Christian broadcasting station which feeds hundreds of translator stations from Calvary Chapel in Twin Falls, Idaho. It has Sandy Plains, Georgia as its community of license. 99X was reportedly set to move to this station, which had a construction permit granted in July 2010 to relocate to the same tower near North Druid Hills as WWWQ and W250BC, and has the same power but somewhat lower height (and therefore broadcast range) as 99X has on W250BC. The station was still owned by Calvary Chapel of Twin Falls, which filed for the permit in April 2010. After it was approved in early July, Calvary applied just a few days later to transfer ownership of the station to Cumulus for $400,000. It is now licensed to Cumulus Licensing LLC and resides on the WWWQ tower.