Is 96x Back? (Update: Yes, It is.)

Posted by Holly Whitfield | April 11th 2013 2263 0

Remember 96x? Remeber the impressive line-up of alternative rock that aired on 96.1 FM in the mid to late 1990s? Remember how sad you were when you woke up on April 1st, 1999 (I think it was 1999) to find out that the station had switched to an oldies format for real, not as an April Fool's joke?

Today, rumors are flying that the beloved alt-rock station might be back. The main evidence is front page of http://96xmemphis.com, which says "It's 2013…WE'RE BACK."

Screen Shot 2013-04-11 at 2.14.33 PM

To back that up, there's this series of posts on RadioDiscussions.com, which implies that the station is coming back.

At the moment, if you turn your radio to 96.1 FM, you'll notice that they're playing the Violent Femmes' "Blister in the Sun" on repeat, which may or may not mean anything. 

I've been doing some digging and making a few phone calls, but I haven't been able to confirm anything official yet. I'll keep you posted as soon as I find out something for real.

In the meantime, I'll be in my attic, trying to find both the cassettes that I recorded from 96x in middle school and something to play them on.

UPDATE (2:25 p.m.): RadioInsight.com has a story about it that they're updating regularly. The most important part is this:

" WIVG will imminently shift to Alternative as “96X“. The move resurrects a brand that has been used previously on two stations in the market. What is now Clear Channel’s “Hallelujah 95.7” WHAL-FM was Alternative with the “96X” brand and WRXQ calls from 1994 to 1999. 92.9 WMFS would rebrand its Alternative/Active Rock hybrid format as “93X” in 2001 and use the X brand until its flip to Sports in 2009."

UPDATE (2:47 p.m.): Then, I got this cryptic tweet from Shea Flinn (son of George Flinn, owner of WHBQ):

Screen Shot 2013-04-11 at 2.51.30 PM

UPDATE (5:50 p.m.): It's true – 96x is coming back. I've had it independently confirmed that it's happening. Also, they've now stopped playing "Blister in the Sun".


Author: Holly Whitfield

I write about what’s going on with Memphis music, food, arts, events, sports, people, and culture. Memphians love Elvis and barbeque with a passion that must be seen to be believed, but there is so much more to this place.

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Comments

  1. Kerry says:

    Perhaps coming back to life as a mid-90s alt-rock nostaglia station? (not that there's anything wrong with that)

  2. Andrea Olson says:

    Bad ass. My mix tapes were my highschool treasures and glad I kept a few. 

  3. Warner R. says:

    Back in the day, 96x was actually 95.7 on the dial.

  4. Darryl says:

    Considering it's Flinn, it might sound like the "alternative-to-the-alternative" 96.1 The Phantom that briefly existed after the old 96X.  They had a very interesting playlist. 

    Check the bottom of this article for a snippit of the station: http://www.memphisflyer.com/backissues/issue532/media532.htm

  5. Mike says:

    i thought that was either a multicast of Q107.5 or The Pig, or am I mistaken? If so, does that mean Six-One-Six is going to come back to? lol

  6. eliz says:

    Finally playing something besides the Femmes. Third eye blind, chili peppers, and now soundgarden. I’m good!

  7. Aimee says:

    I can't be the only one amused at Shea Flinn's Twitter handle, can I?

  8. snarky says:

    Flinn's got a bad habit of developing a great radio station and getting a loyal following, then pulling the plug.  Don't trust the little lizard anymore.

  9. Jerry says:

    96.1 has been great tonight but I have been getting alot of static driving through and around Memphis tonight. Is their tower really that weak? 

  10. rush says:

    The Phantom was 94.1… and yeah, Flinn has a history of unexpectedly switching formats.

  11. Aaron says:

    I just looked at some info on the station, and it appears to be transmitting from Tunica, but then again The Pig always had bad reception too, so now we know why.

  12. Tommy Six says:

    I've been listening for a few weeks now, and the honeymoon period is slowly ending for me. It was wonderful to be reunited with the likes of Screaming Trees, School of Fish, Spacehog, Cranberries, the (old) Red Hot Chili Peppers, and the like, but they've been slipping in so much contemporary stuff lately that all the 90's alt-classics are getting squeezed out. Ironically, as much as I lamented the station going "oldies" back in '99, that's now in a sense what I long for it to be. Alas, if it were to truly be a 90's memphis retro station it would have to be smattered with commercials for Denim&Diamonds, Club 616, and Platinum Plus. Hey – maybe Flinn could bring those places back next!

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