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94Z Returns Alternative To Knoxville

94Z Knoxville Alternative KnoxTalk Radio Rude Awakening Drive Russell SmithOak Ridge FM has flipped Conservative Talk “Knox Talk Radio” WNFZ Powell/Knoxville, TN to Adult Alternative “94Z“.

The flip resurrects the “94Z” moniker used on the station in the 1990’s as an Alternative station. The Knoxville market has been without a younger skewing Rock station since Midwest Communications flipped95.7 The X” WVRX to Classic Country “Duke-FM” in May.

WNFZ will retain its current “Rude Awakening” morning show hosted by Mike Howard and Terry West with the format change. Losing their spots on the station are the syndicated Glenn Beck, Sean Hannity, Dana Loesch, Hermain Cain, and Alex Jones along with the local afternoon Sports show “The Drive with Russell Smith”.

The Talk format on WNFZ lasted just short of two years. It began as part of a multi-stepped maneuver that saw the Talk programming move from 100.3 to 850 and finally to 94.3 as Oak Ridge FM sold 100.3 to Journal (now Scripps) and ended their LMA with South Central (now Midwest) to operate 94.3.

Profile photo of Lance Venta
Lance Venta is the Owner and Publisher of RadioInsight.com and a consultant for RadioBB Networks specializing in integration of radio and the internet. Lance has two decades of experience tracking the audio industry and its use of digital platforms.

5 Comments

  1. Profile photo of borderblaster


    You’d think before you launch a format, you’d actually get some imaging done.

  2. Profile photo of stelly


    Everything about the new 94Z screams “rushed to air.” They probably didn’t even know they were flipping until Monday, and were likely forced to move quickly on speculation that another station was preparing to go alternative.

    • Profile photo of WeNeverKnew


      Interesting take on the flip. Any speculation on who that other station might have been? And could we hear them flip despite Pirkle’s move?

    • Profile photo of Cory


      Yep. It seems radio companies care less and less about new station roll outs anymore. We can’t even get a webpage.. Sheesh!

  3. Profile photo of JeremyAndrews


    No web page for 94Z yet (except that logo) but you can still listen online and access the old website. http://www.knoxtalkradio.com/ and I guess they have social media.

    I don’t get the lack of imaging. I’ve heard small stations down south in the mountains that only run a liner coming out of a stopset, but not in Knoxville. They obviously didn’t plan this, either that or they lack an imaging and internet budget. The music seems decently programmed.

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