Update 8/6:: A well played ruse by Cox. After teasing a Talk format online and stunting with a loop of Neal Boortz since last night, “Talk 98.5” debuted with an hour of local talk before debuting its real format as Alternative “X98.5“.
The intended target was not Entercom’s WORD, but rather its sister Active Rock “93.3 The Planet” and makes a perfect sales tandem for sister CHR “Hot 98.1” WHZT. The station’s website will be located at X985FM.com but is not live as of this writing. A Twitter account is active at @X985FM.
Original Report 7/10: Cox Media has launched a site at Talk985.com teasing “Something To Talk About Is Coming…” on Monday, August 6.
Our first question is where is this domain for? The only 98.5 Cox owns is AC “B98.5” WSB-FM Atlanta. There is another option in Ted McCall’s W253BG Arial/Greenville, SC. The translator is licensed to rebroadcast an HD subchannel of Cox’s 107.3 WJMZ Anderson. Cox launched Variety Hits “97.7 Chuck-FM” on McCall’s W238AW via WJMZ-HD3 in December.
Next question is what kind of Talk? In Greenville, a traditional Conservative Talker would compete primarily with Entercom’s “Newsradio WORD” trimulcast of 950 WORD/1330 WYRD/106.3 WYRD-FM. Some of Cox’s internally syndicated programs, Clark Howard and Neal Boortz air in the market on “Talk 103.1” WRIX-FM Anderson which does not cover Greenville proper. Another option could potentially be Hot Talk similar to the recently revamped “102.5 The Bone” WHPT Tampa, which would also keep Atlanta in play as a longshot option. We’ll be keeping a close eye on this over the next 26 days.