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98.9 The Vibe Starts Memphis Classic Hip-Hop Duel

98.9 The Vibe Classic Hip-Hop Throwback News Talk WKIM MemphisMemphis gained its second Classic Hip-Hop station as Cumulus flipped “News Talk 98.9” WKIM Munford to “98.9 The Vibe” at noon today. Positioned as “100% Throwbacks”, WKIM joins Flinn’s “Bumpin 96” 96.1 WIVG Tunica, MS/96.3 W242CF Memphis in the Classic Hip-Hop format.

WKIM-FM in Memphis is now its newest Classic Hip Hop station, 98.9 The Vibe. The station formerly known as News Talk 98.9 moved from a News Talk format to Classic Hip Hop at Noon Central today. The Vibe launched with wall-to-wall music, and comes on the heels of a number one ratings sweep at Cumulus’ Classic Hip Hop station 93.9 The Beat in Indianapolis. The Vibe has a totally unique take on Hip Hop, and gives Memphis Hip Hop fans big old school Hip Hop hits, mixed with some R&B “throwbacks” from the 80’s, 90’s and early 2000’s. The newly branded station also launched its new website, www.989thevibe.com, today.

Mike McVay, Senior Vice President, Programming for Cumulus said: “The Vibe is designed to capture the spirit and complexity of Memphis. This city has birthed many music types of which this format is one more. 98.9 The Vibe IS classic hip hop.”

Danni Bruns, Program Director for 98.9 The Vibe said: “Memphis has always been at the forefront of music and now we have a new Vibe. My girlfriends and I will now enjoy 98.9 The Vibe while sipping our wine and reminiscing. This is our party station.”

Original Report 2/22: On the heels of Cumulus’ “93.9 The Beat” WRWM-FM Indianapolis debuting as the most listened to station in the market during the January 2015 Nielsen Audio ratings, the company isn’t wasting time to expand the format to another market.

Cumulus has registered 989TheBeat.com and OG989.com for “News/Talk 98.9” WKIM Munford/Memphis, TN. A flip to Classic Hip-Hop would place the station in direct competition with Flinn Broadcasting’s rimshot “Bumpin 96” 96.1 WIVG Tunica, MS/96.3 W242CF Memphis.

In the January 2105 Nielsen Audio ratings both WKIM’s Conservative Talk format and WIVG tied with a 1.4 share of the Memphis audience. WKIM’s 100kW signal has been an also-ran in the market since moving in from Kennett, MO in 2001. In that time it has gone through Smooth Jazz, Urban, Hot AC, 90s Hits, and the current Conservative Talk format.

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.

9 Comments

  1. Profile photo of saladressing


    I suspect one of the reasons for 93.9 The Beat/Indy’s great showing out of the box is that they aren’t just playing one male pure hip-hop track after another. They are mixing in equal parts R&B and female artists, therefore keeping the presentation fresh and being highly relevant to both males and females in their target demographic.

  2. Profile photo of seana


    I think the Beat/Indy is doing well because they are going as
    crossover as they can. If you compare this station to the Radio One Throwback Hip Hip and the IHeart Throwback Hip Hop AND R&B stations, this Cumulus station is targeting mid 30s whites. Marky Marky and Cypress Hill doesnt get much play on the Radio One stations.

  3. Profile photo of seana


    Forgot to mention, the Indy signal is just about full market. The Atlanta market signals are translators for neighborhoods, Cincinnati…a translator…92.1 in Norfolk’s signal is bad. The IHeart Beat signal in St Louis is scratchy. The Denver crossover signal is a rimshot. The Memphis/Flint signal is a rimshot.

    • Profile photo of miklk1973


      It’s owned by Flinn Broadcasting not Flynt. It’s a rimshot with an in market translator on a tall tower (almost a class a signal on the translator).

  4. Profile photo of seana


    I meant Flinn. Friends lives just south of Downtown Memphis. Says the signal is full of static and sounds a mess.

  5. Profile photo of miklk1973


    I live 1 mile east of the MS River and I travel all over the city listening to 2 of the 4 signals Bumpin 96 is transmitting on and suspect that maybe your friends radio is getting overload from the 101.9 & 107.1 Transmitters just across the river. I have no issues even though Downtown Memphis is outside of the 60 dBu of both 96.1 and 96.3 signals. One of them seems to work well in all areas. If one is noisy the other one is fine.

    Outside of the 60 dBu you aren’t going to be listening on a clock radio trust me. Outside of the 50 dBu will usually get noisy in a car if you are in a populated area or with a shortened FM antenna or a tuner that isn’t that good. In good flat open land it’s usually decent for in car reception. 96.1 comes in great in Forrest City, AR for example.

    Here is the coverage of the in-market signals for Bumpin’ on 96.1
    http://cdbs.recnet.net:8080/fmq.php?facid=67247&appid=1198325&i=2

    and here is 96.3
    http://cdbs.recnet.net:8080/fmq.php?facid=146950&appid=1641380&i=2

    96.3 Suffers a bit near the MS River and anywhere north of the city due to KHLS in Blytheville, AR.
    http://cdbs.recnet.net:8080/fmq.php?facid=63607&appid=606976&i=2

  6. Profile photo of firepoint525


    Just what Memphis needs. ANOTHER jinxed frequency!

  7. Profile photo of miklk1973


    Well here we go 98.9 the vibe

  8. Profile photo of only1moore


    Boy do I miss “Power 98.9.”

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