Dre\’s Ramblings

The Ticker: A signal fades into history
November 29, 2006, 1:27 pm
Filed under: Birmingham Alabama, Birmingham, AL, music, radio, Reg's Coffeehouse, The Ticker, WBHM, WRAX

Apparently late night dismissals are becoming commonplace here in Alabama the Beautiful. The late night firing of Crimson Tide coach Mike Shula on Sunday is now followed by the announcement last night that the X at 100.5 will have ceased to exist by noon of today.

WRAX – Wikipedia entry

It will have been replaced with an FM simulcast of WJOX, a sports talk station. At first glance, the decision appears to be one of common sense, considering the buzz associated with the recent coaching carousel that is set to go into motion. This is definitely a state and a city that prides itself on its sports teams, leading to a sound business decision. A closer look though reveals that Birmingham, AL may in fact be losing one of its last vestiges of uniqueness, at least on the FM dial. Not that all of it was as great as it has been, though I’m not quite sure I’d go as far as 3choBoomer went in his post earlier today, which includes the text from the Birmingham News article. For all of it.

One of the attendees to last night’s City Stages meeting suggested having the organizers choose a station that could cater to the eclectic mix of music currently available at the festival. I’d actually left that suggestion out of the list (I think). Stations that provide even a taste of diversity continuously disappearing into the noise (or lack thereof) of digital radio, iPods and downloads. More and more stations being gobbled up by media conglomerates, making the station you listen to in the Magic City sound eerily like that one in Atlanta or the Big Apple. It will also make the hopes of that individual become harder to realize. The idea of relying on streaming broadcasts is predicated on the notion that most people have continuous access to the internet; something that I know is not true here in Birmingham, though I may like to think that these writings are known to the majority of the Magic City Nation.

We lose Mark A.D., Beaner and Ken and our local broadcast of Reg’s Coffeehouse. I’m not really sure that’s fair. Then again, neither is business. Those who love their diversity in music have the benefit of Bottletree Café and similar venues to check out acts, though they’ve lost Moonlight this year. They also have Tapestry on WBHM and those online outlets if applicable. Those looking for another way to look at the situation insofar as the YP movement are concerned in our region; we’ve just lost another selling point for the city. There are few alternative stations left, and in its heyday, The X was considered one of the best in the region if not the country. The city won’t suffer a long painful loss of the station, at least not in the way that one would first think of it. The long term effects, including how it impacts the local music scene and what other stations choose to do, will be watched.

Enjoy the day. And thanks to all over at the X; you will be missed.



7 Comments so far
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Wow, that’s heartbreaking.

i’ve been listening to the X, and its predecessors, for a long, long time. As a matter of fact, I virtually *discovered* rock and roll on that station. I went to X Fest I (Matchbox 20, Better Than Ezra, Squirrel Nut Zippers, Medeski Martin and Wood… if I recall).

My musical tastes have changed, and that station has changed, but I kept listening… at least until the buyout and the corporate format. I got a car jack for my iPod and started listening less and less, but I still tuned in for Reg and the occasional radio rock out.

It hurts to see the X go. Birmingham will miss it. I will miss it.

Comment by e*

BhamWiki’s new article on WRAX expands on Wikipedias.

Comment by Dystopos

Um, what rock/alt station is left??? For such a large market, Bham has got the suckiest stations. I’m originally from Chattanooga and they have about 3 rock/alt stations and one alt station pumped out of the local community college….ya, the community college for pete’s sake! I just don’t understand…
I will truly miss tuning in to and from work, and Sunday coffee with Reg. RIP, X.

Comment by dmoney

Always good to see an expansion of the Bham Wiki. Let’s hope that the end is temporary; at least as temporary as it can be.

Comment by dresramblings

I miss the X, too. I’m glad we have a new rock station, though. I’m listening to the Vulcan now. Thank God for rock stations!

Comment by Patricia Hefner

At first i was fine with the move to 100.5 FM… till i realized that signal was spotty at best here in Etowah County. Then i go on a business trip out of town and come back to find the station that helped me through middle and high school is gone (I first discovered the X when it first moved to 107.7 in the late 90’s). This sucks. I’ll miss it.

Comment by DJSpike

I see the question “what rock/alt station is left?”. Well, 105.5 The Vulcan started right after The X changed formats. It is better than nothing I guess.

Comment by Bryan

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