107.1 FM reinvents itself as 107X, promises listener-based format

Categories: Music News

From the "Sabotage" music video.
Let's call this a best-case scenario.
Looks like the pop radio hits of yesteryear just aren't cutting it anymore for the folks at 107.1 FM, known until very recently as Jack FM. The station launched a complete overhaul of its format and its content yesterday, unveiling a new brand name, a new musical niche and a fresh emphasis on alt-rock from the 1990s and 2000s. The newly minted 107X touts itself as Denver's "rock alternative" and is already encouraging listeners to offer their two cents...sort of.

"Jack FM just wasn't doing it for us. We did a little market research and the programming people who work here in the building decided to form a station that plays classic alternative," says Brian DeGrasse, the station's director of programming, adding that the core of the new programming will be rock and alternative from the '90s and 2000s. "It's a wedge directly between KTCL and KBPI."

The station has yet to reveal a formal line-up of DJs and programming. In the meantime, they're playing 5,000 songs in a row and pointing to a format that takes many cues from listeners. According to the release announcing the kick-off, the new station will be "completely listener-driven."

DeGrasse backed up that claim, insisting that the audience will largely steer the content of the new station.

"Listeners who want to submit song requests of titles they haven't heard in a while -- if they fit the programming, we will put them on the air and we email them or text them," he notes.

That means that a listener jonesing to hear Dolly Parton's "Jolene" may be out of luck, but a Primus fan looking for a deep cut from Pork Soda may find a welcome haven. The station, owned by Virginia-based conglomerate Max Media, will make requests a priority, DeGrasse says.

The labels alternative and rock cover a wide span, as do the two decades between 1990 and 2010. We asked DeGrasse to sum up the approach of the new station via five song titles by five different artists, and the results give a portrait of what you can expect. They were:

"311, 'Come Original'; Beck, 'Loser'; Bush, 'Chemicals'; Beastie Boys, 'Shake Your Rump'; and System of a Down, 'Chop Suey,'" DeGrasse says. "Is that five?"

It is indeed, and it's a good indication of what we can expect from the new station. Tune in now for the song marathon and stay tuned for a more detailed schedule of shows and DJs.

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If this is driven by listeners as it says, this would be a welcome addition to the Denver radio waves.  When you look at the target demographics of KTCL and KBPI especially, gen-X'ers don't necessarily fit in either category well, unless they want Dave Matthews, Van Morrison or John Mayer like KBCO.  

Anyone who listened to Rock/Alternative radio back in the 1990's had a much deeper variety than was is provided now (Anyone remember 92X, 96.5 The Peak, or KTCL before it moved to Denver from Fort Collins?).  KTCL and KBPI and Jack FM frankly all sound like the DJ Playlist from a 10 or 20 year high school reunion to me.  Yeah we remember 'Smells like Teen Spirit,' why keep playing it in regular rotation 22 years later?

Listeners of radio in this era were much smarter than this, and radio has been dumbed down way too much, especially when you can listen to whatever you want on Spotify or your iPod.


Beastie Boys, 'Shake Your Rump' came out in 89', he should of said 'Pass the Mic' 

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