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New Hip Hop and R&B Radio Station Hits Boston Airwaves

After weeks of speculation, WTKK NewsTalk 96.9 officially relaunched as POWER 96.9 on Wednesday.

Jan. 3rd Update: 
A day after its launch of Power 96.9, the station morphed again into an electronic dance channel. See here for the update.

Original Story from Jan. 2nd:
Capping off a year of several radio station changes in the city, a new hip hop and R&B radio channel officially replaced WTKK's NewsTalk 96.9 this week. 

Power 96.9 launched Wednesday at 10 a.m., after a heartfelt good-bye from morning hosts Margery Eagan and Jim Braude set to Journey's "Don't Stop Believing."

"America did not fall off the fiscal cliff," joked Braude, "but we are falling off the radio cliff."

Greater Media Inc.'s 96.9 WTKK has been a talk radio station in the city since 1999. It played host to now-infamous radio show personalities such as Don Imus and Jay Severin.

The station noted the change change comes after "much careful consideration of the direction of the station’s format and overall ratings over the past several years," in a statement released on Tuesday.

“We would like to thank Jim Braude, Margery Eagan, Michael Graham and the entire News Talk 96.9 WTKK-FM staff for their many contributions to the station and Talk Radio format over the years in Boston,” said Greater Media Boston Market Manager Rob Williams in the statement. “They are true professionals and we are very grateful to them.”

The 96.9 WTKK recently rebranded itself as NewsTalk 96.9 in September, but it failed to see any market growth against its competitors, according to RadioInsight.com

More About Power 96.9
The new station promises to become Boston's Hip Hop and R&B station.

"Live and local, the new 96.9 promises to bring a fun new sound to the Boston community," Greater Boston Radio, Inc. said in a statement released Wednesday

The station's first few songs were Rihanna's "Diamonds," Rick Ross's "Diced Pineapples, and "Monster" by Kanye West, Jay-Z, Rick Ross, Nicki Minaj and Bon Iver. 

Talk Radio Leaving Boston
With the latest talk radio departure in the city, there is now just one more all-talk (non-sports) station in Boston: WRKO-FM. 

The past year was big for changes on Boston's radio airwaves, with the sale of 101.7 WFNX to Clear Channel to form 101.7 The Harbor in July, the launch of 103.3 AMP Radio by CBS. And we can't forget the change from 104.1 WBCN to CBS's MIX 104.1. 

A further recent shakeup on the radio scene was the firing of hip-hop radio personality Pebbles from JAMN 94.5 in December 2012. 

Will you be tuning in to the new station? Are you upset at losing NewsRadio 96.9? Tell us in the comments. 

Michelle January 03, 2013 at 02:38 AM
what a HORRIBLE decision to change to a pop radio station. How I and so many others will miss 96.9 Talk radio. You are doing a grave disservice to the listeners in the greater Boston area. Shame on You.
Liz K January 03, 2013 at 01:26 PM
Bad decision for Boston!! 96.9 was an wonderful mix of news, talk shows and entertainment! To replace it with Hip Hop is crazy! I will miss all the personalities and information I enjoyed so much. Once again, really bad decision!! Now where do we get that kind of programming??
JMc January 03, 2013 at 06:18 PM
Maybe not. Word is they're playing format roulette http://www.universalhub.com/2013/stop-radio-dial-i-want-get
Sara Jacobi January 03, 2013 at 06:21 PM
Oh sorry, I forgot to update this article noting that there's been an update today! http://southend.patch.com/articles/one-day-later-96-9-turns-to-electronic-dance-station It seems like a publicity stunt to me.
charlie January 03, 2013 at 08:46 PM
hate it
norm January 04, 2013 at 12:52 AM
this is terrible-i hate it and have changed to a different station, can't stand the junk being played and i so miss the talk.
Dawn J. January 04, 2013 at 01:17 PM
Because I listened to WTTK 96.9 every day, my car radio was tuned to this station on Wednesday. When I turned on the radio as I started to drive, I heard HORRIBLE music! As I listened awhile, I heard a disgusting song containing morally reprehensible themes and words. While I am not a prude, I don't want to be exposed to this kind of language in the music I hear. I hope this radio station fails. What a remarkably stupid decision to drop their talk format in the first place, but then to go to this kind of format when we have plenty of stations playing this crap? Bad move! I, for one, will NOT be listening.
Richard D January 04, 2013 at 01:31 PM
Very disappointed. I tuned into talk radio every day. Now what?
Mike Welch January 04, 2013 at 08:14 PM
Bad move on their part. There are 20-Hip/Hop stations to choose from on the dial but very few non-sports talk shows especially with the caliber of show hosts they had. I listened to that station most days for the last 5+ years but will not be tuning into it again. They have deprived this region of a valuable news resource for the best and brightest that will no longer be available to us. We'll miss you Michael Graham!
JMc January 04, 2013 at 08:56 PM
Should have listened to the radio before you replied Mike. The station is changing daily. Wednesday it was hip-hop. Thursday ti changed to EDM. Friday it's changed to the "Mike" format and playing random rock. We're still trying to figure out if it's marketing or an identity crisis.
Wendy Perez January 06, 2013 at 08:32 PM
Today it was classic rock. The station was called the Bone. I thought that was cool. But this station is definitely having an identity crisis.
yoly dau January 09, 2013 at 02:07 PM
Love the hip hop....life is about changes...
Chris Bates January 11, 2013 at 12:48 PM
I can't believe you pulled the only FM talk station that anyone listened too. I may be a bit older but the crap on there now is not anythinig I will listen too and I am a musician as well. Too bad that you did not poll the audience in Boston before changing this venue. Bad decision program managers. You lost thousands of fans that enjoyed dialing in to opinions and talk about the latest issues going on in the world not this junk music that can be found all over the radio dial.
Velvet Jones January 11, 2013 at 05:37 PM
Good riddance , it was 90% right wing blowhards anyway. Buh Bye.

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