ALT 983 Abruptly Shutters, Becomes Country Station

ALT987_RIP

Launched in 2014 by corporate radio conglomerate Clear Channel, and distributed through their sprawling iHeartRadio network digitally as well as through traditional terrestrial airwaves, ALT 98.3 was conceived as Nashville-based offering for rock and alternative programming, finding a wonderful balance between genre hits (lots of ’90s grunge and alternative in particular) and contemporary and local tunes, spilling over on into the realms of indie and pop, and frequently programming artists hard to find on Nashville airwaves. Though seemingly popular, and essential in a radio market with only a handful of alt rock options, the station quietly disappeared over the weekend, replaced by a new country station (in a market unsurprisingly saturated with them) called The BIG Legend 98.3. Our gripe’s not with the new station, how unnecessary it might feel; ALT 983 was part of the corporate radio machine, after all, and airwaves aren’t going to go to waste. What stings, though, is how abrupt the station’s demise seems to be, adding insult to injury by literally retiring and replacing social media accounts and websites, effectively eliminating all traces of its existence from the internet, with no apparent announcement and little forewarning.

Fortunately, we still have fantastic local stations like Lightning 100 and WXNA, and internet upstarts like Acme Radio to fill the void, and it seems that the on-air talent from ALT 983 (including former Lightning 100 DJ and current reality TV star Wells Adams) are mostly shuffling around to other stations. Still, the demise of an alternative rock station in town more stepped in relevant, contemporary rock than ever feels like a major loss, and we’re sad to see ALT 983 go.

14 comments

  1. I am disappointed in the demise of 98.3 as well. I turned it on today and it was a country song. I thought that was weird, but it sounded old so maybe the station was just doing some kind of throwback day. Then the commercial came on and advertised as Big Legend whatever. I just don’t like Lightning 100 as much. Surely Nashville can handle one alt rock station? What is wrong with us?

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    • Yeah it sucks! I thought it was a great station. And the way they just vanished without a word strange.Nashville being MUSIC CITY USA… come on already we could use more than just one alternative radio station. Lightening 100 a good station, but it’s nice to have a little variety. I’m sooo disappointed!

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  2. Alt 98.3 played new music much earlier than any other station that I’m aware of. Sometimes up to a year before the “mainstream” stations. I couldn’t receive it very well from my house so when all I could find was a country station I thought it was just interference, but it seems the best station in Nashville, with the best mix of music is now dead. Not all Tennesseans like country music F.Y.I. corporate radio. My heart is broken.

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  3. I thought it was just a fluke! This is almost as devastating as when WHFS in Baltimore disappeared. Oh, well. There’ll always be WMTS and the station out of Vol State.

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  4. 98.3 was my radio station and I enjoyed it very much. It was kind of awful on Sunday to not hear the music groups that I like. I was hoping it was just a Sunday morning oddity. I do not care for country music. Please bring an alternative music channel back to Nashville. It’s the only one that I like. It is so very sad.

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  5. I am so sad!! This was my favorite station! I don’t mind country but there are so many already here. Missing my ALT 98.3, will definitely be missed.

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  6. I am SO bummed! I recently moved from Minneapolis where I loved the Alternative station GO 96.3. I finally found something other than country or rock and roll here and just loved the venue. I’m really sad to see this go. I certainly hope someone comes up with another channel soon! HALP!

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  7. I was in complete shock! I seriously thought that the past year and a half of my life was a dream, and I just made up my own radio station… I had company in from Michigan and Ohio, and they probably think I am crazy, because I kept putting on a 90’s country station, waiting for BORNS to come on, and it never happened. All weekend I kept asking google, “what the hell happened to Alt 98.3?” I never really found an answer, and I still don’t have one, after reading this article. Seriously, what the heck happened? Where are all my favorite DJ’s going to be now? Why didn’t they mention this on air, sometime last week? I’m so disappointed.

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  8. This is a sad day. Nashville should be able to handle ONE alternative radio station. Lightning 100 is not the same as ALT 98.3 and doesn’t play a lot of the music that was frequently played on ALT 983. I am really disappointed. I was driving down to go to work and I turn on my favorite radio station and I hear country music playing. Nashville already has tons of country radio stations and we don’t need another one. Before I started listening to ALT 98.3, I was listening to 105.9 The Rock and 102.9 The Buzz. These are great stations, don’t get me wrong, but 105.9 doesn’t play any of the new alternative and only plays the occasional classic alternative bands such as Nirvana, Red Hot Chili Peppers, Green Day, and Foo Fighters. People who were into the newer alternative might want to stick with 102.9 The Buzz, now that ALT 98.3 is gone. They play new and old rock with a touch more of alternative than 105.9. Again, this is a very sad day when Nashville’s only real alternative station is gone due to another country channel. I’m gonna miss my favorite radio station and I hope that Nashville will get another good alternative station soon.

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  9. What the …
    I turned on 98.3 for my hellish ride into work this morning and much to my dismay !!!!!!!!! It’s another f######in country music station. I was so happy to have 2 stations to listen to…lightning 100 and alt 98. But I shoulda known it wouldn’t last.
    Not a fan of country and there’s way too many stations dedicated to country already!!

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  10. This stinks. This was the only radio station that consistently played great music. Do we really need yet ANOTHER country station in Nashville? Come on! So, now I have to listen through Taylor Swift, Fl / GA line, and Adele in hopes of hearing one alt song. I will also miss the DJs.

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  11. I’m so so so upset…. I want Alt98 back!! Only station I would listen to in the mornings and evenings on my way home. I wish they would have at least given notice. It makes me want to just quit listening to radio all together 🙁

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  12. You can petition here!!! A friend sent it to me!! Please Voice your opinion… I want it back too!

    https://www.change.org/p/iheartradio-bringbackalt983-409378a1-b3a3-418c-9161-29f4d35a59c3?recruiter=176505494&utm_source=share_petition&utm_medium=twitte

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  13. I have lived in TN nearly all my life and I was ecstatic when I heard the music on Alt98.3. I wondered how a radio station managed to get my own, personal song list. I thought maybe the station was struck by lightning in one our recent storms; the lightning set fire to a home and burned it down completely. I expected to turn on the station within a few days and hear my station again. Alas, that did not happen. As I said before, I have lived in TN nearly all my life but I have never really had much desire to listen to country music (yuck). So, another country station to add to ALL THE OTHER COUNTRY STATIONS locally was NOT necessary. It could’ve become any genre. But, the people of Nashville thought it was okay to be so CLICHE. Not okay!!! NOT OKAY…I miss my Alt Station!!!

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