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

Let's call this a best-case scenario.
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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