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Just out of curiosity but how do you all feel about North Carolina FM/AM radio. How do the radio stations in your town/city affair? good/bad? Should there be improvement? Should the signal strength be increased. Vent out on how you feel about North Carolina Radio.


Im gonna break it down metro by metro on my opinions:


Worst city in NC for radio! Q98 (top 40) plays mostly loudsy music and too much 80s. Signal strength is a joke, you cant even get Q98 in northern Moore County sometimes! Foxy 99 is a decent rap station but loses its signal northwest of Fayetteville in thanks of Q99 out of Roanoke. Otherwise, the radio sucks in Fayetteville, it needs A LOT MORE improvement. AM, i dont even want to talk about.


If you are from Raleigh (or in the viewing area), you have a love/hate relationship with G105. Its a fairly decent station but could use a bit of improvement format wise. Its signal is VERY VERY good, hell ive gotten G105 at least 150 miles away from the transmitter from all points! K97.5 is a loudsy rap station and what makes it even sadder is that its based in South Boston, Virginia.. not in the triangle. The rest of Triangle FM radio is ok, not good or bad. 850 the buzz AM is great for canes hockey and 680 WPTF is pretty decent talk radio. I love Mix 101.5 when they have teh 6pm news for WRAL.

Eastern Carolina:

The top 40 stations are good and the rest of teh radio stations are fine. Most of them provide very good signals but then again, eastern NC is very flat. Not much to complain about the radio east of I-95.

Greensboro/High Point/Winston-Salem:

Triad and Charlotte are neck to neck with having the best radio in the state. 102 jamz is the best rap station is the state with an excellent signal (ive gotten 102 jamz in SC, im for real!). KZL, 94.5 the beat is pretty decent, Rock 92 is good when your south and east of teh Triad. When your just north of the Guilford/Rockingham line, you lose Rock 92 and get the 92.3 out of Roanoke. A new talk radio station 101.1 FM was pretty good hearing it at 6pm. Had a good signal recalling up in Charlotte County, Virginia. The only radio station that sucks is 98.7 the zone and i dont know what to make of it.


This and Wilmington, i dont know too much about radio. Charlotte seems pretty decent but most of teh stations do not have a very good signal maybe im judging them because the transmitters are in Gaston County and im in Moore County :) I cant speak much of Charlotte except that if your in SW Randolph County, ive always received an EXCELLENT signal from Charlotte, even on the frequencies next to the Triad stations (99.7-Charlotte/99.5 High Point).


not bad but not good. I like their alternative station on 98.3 (was once 107.5), it plays a good mix of alternative and punk rock. Coast 97.3 is a good rap station but not great. The top 40 station, 107.5 is the worst top 40 station in the state. Wilmington has decent FM but could use a bit of an improvement.


I dont know anything about Asheville, anyone would like to volunteer?


One more thing id like to share is the radio stations ive gotten the furthest away from Pinehurst. 1 being the furthest away ever.

(may not be in the exact order)

1. Z104 - Virginia Beach/Norfolk

2. 95SX - Charleston

Side note: i was getting 95SX day and night for a whole summer i believe in 1998!

3. 94.9 - Roanoke

4. 97.5 - Columbia | 97.5 - South Boston, VA

5. 93.7 - Greenville, SC

6. 87.7(channel 6-WECT)/97.3 - Wilmington

7. 97.7 - Myrtle Beach (that can be said sometimes on a regular basis)


From here where i am currently in North Brunswick, NJ, teh furthest radio station i was receiving clear and no static for a few hours was.. believe it or not.. Z104 out of Virginia Beach and a few other ones (94.9, 100.5).

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Bah. Thats what I feel about terrestrial FM radio in the Carolinas.

FM today is nothing like it was 20 years ago. With few notible exceptions, its now all either Clear Channel or Infinity Broadcasting canned "******", and I have completely quit listening to it. You get jiffy pop music of about 40 tunes (pick one of 6 formats), mindless syndicated DJ's that laugh at their own jokes, and endless annoying commercials. There really is no significant difference in the metros anymore.

Its Satellite radio for me these days. Once you have had it, you'll never go back to FM.

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Its Satellite radio for me these days.  Once you have had it, you'll never go back to FM.

Absolutely! You can also find a nice collection of radio stations from around the world on http://www.shoutcast.com that also beat out most terrestrial radio stations. Like Frequency in France, no commercials, just music...and they don't play a collection of 20 songs over and over again.

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The biggest gripe I have about broadcast FM is the emphasis on processing. Clear Channel is especially bad for wanting to have the loudest stations on the dial. They even had a motto "Loud and proud". I believe this is a vestige from long ago when radios had analog tuners and someone turning through the dial would stop on what sounded the loudest.

Modulation is closely regulated by the FCC (you can't overmodulate), so Clear Channel and other companies attain this extra loudness by using mutliband processing and composite clipping. Essentially all dynamics in music are removed--background sounds and instruments are as loud as the foreground sounds and vocals. Even bass impact suffers because the normal dynamic range is effectively removed. You ever notice how most large market FM stations have weak "impact" bass and the music always sounds really "busy"?

Clear Channel uses a library of 256kb MP2s, and so all of the background compression artifacting and noise is zoomed in and brought to the foreground with the multiband processing--this gives most Clear Channel stations a very noisy sound. The composite clipping jacks the level really high so that the occasional peaks in the audio are "clipped" off, and this further reduces the dynamics in the music. Perhaps some of you have noticed this?

When it's all said and done, you end up with what is really just a wall of unchanging noise. If I were an artist today, I sure wouldn't want my work to be molested in this manner.

Raleigh has by far the WORST sounding large market radio stations in the state, I hate broadcast radio here. The problem is that the radio market is dominated by Clear Channel and Curtis Media. Clear Channel wants their stations to be noisy, flat, and assaultingly loud, while Curtis Media uses bunk and misadjusted equipment. Even their towers are on the verge of falling apart.

Not only that, but our selection of music totally blows. K97.5 is operated by Radio One, but was a part of Clear Channel. They had to sell it because of a potential market monopoly. K97.5 not only has a lousy format, but they sound like ass.

Charlotte Clear Channel stations used to be acceptible, but a few years ago they started sounding terrible. The Infinity stations aren't too awful sounding, with Power 98 being the better example. Kiss 95.1 would be fair if they'd tweak their format a bit.

In my opinion, the Triad has the best sounding large market stations in the state. Even the Clear Channel stations there aren't bad. Their engineer is often accused of under-processing I'm sure. 94.5 has a nice hefty bottom (unusual for an FM station today), and 99.5 is really pleasant to listen to (even though it isn't my type of music). 102 Jamz sounds good for an urban station, etc.

By the way, I took pictures of "The Hit Music Channel" transmitter site in this thread. Jerseyman4, the reason why G105 comes in so damn clear everywhere is due to the antenna's actual elevation above sea level :D

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Raleigh: 88.1 WKNC. NCSU's student raido station. Has a good signal throughout the Triangle, and it's the best indies radio station I've heard anywhere in the state.

Asheville: 88.7 WNCW. A minor NPR affiliate based out of Isothermal Community College in Spindale, with a concentration in local and independent music, with an extremely laid-back format and leanings towards bluegrass leanings. The home station has some pretty insane range (you can pick it up all the way to Winston) and they have translators in Charlotte and Boone, and a new one in the works for North Asheville where the signal is spotty. The original translator in Knoxville got shut down (I smell ClearChannel) but a new one is in the works there, too.

These are two shining, advertisement-free beacons of light in the otherwise dim, boring, homogenous, and disgusting ClearChannel-dominated FM radio market. Top 40? bah. Liberal/Conservative talk? forget it.

ClearChannel is probably one of the most evil, predatory monopolistic companies in the country, and hardly ANYONE knows they exist. They have singlehandedly put numerous independent and unique radio stations and translators out of business to gain wider swaths of spectrum on many occasions, and one gets the feeling that they've only just begun.

Give me my independent radio stations or give me nothing. Nuff said.

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The best radio station I have heard in North Carolina is 95.7, The Ride in Charlotte. Independantly owned & operated. They play a mix between classic rock and oldies that I really like.


I totallly agree. It's nice to have a station where you can listen to music instead of people jabber-jawing all day long.

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The best radio station in the state is 88.1 in raleigh. In fact, it might be the best radio station in the U.S. None of that main stream garbage.

88.1 plays underground punk, Underground rock, underground rap, death metal, Indie, Core metal,....I can go on all day. The one problem with KNC is the signal strength. U can only pick it up clear 15 miles each side of Raleigh. Once you get 30 to 45 miles outside of Raleigh u need a damn good antenna. An amazing radio station when it comes to the music they play.

96.1 Rock is Raleigh is horrible, in fact, Raleigh does not have 1 radio station that plays NEW mainstream rock.

The most powerful radio station in the state is 93.3 in little Washington. They play hit music, they used to be WDLX in the 80's, which also played pop. Way back in the day they were Rock 93.3 (great station in the early 80's)

I am not really into Rap music all that much but there were times I did listen to it quite a bit. The best Rap stations are 88.1, Soul 92.1 in Rocky Mount, 102.1 in Greensboro, and 99.1 in Fayetville.

I do know that 99x in New Bern is the best mainstream new rock radio station I have heard in the state. Rock 105.5 in Jacksonville is the best all around rock station I have heard. You can get it over the internet if u have never heard them. Rock 105.5 is a great radio station thats been around forever. They play new mainstreem rock along with some more hardcore rock. They throw in some 80's heavy metal to go along with it. Weak signal though.

The Wilmington radio stations are horrible, they can pick up Rock 105.5 though, thank goodness for them.

I don't know anything about the western part of NC

88.1 wknc in Raleigh rocks though. Nothing like it anywhere in NC. (NC State station)

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Yea, Bob 93.3 is a very strong signal. I have listened to it in Pinehurst plenty of times so it dosent count as a distant station for me. Z104 out of Virginia Beach is the furthest one ive ever gotten from Pinehurst.

I have to add that i remember getting Q99 out of Roanoke down in Pinehurst twice fwhen Foxy 99 out of Fayetteville was being overided by a 150K watt transmitter vs a 100K transimitter. I dont think there are that many 150K stations left in the country.

Where is Terrills Mountain by the way Norff?

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I think the best - in no particular order are

97.9 Power 98 the best commercial rap station in the carolinas

90.1 the best college radio station bar none. They break a lot of new r+b and their rap show is right up their with 88.1 WKNC

88.1 their raps shows are pretty hot.

91.5 the npr flagship of the carolinas - more breadth and depth than any other npr station in the state. Can be heard from lexington to the coast(with their simulcasts)

88.5 and 90.7 are tied for a distant second on the npr food chain

102.1 is ok in a pinch bit their rotation is so small as to be laughable same with 94.5 at least they are better than 97.5. They have been bad for years. Their mix show has to be one of the worst around. Unexplainable with the quality over at NCSu and even dukes hip hop shows

for jazz 90.7 @ Central is the states standout, with 90.5 in winston trying to improve their game.

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I beg to differ. WJMU 102.1 has a very good signal! Their transmitter is in Reidsville (north of Greensboro) so getting 102 jamz in Charlotte is not as easy as getting Magic 99.5. 94.5 is a sorry signal, i remember i was having interference problems with 94.5 in extreme NW Randolph County in Trinity! 102.1 has a MUCH better signal than 94.5.

The 102.1 DJ's are not good but not bad so lets leave it at that.

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94.5 The Beat has a highly directional tower and this was retained probably in part to avoid it competing with G105. Both stations are owned by Clear Channel.

94.5 is a far better station than G105 IMO, and G105 should consider shifting their format over to a more rhythmic top-40 selection instead of a conventional "Kiss" format. Their present format is different from what it was just a couple years ago. I suspect they have been slowly migrating to a "Kiss" format. In the past they have been a combination of top-40/pop and alternative stuff.

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Quazi, 102 jamz is definitley the best rap station in the state. And I dont know where you get that 102 jamz has a bad signal....it can sometimes be picked up in upstate SC!...or at least I have got the signal there before.

102 jamz...The carolina's hip hop station.

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Quazi, 102 jamz is definitley the best rap station in the state. And I dont know where you get that 102 jamz has a bad signal....it can sometimes be picked up in upstate SC!...or at least I have got the signal there before.

102 jamz...The carolina's hip hop station.


Actually my post never comments on their signal They do have a very strong signal though in fact it is just as strong on the way north - you can catch it well past Durham. I just think they have a needlessly narrow rotation. Compare the range of tracks they play compared to 97.9 or 90.1's full moon block. they are at least a month ahead of 102.1

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Many of the downfalls in the Raleigh market are due to Curtis Media (96 Rock, 680, The Buzz, and others) I think Curtis is in it for a high profit margin. 96 Rock plays 90's all the time because the royalties are not very high. Newer songs cost more. It's a busines I know and people listen to it, so it works for them, but not me. I'll stick to my XM and CD's

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