Steve Barnes , formerly of Dave FM and 99X, is returning to terrestial radio after a seven-year break, joining alternative rock station Radio 105.7 on weekends.
His first scheduled on-air appearance on Radio 105.7 will be this Saturday, Sept. 28, 2013, from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m., followed by 6 a.m. to 10 a.m. on Sunday.
"This is me having fun," Barnes said in an interview today. "I want to help out a great radio station. I love radio and I love Atlanta. I love the music they're playing. I think they're doing a great job."
So do Atlanta listeners. Radio 105.7 has pulled in steadily stronger ratings since it launched in March. It ranked 9th in August, 10th among 25 to 54 year olds and 5th among 18 to 34 year olds. The station seems to be a happy amalgam of two defunct rock stations Project 9-6-1 and Dave FM, filling a void for listeners who find Rock 100.5 too hard edged and the River too old-skewing. It also features jocks from Project including Jordin Silver and Aly Young, who was just voted best jock in a recent Creative Loafing poll. The station, too, received best radio station accolades from CL readers.
Barnes was part of the successful Morning X on 99X from 1993 to 2003 and spent two more years at 92.9/Dave FM from 2004 to 2006.
Based on what he's seen there, he said the cool, music-oriented atmosphere at Radio 105.7 is akin to the early days at 99X, an atmosphere he never felt was reached at Dave.
Barnes has since produced a web series "High Rise" and is now full-time social and digital media vice president at North American Properties, which operates Atlantic Station and many other real estate properties. He also runs his own digital and social media consultancy Barnes Creative Studios and owns a video "drone" which he used to take cool aerial photos of a high-end property for his former 99X colleague Jimmy Baron, now a real estate agent. He is a Twitter fiend (@SBarnes), closing in on 20,000 Tweets and exceeding 31,000 followers.
So he's obviously already a busy man. Doing the radio gig is purely a "passion" thing, not a money thing, he said. (It's fair to say part-time radio jocks don't tend to get paid much.)
Barnes began a 99X-type station after Cumulus killed alternative rock station 98.9 a year ago, hoping to fill a void. Originally called Ex99, he eventually changed it to AltChannel1, which continues to attract 1,000 unique listeners a month. Barnes, though, said he has only so much time on his hands and will be retiring the station in a couple of weeks.
He said his station is very similar in tenor to Radio 105.7. "My station is a little more guitar driven and I play more older material," he said.
Barnes has been promoting his move to Radio 105.7 on AltChannel1. "I've been adopted!" he said to listeners. "I'll miss this station but you can join me at Radio 105.7."
He plans to utilize social media heavily to promote Radio 105.7 and what's going on in the music world in Atlanta.
Past stories about Steve Barnes: