Scranton radio station Alt 92.1 has rebranded as Q92.1, playing ‘the ’90s and now’
Today, Scranton/Wilkes-Barre radio station Alt 92.1 turned off the Christmas music and turned on the ’90s.
On Nov. 4, NEPA Scene broke the news that Alt 92.1 made the sudden switch from alternative rock to 24/7 holiday music, indicating that a format switch was imminent. A new website and social media pages revealed this morning that the station is now rebranded as Q92.1, playing “the ’90s and now.” Programming will include “90’s at 9,” an hour of hits from the 1990s every day at 9 a.m. and 9 p.m., and Alt 92.1 personality Tom “Ferg” Ferguson is staying on as the program director.
92.1 FM has gone through many format changes over the year, from oldies to sports to rock station Fuzz 92.1 in 2012, which rebranded as Alt 92.1 in early 2017. The annual Fuzz Fest at The Pavilion at Montage Mountain became ALTitude, and concerts with national touring artists continued under the Alt banner, like the annual Snow Show and free Private Artist Showcases.
A few on-air personalities and DJs came and went in those three years, but Alt-Natives on Alt 92.1, hosted by Johnny Popko, was a breakout show from this iteration of the station, playing an hour of curated local music of all genres every Saturday night that became a staple of the Northeastern Pennsylvania music scene and made other stations take notice. Before the pandemic, the show also hosted a live concert series at Karl Hall in Wilkes-Barre featuring many of the same unsigned artists he dedicated airtime to. Alt-Natives garnered several awards during its run, including leading a big sweep of the Local Podcast/Streaming Series of the Year, Local Radio Station of the Year, and Local Radio/Podcast/Streaming Personality of the Year categories in the 2020 Steamtown Music Awards in Scranton.
Despite the support from the music scene, it is still unclear if this show will continue in 2021 on the station’s new format, move to another station, or be canceled altogether. Popko was previously a print media personality, general manager of Wilkes-Barre alt-weekly newspaper The Weekender, and a co-host of the NEPA Scene Podcast before creating Alt-Natives in 2017 and the online-only interview spin-off Alt-Natives After Hours Podcast in 2019. NEPA Scene broke the news that he would start his own podcast, The Popko Project, about local music and more just before it launched earlier this month. The show is currently on its fourth episode and can be streamed or downloaded at thepopkoproject.com.
Q92.1 is owned by Times-Shamrock Communications, which also owns local radio stations Rock 107 and ESPN 630 as well as the Scranton Times-Tribune, Wilkes-Barre Citizens’ Voice, Hazleton Standard-Speaker, Pottsville Republican Herald, Greater Pittston Progress, Northeast Pennsylvania Business Journal, Valley Advantage, Wyoming County Examiner, Access NEPA, and Varsity 570.