B96 switches to 96.3 NOW, a "hit music" station


After almost exactly a decade on the air, hip-hop station B96 switched formats at noon today. The new station is called "96.3 NOW," and a pre-recorded spot declares that they will play "the most hit music!" Artists played so far include Miley Cyrus, Jay-Z, Lady Gaga, and Beyonce.

While the new format will still include some Top 40 hip-hop, the greatest loss for the local community will be the lack of local, independent hip-hop played on air. Evening host Peter Parker had established himself as a staple of the local rap scene, inviting guests onto his show for live performances and interviews, throwing parties, and releasing mixtapes like How Hard Do you Hustle?

Peter Parker posted a few updates about the closing today on his Twitter feed:

B96 as a station is a wrap. I wanna thank everyone that supported the "movement" over the last 4 years. Thank u @b96twincites.

@Kaznasty @MikeDreamsMusic @GeeKoMusic yup. B96 is over, get ready for your new pop/dance format, no more hiphop.

RT @tfly: FAQ: Yes B96 is dead. The new station is "96.3 Now". Yes, I'm under contract so my family will continue to eat for quite a while

Here's a clip from one of Parker's recent shows, with a handful of members from Doomtree:

Here's hoping Mr. Parker finds a new outlet to show his support of local hip-hop. Do you think any of the independent radio stations around town will start playing more independent and local hip-hop to fill this new void?