98.9 The Drive becomes 98.9 Pure Country

Photo by Adi Goldstein.


Country music fans in Kingston have a new radio station to add to their presets in the car, as 98.9 The Drive has officially become 98.9 Pure Country.

On Monday, May 27, 2019, we reported that local radio station 98.9 The Drive had made the switch to easy listening, with a playlist all day that spanned the gamut from Abba to Eminem. This move was an interim smoke screen of sorts, commonly used when radio stations are in the process of reinventing and rebranding themselves.

Today, Tuesday, May 28, that smoke cleared as the station has officially been branded as Kingston’s newest country station, Pure Country. Owned by Bell Media, it is unclear where the three on-air personalities remaining with the station will find their homes. Those who tune in over the coming days are sure to hear some new features, and possibly a morning show, as the station establishes a schedule and programming.

From Tool to Tina Turner to Tim McGraw, 98.9 has made some serious changes to what it’s putting out on the airwaves. Tune in and let us know your thoughts in the comments!

39 thoughts on “98.9 The Drive becomes 98.9 Pure Country

  • Oh I hope it plays varied editions of country, some early country singers when it was actually country. Never heard tell of artists of today and do not think most should be classed as country. Let’s get them on to some real country.

  • Tune to AM if you want country. Give us back our alternative station!

  • That’s interesting seeing Kingston already has a country radio station.

  • So sad to see my favourite radio station go. The other rock stations don’t touch the cutting edge line up that The Drive brought to our airwaves. Don’t we have 15 country stations already?

  • Let’s hope they not only play today’s country , there is still alot of us out here that would like to hear the classic country music, today’s country sounds more like pop music…

  • Another example of the BIG company bullying other local businesses.
    Big G had spent his life’s savings to give Kingston the Country Music that the locals want and deserved. This after another BIG company CORUS had stripped the Kingston area community of the station and format that so many loved.
    If the public speaks up by not tuning in to Bells new station they can keep the local station that is owned and operated by local folks.
    93.5 kick_fm

  • You’ll lose thousands of listeners, including me. Good riddance.

  • No thanks. I miss The Drive. We already have a country music station. We do not need another one.

  • Oh boy I hope they play songs about crazy girls & day drinking! Country is so brutal these days. No thanks!!!

  • Words cannot Express how deeply saddened I am by this news. The drive (essential alternative) was by far my favorite radio station and its loss will weigh heavy in my heart. No longer will I be able to enjoy their amazing selection and awesome content on my daily commute. Alas I must suffer until the end of days, awaiting sweet sweet death that will free me from the morbid tyranny that is country music. Heathens! HEATHENS! Such treasonous treachery!

    • I am devastated. We live in northern NY and this is was the only station we ever listen to. I’m so mad!

  • This was the ONLY Kingston radio station I listened to, for the interesting music mix of alternative rock; I was only annoyed they had no DJs, so no announcements of songs, no sense of time and place.

    Extremely disappointed they went country, with the same no DJ no sense of place. I have nothing against country but there are several stations in the Kingston GA already in the format.

    What a mistake!!

  • I cannot believe this has happened. What a terrible decision Bell Media has made. This was by far the best radio station in Kingston. Is there not enough country stations already? As far as I’m concerned, 1 station would be too many!

  • Tradgedy of all tragedies! 98.9 the Drive was the only music station I liked in Kingston. Will be sorely missed.

  • I am devastated. You people are crazy! I live in northern NY and this is was the only station we ever listened to. They just lost a huge demographic. There’s enough country stations. Morons!!

  • I am absolutely gutted. Modern country music is just 80’s rock with twang. I would listen exclusively to The Drive whenever I was in Northern New York. I suppose I should give up on terrestrial radio altogether and start streaming music.
    It was bad enough when we lost Gord last year. . . Now this!?!?!? Words can not express how sad and disappointed I am.

  • The only local FM station I listened to is gone. I’m not a fan of country music or popular music so I guess I will just be listening to satelite radio and CD’s in my car from now on, unless I’m outside of Kingston where there are still some good radio stations.

  • I’m from Ottawa and was so disappointed to learn of this change since I often listened to The Drive over cellular data network and wondered why I was listening to country music. I loved the format of The Drive, the played awesome tunes, it’s too bad.
    Kelly from OTTAWA

  • I am deeply saddened by the loss of 98.9 the Drive. It was by far my go to station I always wished it had a larger broadcast area. I guess I’ll have to listen to my own music playlists.

  • man… this is pretty bad news. the drive was the best on the air, been listening to it for over 10 years now. I wish the team did an online radio show for us to tune into. being back alt rock!!!

  • I have been living and working in Alberta’s Rocky Mountains for over 5 years since left Kingston and I would always play it at work over I heart radio. Now I’ll have to go to Satellite radio!

  • Already programmed the new station out of my presets in the car. Isn’t there enough country already? I can imagine there losing a majority of their listeners because there’s a bazillion crappy country stations. I bet suicides go up due to everything being country and depressing. I’m not even in Canada and it was the best station around.

  • Oh great. Another country station? Where am I gonna listen to 90s alternative or USS any more? So tired of hearing the same 4 genres on the radio….

  • As being from the US, I have listened to the Drive for years (Watertown radio stations are terrible). I have learned about many local Canadian bands because of the Drive that they don’t play in the US or on Satellite Radio. K-Rock plays too much of the same (mainstream) songs over and over since they changed hands a few years back, but I do like the morning show. Like others have commented previously, it’s just sad that the local stations are being pushed out by big money and not caring about what the local people actually want to hear.

  • The drive was the best radio station in Kingston and the one I listened to the most. So disappointing to see it gone. Kingston already has a Country radio station. Why would anyone think it needs another one? What a misstep!

  • I live in New York and it was one of two rock radio stations that I can get in my car. The other one being here in Watertown. The one here has some awful DJs and can go hours without playing a song I like or want to hear. I always filled that time with The Drive. I was thoroughly disgusted when I discovered it had been switched to a country station. When I do a scan for active stations on my FM dial there’s about a dozen country stations already. We didn’t need another one in this greater geographic area. I took it out of my radio presets the next morning after hoping all day that it was a bad, very late April Fools prank.

  • I have to say that 98.9 has been permanently removed from radio in my car. I don’t think it should have been changed and come on to change to country station?? thumbs down

  • Boo hiss!
    Guess that’s it for me listening to local radio anymore. Our options suck.
    Thanks the Drive crew, you introduced me to lots of bands that would otherwise never have been on my radar. You will be missed!

    On to streaming full time from now on. I will miss having the local news and announcements etc but so be it.

  • I personally would rather be waterboarded (google it), than listen to that wangy twangy hillbilly bullshit. To ditch a great station and play that crap is absurd.

  • The Drive was by far the best radio station for essential alternative rock. I will miss that station! I was already upset when Reid and Ben transferred to a POP station and now they get rid of the station completely! Will there be another alternative rock station in Kingston or the surrounding area that we can listen to?

  • XFM did the same thing in the very early 2000’s, such a shame to bee seeing good stations go corporate/streaming in this era.

  • Just another decision by corporate know-nothings. New country is dreadful, the same sophomoric lyrics sung by wannabe “country cowboys” , singing in exaggerated twangy accents…backed up by the same poor music consisting of the same guitar licks and generic banjo background song after song……. 98.9 is off my radio preset now. Kingston has MORE than enough country stations in the area playing this crap. Why another one??

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