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Webcast radio owner Luis Kaloyan said he launched X1FM and its streams of five music programs (alternative, electronic, disco, rock en español, classic rock) in 2006 because he had a “passion for the freedom of music.” The National City—based Internet radio station is known for its state-of-the-art equipment.

After 11 years as the morning-show host at 91X, Chris Cantore was told at the end of last year that his contract would not be renewed. In May, Cantore signed on as a morning host for X1FM’s alternative station. A couple of weeks ago, he and X1FM parted ways.

Shoutcast.com, a site that accommodates many different webcast streams, also indicates how many listeners are tuned in to those webcasts at any given moment. A recent perusal showed that the most popular alternative stream was a station known as “181 the Buzz,” which showed 2318 listeners. Radio Nigel, hosted by 91X midday DJ Steve West, was the 12th most popular alternative station, with 314 listeners. X1FM’s alternative stream showed 42 listeners (44th place). Regular Shoutcast.com readings over the past two months showed that X1FM never topped 100 listeners.

“They were expecting this phenomenal surge of listeners, but it never happened,” says an insider.

X1FM general manager Raul Sanchez and Kaloyan did not respond to a request for comment.

Cantore responded via email: “The radio insider, like the writer of this piece, is a complete ass-hat and has no idea what he is talking about. A deal was not signed and my departure had nothing to do with numbers. Regarding numbers, shoutcast, or any freeware, [they] represent a minuscule percentage of the actual audience listening/watching the X1FM network (traffic is driven internally). Regardless, it saddens me that anyone would try to disparage an upstart operation that is doing a lot of good in the community.”

X1FM music director Raudel Enrique said an announcement about Cantore’s replacement would be coming soon. He says that X1FM is also going to launch two new channels: reggae and hip-hop.

– Ken Leighton

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