During the 80’s, KZZP 104.7 FM in Phoenix was one of the most successful Mainstream CHR stations in the country. According to the station’s Wikipedia page, it “produced a long list of future stars in the radio business”, and offered a music mix that was adventurous for a Top 40 station. However, a combination of changes in personalities, management, and overall pop music tastes led to the station’s downfall (in April 1991). Five years later, owner Nationwide Communications brought KZZP back to the airwaves with a Modern AC format, making an attempt to appeal to the listeners who grew up with the station as a CHR. The station performed well, ranking #1 in key demos by 1998. However, by that point, Jacor (now Clear Channel) had taken ownership of KZZP along with KGLQ (96.9). On Labor Day Wee...
In October 1996, following more than six months of stunting, KPTY (still KBZR at the time) officially launched as “The New 103.9, Arizona’s Party Station” with a hip-hop-friendly Rhythmic CHR format. Despite having a very limited signal, the station gained an impressive following in the Phoenix market and forced heritage CHR KKFR (Power 92) into a format change less than 8 months later. The stars of the station – and this aircheck – were Krazy Kid and Ruben S. They continued to have great success in the market with stops at KKFR, KZZP (104.7 Kiss-FM) and KZON (101.5 JamZ). Many thanks to Robert Martinez and Ricky Salazar for this contribution!
“Today’s Hottest Music is on Power 92”. This aircheck, recorded on the night before Thanksgiving 1995, represents the sound of KKFR (92.3) Glendale/Phoenix that led the station to an all-time high 7.0 Arbitron share (12+). At this time, Power 92 offered superb all-around music, air talent, and production values. Hosted by Roxanne Steele (who later spent over a decade at Chicago’s B96).
With the pending demise of KSWD “100.3 The Sound” later today, here’s a look back at the final day of a previous format/station on the same frequency, from almost exactly 20 years ago. Following the “worst-to-first” performance of New York’s WKTU in 1996, a number of stations around the U.S. attempted similar formats (essentially Rhythmic AC) in their markets. B100 was one example – but the station never came close to achieving KTU-like numbers. It debuted in the Fall of 1996, emphasizing 70’s and 80’s Dance/R&B selections and positioning itself with the slogan “LA’s Hot FM.” Several months later, Viacom sold the station to Chancellor (which became AMFM). During the Spring of 1997, Chancellor tried to improve the station by making it more current-intensive and modifyi...
This is a sample of Philadelphia’s longtime CHR, hosted by one of my favorite personalities of all time — Terry “Motormouth” Young (who was most famous in the market for his time at Hot Hits! 98 WCAU in the early 1980’s.) In early 1998, after several years with a pronounced Rhythmic lean, Q102 moved in a more Mainstream direction. However, as heard on this aircheck, the station still had quite a few few dance selections (mostly recurrents/classics) in rotation at this time.
At the start of the 90’s, as mainstream pop music became much more fragmented, many formerly “Mainstream” CHRs chose to lean towards either Adult Contemporary or Rhythmic/Dance music. WPST, along with some of its other neighbors in the Philadelphia region like “Y102” WRFY Reading and WSTW Wilmington went in a Rock 40 direction. When was the last time a station ran an all-request show at 3am?
On October 30, 1996, at 3:30pm, following more than six months of stunting, KBZR officially launched as “The New 103.9, Arizona’s Party Station”. Shown here are the following: (1) YouTube video: A news story about the debut that aired on the 10pm newscast of local Phoenix TV station KTVK (Channel 3). (2) Aircheck (below the video): the actual sign-on along with a mix show that immediately followed. Please visit Formatchange.com for more details about the history of the station.
After having been granted the call letters WHHH a couple of months earlier, 96.3 FM in Indianapolis hit the air on October 28, 1991 — making it the first new FM signal in the market in over 25 years. This aircheck was seemingly recorded overnight following the station’s first full day. A video of the actual sign-on is posted on Youtube (the logo shown above is a screen shot taken from that video.) In these earliest moments, the station referred to itself multiple ways: “Hoosier 96” “Hoosier Hot 96” “Hot Hoosier 96” “Hot Hoosier 96.3” “Hoosier Hot 96 Dot 3” “Hoosier 96, WHHH” “Hoosier 96 Dot 3, WHHH” “96 Dot 3, WHHH” Today, the station calls itself “Hot 96.3” and offers a...
“Today’s best music mix…the new sound of Eagle 106”. This is a great example of pure Mainstream CHR for its era, recorded just before Halloween 1991.
Most likely recorded sometime in 2004, this is a brief sample of the long-running Saturday night program “Open House Party” as heard on KRQQ (93.7 KRQ) in Tucson, AZ. Included is an interview with JC Chasez, formerly of teen act N*SYNC, at the point when he was in the midst of his solo career.