FM

WWSY 95.9 (Y96 Energy FM) – Terre Haute, IN – 3/18/02 – Bill Cain

Y96 Energy FM offered an unfocused Rhythmic-leaning Adult Contemporary playlist, mixed with an Adult Contemporary presentation. The station apparently tried to capture the audience targeted by crosstown WMGI “100.7 Mix-FM” when it was a Dance-oriented station Mainstream CHR during the mid-90’s. According to indianaradio.net, the station was born 10 days prior to the date of this aircheck, and host Bill Cain was also the station’s Program Director.

KHTS (Channel 933) – San Diego – March ’97 – Boomer

In September 1996, Channel 933 debuted with a gold-friendly Dance CHR format, as demonstrated in this aircheck from October of that year and this one from November. However, within a few months, the station became much more current-based, replacing much of the classic dance with contemporary R&B and pop.  

WBBM-FM (B96) – Chicago – 3/16/97 – Julian Perez, Tim Schommer, Candi

During the 1990’s, Chicago’s B96 was one of the most unique Rhythmic CHRs in the U.S. This is a montage of the broad-based, personality-heavy “Street Flava” program.  

WZBZ (B105.5, The Buzz) – Atlantic City, NJ – 3/5/99

In the Spring of 1998, 107.3 WZZP teased Southern New Jersey with a Rhythmic CHR format. With no promotion or publicity, this brand new signal garnered a 2 share (12+) in its first ratings book. Seeing the hole for something between Urban AC WTTH and Adult leaning CHR WAYV, Margate Communications rolled the dice with hopes of being different. Pulling the plug on recently acquired satellite Modern Rocker WDOX, Margate moved the southern half of the Urban AC “Touch” simulcast from 105.5 to WDOX’s 93.1 slot. Rimshotting greater Atlantic City area from Cape May Court House, WBNJ (which quickly became WZBZ) debuted with a Dance CHR format designed to target WAYV, while still protecting WTTH. Within a year, WZBZ moved to 99.3 in Pleasantville, while retaining the 105.5 simulcast as WGBZ, giving ...

KDNR (Rhythm-Driven 106-3) – Albuquerque, NM – 2/24/97 – Mark Raider

According to Wikipedia — KDNR (whose call letters supposedly stood for “Dance and Romance”) launched sometime in the Spring of 1995, possibly with an all Dance or very Dance-heavy format. As demonstrated on this aircheck, by early 1997, the station had become rather unfocused as it attempted to broaden its music mix. I’m not sure if the station always used the very odd “Rhythm-Driven 106-3” name – any additional details would be much appreciated. Special thanks to Dave Dart – who at the time was program director of Rhythmic AC competitor KZRQ “Star 105 FM” – for recording this aircheck and meeting me for lunch when he was visiting Phoenix. The station now offers a CHR format known as “Z106.3”.  

KHTO (Hot 106.7) – Springfield, MO – 2/15/97

An uptempo, dance-friendly CHR is not necessarily what one would expect to find in a small Midwestern market, but that’s exactly what Hot 106.7 was at this time.

WBLI (106.1 ‘BLI) – Long Island, NY – 2/7/98 – Doc Medek

WBLI was an upbeat, fun-sounding CHR outlet, offering Long Island a locally focused alternative to similarly formatted stations from New York City.  

WZZN (94.7 The Zone) – Chicago – 2002 – Matt Wright

94.7 FM in Chicago has held many formats over the years. In the early 2000’s, it was known as “94.7 The Zone”, which began as a rock-leaning 80’s station but quickly evolved to the Alternative format heard on this montage. NOTE: The aircheck begins with an unnamed personality; Matt Wright takes over as host shortly thereafter.

KCAQ (Q-104.7) – Oxnard/Ventura, CA – 1/25/97 – Kat Torres

This is a sample of Ventura County’s longtime Rhythmic CHR (now found on 95.9 FM), voiced by the late Brian James. At this time, Q104.7 still offered a relatively balanced Rhythmic CHR format, featuring a mix of R&B, dance, hip-hop and rhythmic gold/oldies selections.

WVRT (Variety 97.7) – Williamsport, PA – 1/20/99 – Joe Mama

“Variety 97.7, WVRT” was (and may still be) one of the best small-market CHRs I’ve ever heard.

WGL-FM (Z-102.3) – Ft. Wayne, IN – 1/20/99

According to the Indiana Radio Archive and Wikipedia (pages linked below)… Z-102.3 debuted in January 1999, making this a very early aircheck in that station’s history. The call letters changed from WGL-FM to WCKZ in either March or April of that year. In March 2001, the station (and WCKZ calls) moved to 94.1 FM, and the format changed to Urban AC (supposedly with the new name “Z-94”). At the same time, 102.3 became the new home of WEJE (formerly on 96.3), with a Modern Rock format (possibly calling itself Extreme 102.3)…later becoming X-102.3 with the WXTW calls. Confused yet? Indiana Radio Archive – WGL-FM Indiana Radio Archive – WCKZ Indiana Radio Archive – WEJE Wikipedia – WGBJ

WIOQ (Q102) – Philadelphia – Jan. 1998 – Terry Young

This is a sample of legendary Philadelphia jock Terry Young during his days at Rhythmic CHR WIOQ (Q102) in the late 90’s. Young is most famous in the market for his time at Hot Hits! 98 WCAU-FM in the early 1980’s. Additional Terry Young airchecks can be found here.

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