Mainstream CHR

WBLI (106.1 ‘BLI) – Long Island, NY – 9/6/98 – Kramer

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

KKSS (Kiss 97.3) – Albuquerque, NM – 2001 – Johnny B, Jammer

This is a montage of Albuquerque’s longtime Rhythmic CHR at the height of the boy band/girl band craze, when it had a very Mainstream CHR-sounding approach. (The logo shown above is not necessarily from the era when this aircheck was recorded.)

WTHT (Thunder 107) – Portland, ME – 8/23/91 – Hal Stevens

“So hot, it’s cool…Thunder 107” — This aircheck represents a great example of small market Mainstream CHR in the early 90’s.  Unfortunately, this was the beginning of a period of multi-year struggle for the CHR format as a whole. During the first ~15 seconds, there is some static that drowns out some of the audio.

KIDR 740 – Phoenix – 8/18/98 – Matt Miller & Brotha Fred

During the mid-90’s, KIDR (740 AM) in Phoenix was one of several radio stations across the U.S. affiliated with the childrens’-targetted “Radio AAHS” network. Ten of these stations were owned by Radio AAHS. By January 1998, with Radio Disney having launched its own competing network, Radio AAHS ceased operations. They put the ten stations up for sale (KIDR had joined this group not long before the sale was announced). Until a buyer was found, the affiliates (both the AAHS-owned and non-owned stations) aired a mix of random music and paid programming for 12 hours (4am-4pm PT), and all-dance “Beat Radio” for the remaining 12 hours (4pm-4am PT). In May of that year, KIDR program director Matt Miller elected to begin airing an hour of locally originated prog...

WWLD 106.1 (Wild 106) – Tallahassee, FL – 1996

This is a sample of 106.1 FM in Tallahassee during its run as a Rhythmic-leaning Mainstream CHR. The exact date of the aircheck is unknown, but per comments made by the air personality, it was apparently recorded on a weekday holiday. The WWLD call letters were in place from 3/29/96 to 10/15/96. At that point, they became WUTL. However, it is unclear whether a format change took place at the same time. The station definitely flipped to Rhythmic Oldies in March 1999.

KPXR (Power 102) – Anchorage, AK – 8/8/88 – Jason Hall

By the late 80’s, it seemed that many CHRs in the United States began leaning towards either hairband or rhythmic music. Power 102 was an exception – as this aircheck suggests, the station was more of an AC/Classic Rock/CHR hybrid. According to Wikipedia, along with Robyn Watts (who contributed this aircheck), the station held the KPXR call letters from 1986 to 1994. However, the station did not adopt a CHR format until sometime in 1988. The station is now KDBZ “Oldies 102.1”.  

KLYV (K-Live 105) – Dubuque, IA – 8/6/98 – Scott Thomas

K-Live 105 was a relatively interesting small market Midwestern Mainstream CHR. The station is now known as Y105 (still with the KLYV calls.)

WXXL (XL-106.7 FM) – Orlando – July 1992

“Of all of life’s experiences…you must at one time or another encounter…RAVE”. Voiced by the legendary Mitch Craig, this is a sample of Orlando’s longtime CHR during progressive underground dance mix programming.

WHYI (Y100) – Miami – 6/24/99 – Rich Rodriguez

One of America’s heritage CHRs (the longest with the same calls/nickname according to Wikipedia) is Miami’s Y-100 (100.7 WHYI).  At the peak of the boy-band/girl-band era, here’s a segment from the summer before the start of the new millennium. This features host Rich Rodriguez telling hopeful contest winners that he’s looking for caller #1007.

KSLZ (Z107.7) – St. Louis – 6/17/98 – Boomer

Jacor (now iHeartMedia) debuted KSLZ in October 1997 and filled a huge hole in the St. Louis market for a true CHR/Top 40 station.  This is a sample of the station from the summer that followed.

99.5 WZPL WZPL (99 1/2, ZPL) – Indianapolis – 5/31/97 – Jason Addams

This is a sample of the “ZPL Hitzone” mixshow from a Saturday night in May 1997.  This was a high-energy program broadcast live from an upscale beach-themed nightclub (now defunct) named Gators on the fourth floor of the Circle Center Mall in Indianapolis. At this time, the station’s primary voice was the late and great Brian James.

KIDR 740 – Phoenix – 5/28/98 – Matt Miller

During the mid-90’s, KIDR (740 AM) in Phoenix was one of several radio stations across the U.S. affiliated with the childrens’-targetted “Radio AAHS” network. Ten of these stations were owned by Radio AAHS. By January 1998, with Radio Disney having launched its own competing network, Radio AAHS ceased operations. They put the ten stations up for sale (KIDR had joined this group not long before the sale was announced). Until a buyer was found, the affiliates (both the AAHS-owned and non-owned stations) aired a mix of random music and paid programming for 12 hours (4am-4pm PT), and all-dance “Beat Radio” for the remaining 12 hours (4pm-4am PT). In May of that year, KIDR program director Matt Miller elected to begin airing an hour of locally originated prog...

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