Radio

KKFR (Power 92) – Phoenix – Nov 22/23, 1995 – Roxanne Steele

“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).

KIBB (B100) – Los Angeles – 11/19/97 (LAST DAY)

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...

WIOQ (Q102) – Philadelphia – 11/19/98 – Terry Young

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.  

WPST (97.5) – Trenton, NJ – November 1991 – Andy West

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?

KBZR (The New 103.9) – Coolidge/Phoenix, AZ – 10/30/96 – Krazy Kid Stevens (DEBUT/FIRST DAY)

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.

WHHH (Hoosier 96) – Indianapolis – 10/29/91 – RJ Miles

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...

WEGX (Eagle 106) – Philadelphia – October 1991 – Bobby Willis

“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.

Open House Party – from KRQQ (93.7 KRQ) – Tucson, AZ – 2004

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.

WKTU (103-5 The New ‘KTU) – New York – 10/19/98

This is a montage of the station that went to worst to first in one rating book, about 2.5 years after its debut.

KBZR (103.9 FM) – Coolidge/Phoenix, AZ – 9/30/96 (S.T.E.V.E stunt)

For six months in 1996, KBZR (103.9 FM)/Coolidge, AZ offered one of the most creative stunts in radio history.  In between an automated Rhythmic Oldies format was a series of clever interstitials (voiced by station owner Jerry Clifton) indicating that the station was “moving in from the desert” (referring to a pending signal upgrade to allow for better coverage in the metro Phoenix area) and looking for someone — or something — named “Steve”. This aircheck was recorded exactly one month before the stunt ended.  By this point, the station had begun simulcasting on additional frequencies through Central and North-Central Arizona (presumably to compensate for the extended delays in upgrading the 103.9 signal), and it was revealed that “Steve” wa...

WZPL (99.5) – Indianapolis – 1992

This is an official station composite of “99 and a half, WZPL” during its Mainstream CHR days.  The aircheck was produced and mailed to me personally by someone at the station (presumably a Johnny George – that name is printed on the cassette label), after I wrote them a letter telling them how much I missed listening to them (I had recently moved from Indianapolis to Phoenix, and had not yet become accustomed to the idea of CHRs emphasizing hip-hop and R&B.)

WZZN (94.7 the Zone) – Chicago – 2000/2001 – Jeffrey T. Mason

This is a brief aircheck of Jeffrey T. Mason on 80′s-formatted 94.7 the Zone (WZZN Chicago), playing a jingle from the station’s days as Mainstream CHR WYTZ “Z95”. A similar aircheck (flashing back to the station’s days as “Musicradio WLS”) can be heard here. Note: Please have your speakers at a minimum before beginning to play this aircheck; the audio is very loud and begins suddenly.

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