Radio

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.

KOY-FM (Y95) – Phoenix – 1992 (featuring Mitch Craig sweepers)

In the late 80′s, and the very early 90′s, Phoenix was one of the best markets for fans of the CHR format.  Nationwide Communications’ heritage KZZP found itself in a heated battle with The Broadcast Group’s Power 92 (KKFR) and Edens Broadcasting’s Y95 (KOY-FM). KZZP dominated for most of the 80′s.  But with changes in management, personalities, and pop music tastes — ratings dropped significantly in the early 90′s, leading to a format and name change in April 1991. Y95, capitalizing on the changes and later demise of KZZP, enjoyed ratings success at the start of the decade. This is a station composite from early 1992 (most likely originating from an official version, but edited by yours truly), when it adopted a policy of playing “no hard rap”. (Ultimately, this decision may h...

WQHT (Hot 97) – New York – 9/17/91 – Jeff Thomas, Fast Freddie Colon

This is a montage of New York’s Hot 97 from its days as a high-energy Dance CHR. The station debuted with the same format as Hot 103.5 five years earlier, moved to 97.1 in 1988, and began evolving into a hip-hop-oriented station in early 1993.

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.  

KIBB (B100) – Los Angeles – 8/31/97 (LABOR DAY WKND ’97) – Benny Martinez

Following the “worst-to-first” success 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.  This aircheck features B100’s “All about the 80’s Weekend”, from Labor Day Weekend 1997, hosted by longtime Southern California air personality Benny Martinez. About 2 months later, B100 flipped to Rhythmic Oldies as Mega 100.  With its instant (but ultimately short-lived) success, the station became the “KTU” for its own format — numerous clones popped up nationwide as part of the “Jammin Oldies” fad. A decade later, Emmis jumped on the “Movin” bandwagon, bring...

WKHI (Mix 99.9 KHI) – Salisbury/Ocean City, MD – 8/20/92 – Chris Kelly

For over two decades, 99.9 FM in Salisbury/Ocean City, MD has been a Country station known as “Froggy 99.9” with the call letters WWFG. But prior to that, according to Wikipedia, it was a CHR/Hot AC station known as “100 KHI” (that’s the era associated with the logo attached to this post), “Mix 99.9 KHI” (as heard on this aircheck – not mentioned on the Wikipedia article), “99.9 KHI”, and “Power 99.9 KHI”.

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...

WSNX 104.5 – Grand Rapids, MI – 8/15/97 – Keith Curry

WSNX was one of the best CHRs of the mid/late 90’s, offering an upbeat music mix and outstanding jingles & sweepers, voiced by the late and great Brian James.  This was very impressive for a medium-sized market.

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”.  

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