KZZP / KVRY (Variety 104.7) – Phoenix – April 1991
Throughout the 80’s, KZZP/Phoenix enjoyed incredible success, establishing itself as one of America’s legendary CHRs. 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 – as illustrated by the other KZZP montages posted here.
But, by the late 80’s/early 90’s, like many of its peers in the format, KZZP began to struggle. A combination of changes in personalities, management, and overall pop music tastes led to the station’s downfall. On Sunday, April 28, 1991, KZZP was replaced by the sound of a ticking clock. Quoting a post by John Davis on the KZZP Facebook group:
It died later in the day than midnight. A friend of mine did overnights (with the Dave Ryan “guess the change” promo), then it went into public affairs, then they aired AT40. After playing the last commercial break (before playing the #1 song) they jingled into Elton John’s “Funeral For A Friend” and then the ticking clock was on.
Two days later, “Variety 104.7” debuted with Adult Contemporary music — becoming the fifth station in the market to offer that format.
This montage includes snippets of the ticking clock (including embedded announcements teasing the debut of the new station), the sign-on of Variety 104.7, and a promo with sample songs featured as part of the new format. Many, many thanks to Eric Paul Johnson (also a member of the aforementioned Facebook group) for providing this aircheck (which I personally have never seen listed/published anywhere else.)
So this is what Nationwide Communications gave up just to put the market’s 5th AC on the air? Yuck!
BTW; The ‘roll call” (names of competing station’s PDs) was also used when Nationwide had launched KHMX in Houston as well.
@Robyn Haha…station had a good run for 5 years with Wayne Walker as GM. Steve Elliot was PD. We all proudly wore our (NCI) Nationwide Communications pins “Only the Best People” with the Eagle icon…at the time it was a great company.
I was there from 1994-1996 until they flipped back to the ‘New’ KZZP, which tanked. In 1995, KVRY was at its peak…with Ron (Hoon) & Connie (Colla) in the morning doing their show from 12News (early days of ‘convergence’). Christopher CaldwelI was the smooth talkin’ ex-Philly jock in PM Drive. He sounded great. I did nights 7-Mid and ’70s Saturday Night’ on the Polyester Radio Network. (That parody show had the highest weekend ratings in the market for 2 years! It almost went national…but that was pre-digital age and it was never to be.)
I was also the station’s production director and before the flip back to ‘ZZP in 1996, I produced this sign-on promo:
The “New” ‘ZZP signed on with ‘The Cure-Friday I’m in Love’ … The next day, most of the staff was escorted out of the building and the rest is history.
@Jason – Dare you to say that over on the KZZP Facebook group. I bet Guy Zapoleon might have a few numbers to run by you in terms of a “good run”. 🙂
All in fun, all in fun…
@DanB Okay, Okay. Variety was a blip on the radar compared to ‘ZZP’s legacy. Variety 104.7 served a purpose and ran its course…”The BEST mix of Continuous Music”…K-V-R-Y Mesa/Phoenix…a service of Nationwide Communications….”
I am waiting for the glorious return of Edens’ Y-95… haha..Then Bruce Kelly can come home from North Dakota, I’ll do nights as “Kid Corona” as I did back in 1991….and we’ll be right back where we started. Anyone have Nancy Reynold’s email? Does Rick Thomas wanna come back? Jeff Stewart? Steve Goddard? Let’s do this! 😉
Still waitin on that Christopher Caldwell mug from before the switch to KZZP.. never wanted those Harkins Theatre passes anyway.
I remember these days well. I was a huge zzp fan, and listened religiously to Dave, John, and Lisa in the morning, and got sooooo ticked when they did this! Lol Dave Ryans not hard to find, but what ever happened to John and Lisa???