“WFSH” (Fresh 106) – “New York” – 6/13/97
Fresh 106 was one of the earliest Internet-only streamers. Its high-energy presentation, voiced by the legendary Mitch Craig, its use of the fictional WFSH call letters, the presence of mainstream commercials and the availability of FM-quality streams made it sound very much like a traditional radio station.
Reviewing the “FAQ” section of the defunct Fresh 106 Website via archive.org:
- Fresh 106 targeted the New York City market, but was apparently based in San Francisco.
- Musically, the station seemed to position itself between hip-hop/R&B-dominated Hot 97 (WQHT) and recurrent/classic dance-heavy 103.5 WKTU, taking many potshots at the latter.
- Fresh 106 debuted on 3/21/97.
Functioning archived versions of the Fresh 106 website are available through 5/31/02, implying that it had at least a 5- year run. However, clicking on the link for the 11/22/02 capture results in a redirect to power105.com – which at the time was a page promoting Emmis Communications (specifically, WQHT and similarly formatted KPWR “Power 106” in Los Angeles and KKFR “Power 92” in Phoenix). Emmis had clearly registered power105.com (along with power1051.com) in order to capitalize on Clear Channel’s failure to do so when it debuted WWPR “Power 105” as a competitor to WQHT…and they presumably purchased the fresh106.com domain as well.
This brief montage was recorded 16 years ago this month (about 3 months into the station’s existence.) Due to technical issues, the audio of this edited aircheck is more reminiscent of a low-bandwidth stream; the original aircheck offered the aforementioned FM quality sound.