In June 1996, KACD-FM (Santa Monica) and KBCD-FM (Newport Beach) switched from a Mainstream AC format to a Underground Dance format known as “Groove Radio”. While Groove Radio was unique, it was perhaps too unique for conventional radio. It never made any sort of dent in the ratings. During the summer of 1997, Groove Radio creator Swedish Egil was fired. The station remained in the Dance arena, but it became more mainstream (better suited for radio) — but not so mainstream that it could truly be considered “cheesy”. The name also changed to “Groove 103.1″, mainly because Egil owned the rights to the “Groove Radio” name.
Then, on September 18, 1997, the format changed to an ordinary traditional Rhythmic CHR, yet the name remained “Groove 103.1″. The station was flooded with negative feedback. One week later, the format switched back to Dance.
With the return to a Dance format, the station’s ratings began to improve, albeit slightly. It eventually peaked at a 0.9 share 12+, which (tied with one of the previous formats on the 103.1 duo) represents the highest ratings ever achieved by the two 103.1 FMs. Apparently, this success got the attention of Jacor (later Clear Channel, now iHeartMedia), owner of Mainstream CHR KIIS-FM. In September 1998, Jacor purchased KACD and KBCD from Ken Roberts. Shortly thereafter, on October 12, 1998, Jacor switched “Groove 103.1″ to a simulcast of KIIS-FM, and eventually debuted a AAA format under the name “Channel 103.1″.
The montage posted here is a sample of that final day of Groove 103.1, up until approximately a half-hour prior to the station’s sign-off. You can hear the actual format change on our sister site, Formatchange.com.
One side note: in an article which appeared on laradio.com, KIIS-FM General Manager Roy Laughin admitted that Jacor bought Groove 103.1 and changed the format so that it KIIS-FM’s ratings would improve, due to the loss of a competitor.