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 Edens Broadcasting’s Y95 (KOY-FM) and The Broadcast Group’s Power 92 (KKFR).
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. But in late 1992, the station moved in a different direction, bringing in new personalities and tinkering with its Rhythmic-leaning playlist. Specifically – the station began using a dayparted approach, leaning towards Hot AC during the day, and emphasizing less mainstream modern rock/hip-hop/dance music during nighttime hours. A few months later, the station somewhat reverted to its previous sound, but the end result was an unfocused mess, low ratings, and ultimately a format change (preceded by stunting) in early September 1993.
This left KKFR and its hip-hop/R&B focused Rhythmic CHR format without any direct competition. Despite its impressive ratings, the station elected to move towards a Modern Rock-based Mainstream CHR format — heard here is the first day of their new approach.
Somewhat amusingly, at least three different positioning statements were heard throughout the day:
- “Today’s Hottest Music” (the previous slogan which was in the process of being phased out)
- “Hot Hits” (this didn’t last long presumably due to trademark enfringement issues)
- “We Play The Hits”
Please note: This montage was compiled from one of my own personal “mix tapes” – not professional unscoped airchecks. As a result, many of the songs heard are the (Rhythmic) ones that I chose to record — in reality, the station was playing more Modern Rock than what is heard here.