KZZP (104-7 ZZP) – Phoenix – 12/20/99 – Karen Rite
During the 80’s, KZZP 104.7 FM in Phoenix was one of the most successful Mainstream CHR stations in the country. 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. However, a combination of changes in personalities, management, and overall pop music tastes led to the station’s downfall (in April 1991).
Five years later, owner Nationwide Communications brought KZZP back to the airwaves with a Modern AC format, making an attempt to appeal to the listeners who grew up with the station as a CHR. The station performed well, ranking #1 in key demos by 1998. However, by that point, Jacor (now Clear Channel) had taken ownership of KZZP along with KGLQ (96.9). On Labor Day Weekend 1998, KGLQ inexplicably flipped to Hot AC as “Mix 96.9”, suddenly giving KZZP a direct competitor.
Not surprisingly, KZZP began to lose audience, almost forcing a format change. In February 1999, the station began including pop and rhythmic hits in its playlist, and had evolved to full-fledged Mainstream CHR by April. This aircheck was recorded near the end of that year.
The new “104-7 ZZP” never really caught on — and so two years later, following a weekend of stunting with the song “Kiss” by Prince, KZZP relaunched as “104-7 Kiss-FM”, with a much more Rhythmic-oriented CHR approach.