105.9 KPWR - Power 106

KPWR (Power 106) – Los Angeles – 1985-1995 (various)

On the heels of today’s stunning announcement regarding the sale of KPWR from Emmis to Mereulo Group, we felt it would be appropriate to re-feature an aircheck of this legendary radio station.


In early 1986, Emmis Broadcasting flipped 105.9 FM in Los Angeles from KMGG “Magic 106″ (apparently some form of Hot AC) to Rhythmic CHR (then a relatively new format) as “Power 106″.  The station became an instant hit, surpassing heritage Mainstream KIIS  in all dayparts except Morning Drive, where Rick Dees continued to dominnate.

The beginning of this aircheck contains various snippets of KPWR from what appears to be approximately 1989. It is then followed by a special mix featured on the station in 1995, titled “Blowin’ Up 10 Years of Flava.” However, as stated above, KPWR did not actually hit the airwaves until 1986.

Another tribute, correctly celebrating the station’s 10-year anniversary, aired in January 1996.

EDIT: Quoting from a comment to an article posted by the Indianapolis Business Journal about the sale of the station:

I can still hear the voice of the late Chuck Riley…the same voice on the legendary WNAP “Wrath of the Buzzard” ID.

“72,000 watts of music power (…music power…music power…) KPWR Los Angeles. Power 106.”

I think back on how Emmis struggled with moribund LA AC radio station “Magic 106.” Not even LA radio great Robert W. Morgan in morning drive or using Lakers great Magic Johnson in their advertising helped. Then one day I walk into the production room at the old WENS Landmark Center studios. For some reason Emmis VP of Programming Rick Cummings was carting up dance music. He quickly admitted it was for a format change in Los Angeles.

Cummings and WENS production assistant Darla Coop carted music. Production Director Eric Edwards produced those Riley IDs in Indianapolis — and eventually moved to LA. Those carts left the building in an re-cycled paper towel box. Overnighted and on 1/11/1986, Power was born. Doyle Rose was GM. Jeff Wyatt was PD. Jay Thomas (yeah, from “Mork & Mindy” and Carla’s hockey player husband on “Cheers”) worked morning drive.

Power beat Kiss FM in their second book – only talk KABC did better that spring of 1986. In the fall of ’86, Power was number one. From there on, every book was a battle between Kiss and Power for number one. Seeing that LA opening for a hispanic focus dance leaning CHR was Emmis’ first great success on a national level.”

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