KZZP – Phoenix – 2/19/99 – Phil Steiner
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. On February 19, 1999, the station began to add pop and rhythmic hits to its playlist. This is a sample of the new songs and imaging from that first night – it features an aired phone call from yours truly, who was a little too excited about the change.
KZZP evolved to a full-fledged Mainstream CHR by early April of that year.