During the mid-1990’s, under the direction of Program Director Don Parker, KKFR (Power 92) in Phoenix was at its peak, registering an all-time high 7.1 share (12+) in the Winter 1996 Arbitron survey. The station offered a broad Rhythmic CHR mix that focused primarily on dance and R&B music.
In the Spring of 1996, KBZR (103.9 FM) in rural Coolidge, AZ began a six-month stunt focused on “old school” music that eventually led to a hip-hop/old school-friendly Rhythmic CHR format. At the end of October 1996, the station officially signed on as “The New 103.9, Arizona’s Party Station.” In its first full book (Winter 1997), KBZR (eventually KPTY) achieved a 2.9 share 12+ … which was absolutely remarkable considering that it was operating with a signal possibly as weak as 1,100 watts located some 50 miles outside of the Phoenix metro.
In the same survey, KKFR fell to a 4.7 share 12+. The station began to emulate KPTY in some ways, such as offering contests in which listeners were rewarded for having a Power 92 bumper sticker, airing more mixshow programming and more old school music in general. This aircheck was recorded in the midst of these changes – it features samples of the “9:26 Quick Mix”, the “Drive at Five”, and the “Power 500” classic dance/old school countdown from Memorial Day Weekend 1997.
On June 13, 1997, KKFR began focusing exclusively on hip-hop and R&B music, and adopted the tagline “Where Hip-Hop Lives”.