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WFMF (102.5) – Baton Rouge, LA – 12/26/89 – Hollywood

“102.5 WFMF” is one of the more heritage CHR/Top 40 stations in the United States – although, according to Wikipedia, it has strayed away from its format and especially its name multiple times over the years. Like many CHR outlets in that era, WFMF took a high-energy, dance-leaning approach. NOTE: The logo shown above is not necessarily the one used at the time this aircheck was recorded; it is likely from an earlier era.

WPLY 100.3 (Y100) – Philadelphia – 1/12/97 – Lucy St. James

Alternative Rock Radio in Philadelphia has always flowed differently than the majority of the country. Thanks to the lack of a mainstream CHR for much of the 90’s and a very strong Howard Stern powered Active Rocker in 94 WYSP, Y100 had a broader demographic mix than most. Evolving from Hot AC in 1995, Y100 would not rise in popularity until crosstown 103.9 WDRE was sold to Radio-One and flipped to Urban in early 1997. Y100 did have deficiencies in its signal especially in the northern suburbs due to being on the same frequency as Z100 New York which kept ratings low. The launch of Modern AC “Max 95.7” in September 1997 didn’t help nor did “Q102” finally filling the Mainstream CHR void. Y100 itself would be sold to Radio-One in December 1999 but would remain Alternative until 2005 due to i...

KBZR (The New 103.9, Arizona’s Party Station) – Phoenix – 12/31/96 – Krazy Kid Stevens & Ruben S (END OF YEAR MIX)

For six months in 1996, KBZR (103.9 FM)/Coolidge, AZ offered one of the most creative stunts in radio history.  In between an automated Rhythmic Oldies format was a series of clever interstitials (voiced by station owner Jerry Clifton) indicating that the station was “moving in from the desert” (referring to a pending signal upgrade to allow for better coverage in the metro Phoenix area) and looking for someone — or something — named “Steve”. On October 30 of that year, KBZR officially launched as “The New 103.9, Arizona’s Party Station”.  Featured on this aircheck is a sample of the outlet 2 months after its debut, as it offered end-of-year mixshow programming on the final day of 1996. Please note that this aircheck is heavily scoped – I kept only the segments featuring songs that I...

KYLD (Wild 107.7) – San Francisco – 12/19/96 – The Dog House

This is a sample of formerly long-running and controversial “Dog House” morning show as heard on the Bay Area’s longtime Rhythmic CHR, KYLD (first on 107.7 FM and later on 94.9 FM). Please visit Wikipedia for more information on the history of this program.

KBOS (B95) – Fresno, CA – 10/13/90 – Jack Armstrong

This is a sample of Fresno’s heritage CHR from the start of the 1990’s. Quoting from comments made by FMairchecks.com contributor Robyn Watts on another B95 aircheck posted here: According to online records as well as back issues of “Billboard”, [KBOS] was on the air by the late 60s-early 70s with a Beautiful/Easy Listening format. Sometime in the mid to late 70s, the station switched to AOR, adopting the name “The Boss” in the process. In 1983, the station switched to mainstream Top 40 adopting the “B-95″ name. It went Rhythmic around 1987 after KPWR/LA had proven the success of the format. One interesting note: Jack Armstrong (yes, THAT Jack Armstrong!!!) did mornings at B-95 in the mid to late 80s before leaving California to go back to North Carolina. This aircheck was reco...

WZBZ (99.3) & WGBZ (105.5) – B105.5, The Buzz – Atlantic City, NJ – 9/28/99

In the Spring of 1998, 107.3 WZZP teased Southern New Jersey with a Rhythmic CHR format. With no promotion or publicity, this brand new signal garnered a 2 share (12+) in its first ratings book. Seeing the hole for something between Urban AC WTTH and Adult leaning CHR WAYV, Margate Communications rolled the dice with hopes of being different. Pulling the plug on recently acquired satellite Modern Rocker WDOX, Margate moved the southern half of the Urban AC “Touch” simulcast from 105.5 to WDOX’s 93.1 slot. Rimshotting greater Atlantic City area from Cape May Court House, WZBZ debuted with a Dance CHR format designed to target WAYV, while still protecting WTTH. Within a year, WZBZ moved to 99.3 in Pleasantville, while retaining the 105.5 simulcast as WGBZ, giving the station full signal cove...

KTAR moves to FM (news story from KPHO-TV Phoenix) – 9/18/06

In September 2006, Bonneville International began simulcasting News/Talk KTAR 620 AM on their newly acquired 92.3 FM. The YouTube video linked below is a news story about this change. The station formerly on 92.3 FM, Power 92.3, moved to 98.3 FM. See //formatchange.com/power-92-kkfr-becomes-ktar-fm/ for more details.

WCRX 88.1 – Chicago – 8/22/97

This is a montage of Columbia College Chicago’s longtime campus radio station from late summer 1997. Per Wikipedia – the station was property of the University of Chicago until sometime in the 1980’s.  

KRBE (104 KRBE) – Houston – 6/13/98 – Dino

Per Wikipedia – on Saturday nights from 1996 to 2002, 104 KRBE aired “The Beat” – one of the most progressive dance music programs on U.S. radio – live-to-air from The Roxy, which was of the premier nightclubs in Houston. This is a sample of the program from June 13, 1998 (recorded 18 years ago tonight).

KNRJ (Energy 92.7 & 101.1) – Payson/Phoenix, AZ – 1/10/04 – Pistol Pete

“If you can’t hear us at work…get a new job…” In January 2001, Big City Radio launched all-Dance formatted “Energy 92-7 & 5″ on a trio of signals in suburban Chicago. A year and a half later, Sierra H Broadcasting debuted the very similar “Energy 92-7 & 101-1″ on KAZL (eventually KNRJ) in Payson, AZ — with a simulcast on 10-watt K224CJ in Phoenix. With Big City Radio in financial dire straits, Energy 92-7 & 5 ended in early January 2003. But its Arizona spinoff managed to survive for 6 years — which is about 5 1/2 years longer than most people would probably have predicted. This aircheck was recorded 12 years ago yesterday, and (in my opinion) represents the era in which the station sounded best.

WBBM-FM (B96) – Chicago – 12/27/97 – DJ Markski

During a significant portion of the 1990′s, Chicago’s B96 offered a Dance music-heavy format focused on currents — making it one of the very few major market, full signal commercial stations in the U.S. to find success with that formula. By the end of the decade, the station began taking a more conventional approach to its regular format, focusing on hip-hop and R&B hits. However, B96 still aired significant amounts of Dance during its mixshows — such as this segment from a Saturday night near the end of 1997 featuring Eurodance mixed by DJ Markski. Please note that this montage is more music-heavy than what you’ll normally find on the site; this was done intentionally to highlight the depth of the musical selections, and also because – as is the norm with mix shows – there was m...

WHYI (Y-100) – Kenny Walker & “Rhythm 93.5” – Miami – 10/8/98 & 10/11/98

Recorded 17 years ago this month, this is a sample of Miami’s heritage Mainstream CHR (Y-100) on a Thursday night during live-to-air programming (titled “The House of Style”) from a local nightclub named Cafe Iguana Beach Place in Fort Lauderdale. Following the Y-100 aircheck is a sample of a classic dance-formatted pirate station that was operating in the area at the time, named “Rhythm 93.5”.

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