103.9

KBZR (The New 103.9) – Coolidge/Phoenix, AZ – 10/30/96 – Krazy Kid Stevens (DEBUT/FIRST DAY)

On October 30, 1996, at 3:30pm, following more than six months of stunting, KBZR officially launched as “The New 103.9, Arizona’s Party Station”. Shown here are the following: (1) YouTube video: A news story about the debut that aired on the 10pm newscast of local Phoenix TV station KTVK (Channel 3). (2) Aircheck (below the video): the actual sign-on along with a mix show that immediately followed. Please visit Formatchange.com for more details about the history of the station.

KPTY (103-9 the Party) – Gilbert/Phoenix, AZ – 8/3/00 – Rudeboy

In the late 1990’s and early 2000’s, 103.9 FM — which targeted the Phoenix area from rural/suburban signals –  held a number of different formats. It began in the Spring of 1996 with a six-month Rhythmic Oldies stunt format named “S-T-E-V-E”. On October 30th of that year, it officially signed on as “The New 103.9, Arizona’s Party Station”, with a hip-hop-oriented Rhythmic CHR format and enjoyed impressive ratings (especially considering the signal limitations).  Its target, the more dance/pop/R&B-oriented KKFR “Power 92”, took notice and transformed itself into a pure hip-hop/R&B station within 9 months. A year later, 103.9 FM (whose calls had become KPTY) went in a completely different direction, offering a mix of a...

KPTY (The New 103.9) – Phoenix – Krazy Kid and Ruben S – December 1997

In October 1996, following more than six months of stunting, KPTY (still KBZR at the time) officially launched as “The New 103.9, Arizona’s Party Station” with a hip-hop-friendly Rhythmic CHR format.  Despite having a very limited signal, the station gained an impressive following in the Phoenix market and forced heritage CHR KKFR (Power 92) into a format change less than 8 months later. The stars of the station – and this aircheck – were Krazy Kid and Ruben S. They continued to have great success in the market with stops at KKFR, KZZP (104.7 Kiss-FM) and KZON (101.5 JamZ). Many thanks to Robert Martinez and Ricky Salazar for this contribution!

KBZR (103.9 FM) – Coolidge/Phoenix, AZ – 9/30/96 (S.T.E.V.E stunt)

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”. This aircheck was recorded exactly one month before the stunt ended.  By this point, the station had begun simulcasting on additional frequencies through Central and North-Central Arizona (presumably to compensate for the extended delays in upgrading the 103.9 signal), and it was revealed that “Steve” wa...

KBZR (103.9 FM) – Coolidge/Phoenix, AZ – 5/11/96 (S.T.E.V.E. stunt)

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”. This aircheck was recorded in the early days of the stunt (probably about six weeks in) — KBZR was referring to itself as “The Space Station” at this time. Included is a commercial for the infamous “J.J., The King of Beepers”, whose advertising was heard throughout multiple Southwestern markets at ...

WDRE (103-9 DRE) – Jenkintown/Philadelphia – 1/12/97

This is an aircheck of Philadelphia’s WDRE about a month before new owner Radio One flipped the station to an Urban format.  Please visit The Format Change Archive and the WDRE page on meltoxic.com for more information on the history of this station.

WWZZ/WWVZ (Z104) – Washington D.C. – 1/11/97 – Katie Maxwell

This is a sample of  the station that represented the Mainstream CHR format in our nation’s capital during the mid to late 90′s, about six months after its debut.  

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...

WWVZ/WWZZ (Z104) – Washington, D.C. – 10/17/97 – Mickey

This is a sample of  the station that represented the Mainstream CHR format in our nation’s capital during the mid to late 90′s, about 15 months after its debut.

WWZZ/WWVZ (Z104) – Washington, D.C. – 9/2/96 – George McFly

My apologies for the mediocre sound quality during the first 35 seconds of this aircheck – this occurred due to circumstances beyond my control. From about 6 weeks after this debut, this is a sample of the station that represented the Mainstream CHR format in our nation’s capital during the mid to late 90’s. This was recorded during Morning Drive by longtime industry veteran George McFly. Since it was Labor Day, the theme of his show was “who’s working?” – he aired many calls from listeners who were employed primarily at convenience stores.

WWZZ/WWVZ (Z104) – Washington D.C. – 7/18/99 – Hollywood Haze, Billy Bush

Recorded 17 years ago this month, here’s a great sample of the station that represented the Mainstream CHR format in our nation’s capital during the mid to late 90’s.  On this aircheck, Z104 offered a seemingly full-service approach, with traffic and weather elements alongside the music – which is particularly impressive considering that this was recorded on a Sunday evening. Features a promo for the Bush League morning show, starring Billy Bush, who now has his own nationally syndicated program. Z104, at least in its early days, offered a dance-friendly approach similar to nearby WXYV (102.7 ‘XYV) in Baltimore and KZQZ (Z95.7) in San Francisco; all three stations were consulted by Dan Vallie.

WWVZ/WWZZ (Z104) – Washington, D.C. – 10/1/01 – Sean Sellers, Rod Hendrix

Recorded 14 years ago today, this is a sample of Washington, D.C.’s Z104 the day after it switched format to Modern AC (following a 5-year run as a CHR). Included is what was presumably a prerecorded message from former 4-year evening host Mathew Blades, who stated that the reason for his resignation was because of the station’s decision to move in a more music-intensive direction. The station later switched to “More Music 104”, then back to “Z104.1”, before becoming the new home of Classical WGMS in January 2006.  

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