Recorded 28 years ago today, this is – in my opinion – the best and most successful example of a Dance CHR station in the United States. Hot 103 debuted in August 1986 and became Hot 97 (on 97.1 FM) in September 1988. Additional, very detailed information about the history of Hot 103 can be found on Wikipedia.
In February 1986, Emmis Broadcasting flipped 105.9 FM in Los Angeles from KMGG “Magic 106” (apparently some form of Hot AC as suggested in this article) 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 dominate. In an effort to reverse this trend, Emmis brought in Jay Thomas, who had been hosting mornings on New York’s WKTU (the original) until the year prior. This is a sample of Thomas’ show about six months after its debut, recorded 28 years ago this month.
In 1986, 94.7 WLS-FM in Chicago changed its call letters to WYTZ and began referring to itself as “Z95″. This new approach, along with a long list of personnel changes, made the station became a serious competitor to the market’s heritage CHR, WBBM-FM (B96). This is a brief sample of Z95 from the very early morning hours of New Year’s Day 1987, during primarily mixshow programming.