1998

WCBR/WBRO (92.7 Kiss-FM) – suburban Chicago – 11/14/98 (FIRST DAY)

In November 1998, pure Mainstream CHR was heard on Chicagoland airwaves (for the first time in many years) with the arrival of “92 Kiss-FM” on a pair of suburban signals. You can hear the station’s launch (along with the stunting that preceded it) at our sister site, Formatchange.com.  Posted here is a montage of the 30 minutes or so that followed. More information on the history of this station can be found at Wikipedia.

WGCI (107.5) – Chicago – 8/21/98 – Armando Rivera & Scott Smokin’ Silz

This is a sample of Friday night “Club 107.5” mixshow programming on Chicago’s heritage Urban Contemporary station, WGCI. It was hosted by Armando Rivera with mixes provided by Scott Smokin’ Silz – both of whom worked at the legendary WBMX (102.7) during the 1980’s. At this time, the station (or at least the Club 107.5 mixshow) employed an outstanding high-energy voice talent in Pat Garrett. More information about the history of WBMX (specifically, the “Hot Mix 5” of which Scott Smokin’ Silz was a member) can be found HERE.  

KSLZ (Z107.7) – St. Louis – 5/29/98 – Rich Stevens, Danny Wright

Jacor (now Clear Channel) debuted KSLZ in October 1997 and filled a huge hole in the St. Louis market for a true CHR/Top 40 station.  This is a sample of the station from the following May during Saturday night mixshow programming.

WZZP (Fun 107) – Atlantic City, NJ – 5/15/98

The last Class B signal to debut in the Atlantic City market began testing in late February 1998. 107.3 WZZP was owned at the time by Spring Communications with a tower at the top of the Trump Taj Mahal casino. As the station got closer to debuting for good, the testing turned more towards stunting. There was a day of looping Chumbawumba’s “Tubthumping”, followed by Classic Rock billed as “ZZ 107” and later a turn towards CHR as “ZZ 107 – The Zipper”. Finally, or so we thought at the time, on April 25 the station began billing itself as “Fun 107” using the same branding as its sister station WFHN in New Bedford, MA. This stunt was much more prolonged than the rest, as many were under the impression that this would be the final for...

KDON 102.5 – Salinas/Monterey, CA – 4/24/98 – Maverick

This is a sample of Monterey’s longtime Rhythmic CHR, voiced by the late Brian James, during the late 1990’s. At the time, the station offered a relatively broad music mix – although perhaps too downtempo at times.  

WBLI (106.1 ‘BLI) – Long Island, NY – 2/7/98 – Doc Medek

WBLI was an upbeat, fun-sounding CHR outlet, offering Long Island a locally focused alternative to similarly formatted stations from New York City.  

WIOQ (Q102) – Philadelphia – Jan. 1998 – Terry Young

This is a sample of legendary Philadelphia jock Terry Young during his days at Rhythmic CHR WIOQ (Q102) in the late 90’s. Young is most famous in the market for his time at Hot Hits! 98 WCAU-FM in the early 1980’s. Additional Terry Young airchecks can be found here.

WBLI (106.1 ‘BLI) – Long Island, NY – 9/6/98 – Kramer

  WBLI was (and may still be) an upbeat, fun-sounding CHR outlet, offering Long Island a locally focused alternative to similarly formatted stations from New York City.  

KIDR 740 – Phoenix – 8/18/98 – Matt Miller & Brotha Fred

During the mid-90’s, KIDR (740 AM) in Phoenix was one of several radio stations across the U.S. affiliated with the childrens’-targetted “Radio AAHS” network. Ten of these stations were owned by Radio AAHS. By January 1998, with Radio Disney having launched its own competing network, Radio AAHS ceased operations. They put the ten stations up for sale (KIDR had joined this group not long before the sale was announced). Until a buyer was found, the affiliates (both the AAHS-owned and non-owned stations) aired a mix of random music and paid programming for 12 hours (4am-4pm PT), and all-dance “Beat Radio” for the remaining 12 hours (4pm-4am PT). In May of that year, KIDR program director Matt Miller elected to begin airing an hour of locally originated prog...

KKUU (U-92.7) – Indio/Palm Springs, CA – 7/10/98

U-92.7 hit the airwaves sometime in the mid to late 90’s. Initially, as demonstrated on this aircheck, the station offered a rather unfocused but entertaining Rhythmic CHR format. Over time, the playlist was tightened so that it had a focus on hip-hop and R&B.  

KSLZ (Z107.7) – St. Louis – 6/17/98 – Boomer

Jacor (now iHeartMedia) debuted KSLZ in October 1997 and filled a huge hole in the St. Louis market for a true CHR/Top 40 station.  This is a sample of the station from the summer that followed.

KGLQ (Eagle 96.9) – Phoenix – June ’98 – Charlie Van Dyke

In September 1997, shortly after a sale from Nationwide Communications to Jacor (now Clear Channel), Classic Hits-formatted “96.9 K-Hits” rebranded itself as “Eagle 96.9”, and brought on legendary radio/TV voice talent Charlie Van Dyke to host mornings. Nine months later, it was announced that the station would be undergoing a format change in the near future, and all of the station’s air talent would be out of a job. Van Dyke, having served as the radio columnist for the Arizona Republic newspaper in the past, decided that the audience deserved to know what was happening, and have some fun with the situation at the same. On this aircheck, he and co-host Mary Reilly explained the situation, took calls from disappointed listeners, and temporarily changed the mu...

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