1999

KZZP – Phoenix – 2/19/99 – Phil Steiner

 During the 80′s, KZZP 104.7 FM in Phoenix was one of the most successful Mainstream CHR stations in the country. According to the station’s Wikipedia page, it “produced a long list of future stars in the radio business”, and offered a music mix that was adventurous for a Top 40 station. However, a combination of changes in personalities, management, and overall pop music tastes led to the station’s downfall (in April 1991). Five years later, owner Nationwide Communications brought KZZP back to the airwaves with a Modern AC format, making an attempt to appeal to the listeners who grew up with the station as a CHR. The station performed well, ranking #1 in key demos by 1998. However, by that point, Jacor (now Clear Channel) had taken ownership of KZZP along with KGLQ (96.9). On Labor Day We...

WZBZ (B105.5, The Buzz) – Atlantic City, NJ – 3/5/99

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, WBNJ (which quickly became 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 ...

WVRT (Variety 97.7) – Williamsport, PA – 1/20/99 – Joe Mama

“Variety 97.7, WVRT” was (and may still be) one of the best small-market CHRs I’ve ever heard.

WHYI (Y100) – Miami – 6/24/99 – Rich Rodriguez

One of America’s heritage CHRs (the longest with the same calls/nickname according to Wikipedia) is Miami’s Y-100 (100.7 WHYI).  At the peak of the boy-band/girl-band era, here’s a segment from the summer before the start of the new millennium. This features host Rich Rodriguez telling hopeful contest winners that he’s looking for caller #1007.

WHTZ (Z100) – New York – 5/4/99 – Cubby

Generally speaking, at least in the U.S., the larger the market, the less interesting (musically) the radio stations become. Fortunately, towards the end of the 90’s, Z100 — a heritage Mainstream CHR in Market #1 — was an exception to this rule. While the station’s music mix was perhaps not quite as diverse as it had been two years prior, it still stood out among its peers.  

WMME (92 Moose FM) – Augusta, Maine – 3/16/99

92 Moose FM was (and may still be) a standard Adult-oriented CHR with a very nonstandard name.  

WJBQ (Q 97.9) – Portland, ME – 3/4/99 – Jeff Parsons

“Here at the Q, we’ve got two words for you…hit music!”  Q 97.9 (pronounced “Q 97 Dot 9”) was one of the best small market CHRs I’ve ever heard – the production values in particular are outstanding on this aircheck.

WBNJ (B105.5, The Buzz) – Atlantic City, NJ – 2/19/99

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, WBNJ (which quickly became 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 ...

WBPM (B94) * Kingston/Poughkeepsie, NY * 1/23/99

  WBPM (B94) in New York’s Hudson Valley is one of the most unique stations I’ve ever heard. Musically, it offered an unfocused Rhythmic CHR format that featured many not-so-mainstream Dance selections.  Production-wise, it used dated jingles and sweepers — presumably from the station’s glory days in the 1980’s — voiced by the legendary Charlie Van Dyke.

KZZP (104-7 ZZP) – Phoenix – 12/20/99 – Karen Rite

During the 80’s, KZZP 104.7 FM in Phoenix was one of the most successful Mainstream CHR stations in the country. According to the station’s Wikipedia page, it “produced a long list of future stars in the radio business”, and offered a music mix that was adventurous for a Top 40 station. However, a combination of changes in personalities, management, and overall pop music tastes led to the station’s downfall (in April 1991). Five years later, owner Nationwide Communications brought KZZP back to the airwaves with a Modern AC format, making an attempt to appeal to the listeners who grew up with the station as a CHR. The station performed well, ranking #1 in key demos by 1998. However, by that point, Jacor (now Clear Channel) had taken ownership of KZZP along with KGLQ (96.9). On Labor D...

KZON (The New Zone, 101.5) – Phoenix – 12/3/99 – Carey Edwards

From mid-1992 through the end of 2005, 101.5 FM offered a number of different formats, but always branded itself as “The Zone”.  The most mainstream (and shortest-lived) of those formats, as heard on this aircheck, was an Adult Top 40 attempt in 1999, likely the result of competitor KZZP abandoning Modern AC in favor of CHR earlier in the year.

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...

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