Jerry Clifton’s New Planet Radio launched 104.3 FM as a new signal in the Honolulu market on October 23, 1997. Per Wikipedia, its initial approach was a variation of the Mainstream CHR format — focused on hip-hop and modern rock — unofficially known as “Extreme CHR”. As heard on this aircheck, the station began emphasizing hip-hop over modern rock, and eventually became a full-blown Rhythmic CHR. The format employed by Xtreme Radio in its early days was brought to sister station KPTY Phoenix in June 1998, as heard here.
In June 1997, Baltimore’s Urban-formatted V103 came to an end as it flipped to a Mainstream CHR format branded as “102.7 XYV”. The format was dance-friendly, similar to Z104 (WWZZ) in Washington, D.C. and Z95.7 (KZQZ) in San Francisco. (All three were consulted by Dan Vallie.) However, by about the same time next year, the station employed an approach that emphasized hip-hop and modern rock (positioned as “alternative”) with less of a focus on dance, R&B and mainstream pop. The overall concept was similar (but certainly not as “extreme”) to what KPTY in Phoenix and KXME in Honolulu were attempting at this time.
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 alternative/modern rock and hip-hop in a format unofficially ...
During the early to mid 1990’s, a handful of radio stations in the United States – such as 101.5 Channel X – adopted an MTV-like approach. Specifically, they blended together modern rock and urban hits — and not just the most mainstream selection from each genre. To maintain some balance, Channel X also incorporated selections that are best described as “pure pop”. However, according to this message board posting, WHJX did not stick with this approach for very long; after about 4 months, it returned to an Urban format. This aircheck was recorded 19 years ago today.