Hot AC

WKDD (96.5) – Akron, OH – 10/17/99

This is a montage of WKDD from its days on 96.5 FM and a Hot AC format. In July 2001, 96.5 FM became Mainstream CHR as “96.5 Kiss-FM”; WKDD moved to 98.1 FM.

WRQX (Q107) – Washington, D.C. – 10/1/88 – Uncle Johnny Walker

107.3 FM in Washington, D.C. has been Hot AC as “Mix 107.3” since 1990. But in the 12 years prior, it was CHR/Top 40 as “Q107”. This sample from October 1988 – recorded during the station’s “Top 10 at 10” countdown – demonstrates the dominance of hairband acts on the pop charts at the time. Thanks to Robyn Watts for contributing this aircheck. Our sister site, Airchexx.com, also features a pair of Q107 samples: Uncle Johnny, 12/26/83 Celeste Clark, 12/26/85

WKHI (Mix 99.9 KHI) – Salisbury/Ocean City, MD – 8/20/92 – Chris Kelly

For over two decades, 99.9 FM in Salisbury/Ocean City, MD has been a Country station known as “Froggy 99.9” with the call letters WWFG. But prior to that, according to Wikipedia, it was a CHR/Hot AC station known as “100 KHI” (that’s the era associated with the logo attached to this post), “Mix 99.9 KHI” (as heard on this aircheck – not mentioned on the Wikipedia article), “99.9 KHI”, and “Power 99.9 KHI”.

WKQX (Q101) – Chicago – July 1991 – Greg Brown

“More Music, More Fun…Q101” 101.1 FM in Chicago has been synonymous with the Modern Rock format for most of the last 25 years, and so it’s easy to forget that the station didn’t always have that format.  In this montage, you’ll hear Q101 near the end of its days as an Adult Top 40/Hot AC.  According to this Wikipedia page, it evolved into more of a Modern AC direction later in the year and then full-fledged Modern Rock by 1992. Left intact is a commercial promoting the grand opening of the Gurnee Mills mall – which I believe was one of the first of its kind.  (I spent the best years of my childhood in Gurnee and couldn’t resist including this.)

WPST 97.5 – Trenton, NJ – 6/20/91 – Barbara Spencer & Mel Toxic

At the start of the 90’s, as mainstream pop music became much more fragmented, many formerly “Mainstream” CHRs chose to lean towards Rhythmic/Dance music, while others (such as WPST as heard on this aircheck) moved towards Hot Adult Contemporary. However, by the end of 1991, WPST had evolved into something perhaps best described as “Rock 40”, similar to some of its neighbors in the Philadelphia region, such as WRFY “Y102” in Reading and WSTW 93.7 in Wilmington.  

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.

WYXR (Star 104.5) – Philadelphia – 11/7/97 – Big Ron O’Brien

This is a sample of Philadelphia’s Star 104.5 with a Hot AC format, seemingly leaning towards Mainstream AC. The station had attempted a Rhythmic Hot AC format the year prior. As documented on our sister site Formatchange.com, the station flipped to a Rock AC format known as “Alice 104.5” on November 18, 1999.

WNSR (“FM 105.1”) – New York – 11/14/97 – Karen Carson

105.1 FM in New York went through numerous formats in the late 1990’s. This is a montage of the station during a period when, according to The Format Change Archive, the station transitioned from Modern AC back to Hot AC, and called itself simply “FM 105.1”.

WAYV 95.1 – Atlantic City, NJ – 11/4/97

“Serving the Jersey Shore…” This is a sample of Atlantic City’s longtime hit music station, at a time when it was essentially a Hot AC, during overnight hours.

WVRT (Variety 97.7) – Williamsport, PA – 7/24/98

“Variety 97.7…playing the uplifting hits of the 80’s, 90’s, and today…guess you could call us radio’s version of Viagra” — Variety 97.7 was an unfocused, but fun small market CHR/Hot AC. Regrettably, there is a fair amount of static on this recording.

WPLJ 95.5 – New York – 2/11/95 – Tony Banks (Valentine’s Dedications)

Courtesy of the now-defunct mp3airchecks.com, here’s a sample of New York’s longtime Adult CHR/Hot AC, recorded on the weekend before Valentine’s Day in 1995.

WYXR (Star 104.5) – Philadelphia – November 1999 – Ron O’ Brien

Recorded 16 years ago this month, here’s a sample of Philadelphia’s Star 104.5 during its final days as a Hot AC (one with many different variations throughout the 1990’s). As documented on our sister site Formatchange.com, the station flipped to a Rock AC format known as “Alice 104.5” on November 18, 1999.  

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