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 1997, WZJM was a fun-sounding station, as it offered a Dance & recurrent-friendly, Rhythmic-leaning Mainstream CHR format, making this one of my personal all-time favorite airchecks. Please visit this page on Wikipedia for more information on the history of the station/frequency.
For a period in the 1990’s, Philadelphia’s Q102 offered a (perhaps surprisingly) dance music-friendly CHR format, making it a favorite among dance radio enthusiasts. However, the station took on a more conventional CHR approach by 1998. This is a sample of the station approximately about 3.5 years after that change. While not focused on dance music any longer, Q102 remained a fun, rhythmic-leaning Mainstream CHR outlet.
Per Wikipedia, the station currently known as 103X debuted in July 1979 on 103.1 FM, branded as “Z103”. It has generally remained with the CHR format in the 40+ years that have passed. As heard on this aircheck, at this point, 103X put an emphasis on rock, alternative and rhythmic pop selections, with less focus on R&B and hip-hop, in comparison to other Top 40 outlets at the time.
In 1997, Baltimore’s WXYV flipped from Urban “V103” to Mainstream CHR as “102.7 XYV”. However, the station would be marred with inconsistency for the next couple of years. It would constantly change its lean from dance to hip-hop to alternative while searching for a gain in audience. In 1998, the name changed to B102.7 in order to prevent a competitor from bringing back B104 and at the same time connected the two CHR’s in Baltimore’s recent history. A newfound mainstream pop lean came in 1999 as it finally found some stability. In 2001, the station moved down the dial and flipped to Urban as “X105.7”. Left intact in this aircheck is a B102.7 commercial recruiting Account Executives.
**New York City’s 95.5 WPLJ will end its current programming format at 7pm EDT today (Friday 5/31/19), following a sale from Cumulus to Educational Media Foundation. We will be featuring airchecks of this longtime CHR/Hot AC station from the past 30+ years throughout this week.** Per Wikipedia – as a final attempt to find success with the CHR format, WPLJ rebranded as “Mojo Radio” in April 1991, shortly after hiring Scott Shannon as morning show host. Four months later, the station began shifting towards Adult Top 40; by February 1992, it had evolved to Hot AC and began calling itself simply “95-5 PLJ”.
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...
Mix 104.1 offered one of the most diverse playlists I’ve ever heard on a CHR station. Reviewing the history of the 104.1 frequency, it seems that this was (not surprisingly) from the days when the station was still independently owned.
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).
“We’re in the tune in your head…Lexington’s new 104.5 the Kat.” In the early to mid 90’s, as the CHR format disappeared across the U.S., the idea of a single station offering multiple genres of music had become foreign in many areas. This is presumably why WLKT heavily employed the slogan “Music for All People” on this aircheck (which I believe was recorded not long after the sign-on) — and you will hear, they did a great job of living up to that promise. Note that this aircheck consists of several segments recorded on two separate days (not a single continous recording), so certain songs are heard twice.