Modern Adult Contemporary

WKBQ-FM (Q104) – St. Louis – 4/22/96 – J.T.

This is a sample of the Gateway City’s longtime CHR station (at this point it was somewhat of a CHR/Modern AC hybrid) a couple of years after it moved from its longtime home at 106.5 FM. At one point, a legal ID voiced by the late and great Casey Kasem is heard, even though the station was featuring regular programming at that point.

WDBZ (105.1 The Buzz) – New York – 2/9/97 – Josh Bennett

This is a montage of the short-lived Modern AC format on 105.1 FM New York, branded as “The Buzz”, about halfway through its life. Quoting from the Formatchange.com post highlighting the station’s debut a few months prior: “105.1 The Buzz debuted as an 80’s leaning Modern AC, attempting to fill a niche in between K-Rock and WPLJ along with gaining listeners disenfranchised by Z100 and WNEW dropping out of the Alternative Rock genre. However, the station may have been too hip and new for its own good. Changing conditions in the marketplace failed to allow The Buzz to reach its first birthday.”

KZZP 104.7 FM – Phoenix – Rick Kurtis – 12/18/96

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. This is a sample of KZZP within its first year of its Modern AC approach, when the station was in its final months of ownership by Nationwide. Courtesy of John Davis, here is some...

KZZP 104.7 FM – Phoenix – Rick Curtis – 11/29/97

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. This is a sample of KZZP at or near its peak with the Modern AC approach, and shortly before it was acquired by Jacor (now iHeartMedia).

KBBT (107.5 The Beat) – Portland – 2/24/97

A station named “The Beat” – especially in combination with the style of logo shown above – is generally presumed to have some sort of Rhythmic-flavored format. This aircheck – our first representative from the Portland market – is the rare exception. On August 1, 1996, KBBT (970 AM) began simulcasting on 107.5 FM and shifted formats from Alternative to Modern AC. The AM was eventually dropped from the simulcast. This is a sample of the station almost 7 months after the transition.    

92.7 WLIR – Garden City (Long Island), NY – 11/27/97 – Lynda Lopez

“The World Famous” WDRE/WLIR was one suburban New York’s greatest treasures until its sale to the predecessors of Univision in 2003. The station at one time was home base for a syndicated Modern Rock format known as “The Underground Network” and was heard in such cities as Albany, Little Rock, and Philadelphia. By 1997, the station had returned to its heritage WLIR call letters and settled in somewhere between Alternative Rock and Modern AC. The on-air personality in this aircheck was destined for greater things as well. Lynda Lopez, here as a weekend host, would later go on to become a featured personality at many New York radio and television stations including mornings at the infamous “Blink 102.7” incarnation of WNEW. Media success runs in her ...

WTNX (Mix 96) – Sharpville, PA/Youngstown, OH – July 1999

Recorded 16 years ago this month, this is a montage of WTNX during its days as a Modern AC. The station now has the call letters WAKZ with a CHR format, calling itself “95.9 Kiss-FM”.

WLIR (92.7 LIR) – Garden City (Long Island), NY – 2/19 & 2/20/19 – Andre

“The World Famous” WDRE/WLIR was one suburban New York’s greatest treasures until its sale to the predecessors of Univision in 2003. The station at one time was home base for a syndicated Modern Rock format known as “The Underground Network” and was heard in such cities as Albany, Little Rock, and Philadelphia. By 1998, the station had returned to its heritage WLIR call letters and settled in somewhere between Alternative Rock and Modern AC, with the tagline “New Wave…and New Rock”. This montage of WLIR was recorded 15 years ago this week. It features a sample of the station’s “Top 9 at 9” countdown from a Friday evening, and the “Saturday Night Dance Party” (live from a local bar/club) from the night after.

92.7 WLIR – Garden City (Long Island), NY – 10/15/98

“The World Famous” WDRE/WLIR was one suburban New York’s greatest treasures until its sale to the predecessors of Univision in 2003. The station at one time was home base for a syndicated Modern Rock format known as “The Underground Network” and was heard in such cities as Albany, Little Rock, and Philadelphia. By 1998, the station had returned to its heritage WLIR call letters and settled in somewhere between Alternative Rock and Modern AC, with the tagline “New Wave…and New Rock”. Along with the WKTU & WHTZ airchecks posted a few hours ago, this montage of WLIR was recorded 15 years ago today.

KCHZ (Channel Z-95.7) – Kansas City, MO – 6/20/98 – Mike O’Reilly

  According to Wikipedia, Channel Z-95.7 debuted as a Modern AC in January 1997. At some point in 1998, the station evolved to the first of many variations of Mainstream CHR. It seems that this aircheck was recorded in the middle of that transition – the “Groove Nation” mixshow seems to have been produced for Modern AC outlets, yet Channel Z-95.7 aired a listener’s phone call requesting “Too Close” by Next, which was more appropriate for a CHR station.

WSSR (Star 95.7) – Clearwater/Tampa Bay, FL – 7/4/98 – Ken Martin

During the early 1990’s, as popular music became more fragmented, many Mainstream CHRs in the United States chose to lean towards either hip-hop/R&B or modern rock.  By the middle of the decade, the format began to return to its variety-oriented roots.  At the same time, a number of stations found success by offering a “lighter” version of the modern rock format – known as Modern AC.  One such station was Tampa Bay’s Star 95.7, which debuted in 1998.  This is a sample of the station from Independence Day weekend that year.

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