In February 1996, Country WYNY flipped to WKTU, offered what we now call a Rhythmic AC format, and went from worst to first in one rating book – an absolutely remarkable feat for any radio station, particularly in America’s #1 market. This is a sample of the station almost six years after its debut.
In the late 80′s, and the very early 90′s, Phoenix was one of the best markets for fans of the CHR format. Nationwide Communications’ heritage KZZP found itself in a heated battle with The Broadcast Group’s Power 92 (KKFR) and Edens Broadcasting’s Y95 (KOY-FM). KZZP dominated for most of the 80′s. But with changes in management, personalities, and pop music tastes — ratings dropped significantly in the early 90′s, leading to a format and name change in April 1991. Y95, capitalizing on the changes and later demise of KZZP, enjoyed ratings success at the start of the decade. This is an unofficial station composite of the station from the Fall of 1991.
During a significant portion of the 1990′s, B96 offered a dance music-heavy format focused on currents — making it one of the very few major market, full signal commercial stations in the U.S. to find success with that formula during that decade. This aircheck, recorded in the midst of that era (on a couple of Friday/Saturday nights in November 1996),is a great example of why dance radio fanatics held the station in such high regard. It focuses on the Eurodance genre (arguably at its peak) via mixes from DJ Markski. Please note that this montage is more music-heavy than what you’ll normally find on the site; this was done intentionally to highlight the depth of the musical selections, and also because – as is the norm with mix shows – there was minimal non-music material.
Quoting from a Y107 aircheck posted on Soundcloud: “From April 1996 through December 1999, Y107 was “Southern California’s Modern Rock”. Y107 was a synchronized trimulcast of KLYY Arcadia, KSYY Fallbrook, and KVYY Ventura, with each signal at 107.1 MHz.” This is a sample of Y107 from the KLYY signal, recorded just a little over three weeks before a change to a Spanish Hits format.
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.
Following the “worst-to-first” success of New York’s WKTU in 1996, a number of stations around the U.S. attempted similar formats (essentially Rhythmic AC) in their markets. B100 was one example – but the station never came close to achieving KTU-like numbers. It debuted in the Fall of 1996, emphasizing 70’s and 80’s Dance/R&B selections and positioning itself with the slogan “LA’s Hot FM.” Several months later, Viacom sold the station to Chancellor (which became AMFM). During the Spring of 1997, Chancellor tried to improve the station by making it more current-intensive and modifying the station’s slogan to “The Rhythm of L.A.”, among other changes, but the ratings didn’t improve. By the Fall, rumors of KIBB’s demise surfaced. This aircheck, recorded 18 years ago tomorrow,...
Note: The audio is muffled for the first 1:14 of this aircheck; it improves considerably after that point. “Hot 103.9…the other guys are just a beat…OFF” Hot 103.9 was a Dance-friendly Rhythmic CHR, with a high-energy, “in your face” presentation reminiscent of stations with the same format in the late 80’s and early 90’s — including personalities with…personality! Definitely one of the personal favorites in my aircheck collection.
“Morning Breath Theater” morning show on Modern Rock 106.3 the Edge (KEDJ Phoenix) with Willobee and Jayn Sayd – recorded November 1, 1994 (21 years ago yesterday). The station was broadcasting on 106.3 and 96.3 at this time. Per info from Eric Stein: “96.3 was a translator atop South Mountain, call letters K242AG. KEDJ used this to improve East Valley coverage before the KHOT-FM simulcast began in August 1995. The translator later was used by another signal-troubled local station or maybe a religious group, and moved to 95.9 for a while as K240CV after KSWG moved to 96.3.”
Miami’s Power 96 is one of America’s heritage Rhythmic CHRs. It has always offered an approach custom-tailored to its unique market – a rarity in an increasingly homogenized and corporate-dominated radio environment. This is a montage of the station during Afternoon Drive on the last day of November 1998 (recorded 16 years ago today). It includes a sample of the “Traffic Jam” heard during the 5pm hour, with mixer DJ Zog filling in for Slammin’ Felix Sama.
Recorded on Thanksgiving 1999, this is a sample of two pseudo-competing CHR stations serving Long Island. WBLI was (and may still be) an upbeat, fun-sounding CHR outlet, offering Long Island a locally focused alternative to similarly formatted stations from New York City. Party 105 offered an aggressive but balanced Rhythmic CHR format and was voiced by the legendary Mitch Craig at this time.
Mega 93-3 was a great-sounding but short-lived Dance CHR, serving the Austin market from 2001 to 8/15/03, when it flipped to Urban as “Hot 93-3″. This montage was recorded 13 years ago this week. The station’s spirit lives on via the HD2 signal of KBPA 103.5 FM as “Mega 103.5 HD2“.