Phoenix

KBZR (The New 103.9) – Coolidge/Phoenix, AZ – 10/30/96 – Krazy Kid Stevens (DEBUT/FIRST DAY)

On October 30, 1996, at 3:30pm, following more than six months of stunting, KBZR officially launched as “The New 103.9, Arizona’s Party Station”. Shown here are the following: (1) YouTube video: A news story about the debut that aired on the 10pm newscast of local Phoenix TV station KTVK (Channel 3). (2) Aircheck (below the video): the actual sign-on along with a mix show that immediately followed. Please visit Formatchange.com for more details about the history of the station.

KPTY (103-9 the Party) – Gilbert/Phoenix, AZ – 8/3/00 – Rudeboy

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 a...

KOY-FM (Y95) – Phoenix – Summer ’93 – Bo and Jamie

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.  But by 1993, ratings had fallen well below those of Power 92, which had begun to establish itself as the market’s preferred CHR (a title which it held through the 90’s).  On September 2, 1993, ...

KKFR (Power 92) – Phoenix – 3/29/91 – Scott Thrower, Danny Partridge, Kelly Boom

Recorded on Good Friday 1991, this is a sample of the dominant CHR station in Phoenix for most of the 1990’s, at the start of that decade. Specifically, this is a montage of the “Power Morning Zoo”. One of the co-hosts was Danny Partridge a.k.a. Danny Bonaduce, who became a TV star via “The Partridge Family” in the 1970’s. He joined KKFR around September 1990. Two days after this aircheck was recorded, Bonaduce was involved in an incident with a prostitute. The next day, he was placed on administrative leave. Many thanks to Beau Duran of WBBM NewsRadio for providing this aircheck.

KKFR (Power 92) – Phoenix – 5/5/95 – Carey Edwards

Recorded on Cinco de Mayo 1995 – this is a sample of the only CHR serving the Valley of the Sun in the early to mid-90’s. In late 1993, despite enjoying great success as a Rhythmic CHR, Power 92 flipped to Modern Rock-heavy Mainstream CHR.  Ratings declined, and the station began to move back towards Rhythmic CHR by the Fall of 1994.  When this aircheck was recorded, the station used a Dance-heavy approach; the sound evolved to one more based on R&B (but remained Dance-friendly) by the Fall of 1995, which led to the station achieving an all-time high 7.0 Arbitron share (12+). Featuring entertaining sweepers voiced by Marc Driscoll, Power 92 was just a fun station to listen in this era.  Especially now, I appreciate that they always had live legal IDs at this time.  Also, I&...

KKFR (Power 92) – Phoenix – April 1995 – Brian Simpson

This aircheck is a flashback to KKFR’s days as a 100,000 watt powerhouse originating from South Mountain in Phoenix.   Following an ill-fated attempt at a Modern Rock oriented Mainstream CHR format during the first half of 1994, Power 92 began making a gradual transition back to Rhythmic CHR.  By the Spring of 1995, as demonstrated on this montage, Dance and R&B-oriented titles dominated the playlist.

KKFR (Power 92) – Phoenix – 12/22 & 12/23/95 – (“FIRST 10 YEARS OF POWER 92”) – Supersnake & Cosmo (Part 1 of 2)

During the mid-1990′s, under the direction of Program Director Don Parker, KKFR (Power 92) in Phoenix was at its peak, registering an all-time high 7.1 share (12+) in the Winter 1996 Arbitron survey. The station offered a broad Rhythmic CHR mix that focused primarily on dance and R&B music. The weekend before Christmas 1995, the station celebrated its 10-year anniversary by playing songs with release dates as early as 1985. In reality, the station’s formats during that era, particularly from 1991-1994, were not necessarily ones that featured the selections heard on this montage; this is more of a representation of what would have been played if Power 92 had their late 1995 format during the full span. One of the personalities heard is Supersnake. He was one of the most recognized...

KZZP (104.7 ZZP) – Phoenix – 1999 – Karen Rite, Marino, Chris Cruze, Ron and Don

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 Wee...

KPTY (The New 103.9) – Phoenix – Krazy Kid and Ruben S – December 1997

In October 1996, following more than six months of stunting, KPTY (still KBZR at the time) officially launched as “The New 103.9, Arizona’s Party Station” with a hip-hop-friendly Rhythmic CHR format.  Despite having a very limited signal, the station gained an impressive following in the Phoenix market and forced heritage CHR KKFR (Power 92) into a format change less than 8 months later. The stars of the station – and this aircheck – were Krazy Kid and Ruben S. They continued to have great success in the market with stops at KKFR, KZZP (104.7 Kiss-FM) and KZON (101.5 JamZ). Many thanks to Robert Martinez and Ricky Salazar for this contribution!

KKFR (Power 92) – Phoenix – Nov 22/23, 1995 – Roxanne Steele

“Today’s Hottest Music is on Power 92”.  This aircheck, recorded on the night before Thanksgiving 1995, represents the sound of KKFR (92.3) Glendale/Phoenix that led the station to an all-time high 7.0 Arbitron share (12+).  At this time, Power 92 offered superb all-around music, air talent, and production values.  Hosted by Roxanne Steele (who later spent over a decade at Chicago’s B96).

KBZR (103.9 FM) – Coolidge/Phoenix, AZ – 9/30/96 (S.T.E.V.E stunt)

For six months in 1996, KBZR (103.9 FM)/Coolidge, AZ offered one of the most creative stunts in radio history.  In between an automated Rhythmic Oldies format was a series of clever interstitials (voiced by station owner Jerry Clifton) indicating that the station was “moving in from the desert” (referring to a pending signal upgrade to allow for better coverage in the metro Phoenix area) and looking for someone — or something — named “Steve”. This aircheck was recorded exactly one month before the stunt ended.  By this point, the station had begun simulcasting on additional frequencies through Central and North-Central Arizona (presumably to compensate for the extended delays in upgrading the 103.9 signal), and it was revealed that “Steve” wa...

KOY-FM (Y95) – Phoenix – 1992 (featuring Mitch Craig sweepers)

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 a station composite from early 1992 (most likely originating from an official version, but edited by yours truly), when it adopted a policy of playing “no hard rap”. (Ultimately, this decision may h...

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