Rhythmic AC

KIOC (Hot 106) – Beaumont, TX – 9/14/97 – Steve Kelly

Recorded 18 years ago today, Hot 106 was one of the earliest examples of the Rhythmic AC format that I’ve encountered. However, per Wikipedia, this was a short-lived era; not long after this aircheck was recorded, the station flipped to Active Rock as “Big Dog 106” – a format it still holds today. My apologies in advance for the heavy doses of static heard throughout this aircheck.

KYOT (The New 95.5) – Phoenix – 7/2/11 – IndepenDANCE Weekend

In early 1994, 95.5 FM in Phoenix — known as “The Coyote” — became the latest station to adopt the rapidly growing Smooth Jazz format. It achieved impressive ratings success for many years. However, by 2010, the station had evolved to a form of Rhythmic AC. Over Independence Day Weekend 2011, as heard on this montage, “The New 95.5 KYOT” played nothing but classic Dance & Rhythmic selections. This specialty programming was a precursor to a formal change to Rhythmic Oldies several weeks later, initially branded as “The Valley’s Old School 95.5”, and eventually “Eva 95.5”.

WKTU (103.5 The New ‘KTU) – New York – 3/30/99 – Diane Prior

 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 media market. This is a sample of the station about 3 years after its debut (recorded 16 years ago today.)  

KZRQ (Star 105 FM) – Albuquerque, NM – 3/27/97 – Dave Dart

Star 105 was another station that seemingly wanted to clone the success achieved by New York’s WKTU, which launched as a Rhythmic AC the year prior and skyrocketed to the top of the ratings in one book. This montage (recorded 18 years ago this month) features PD Dave Dart — who made me the aircheck, and met me for lunch while on a visit to Phoenix.

WDRQ (93-1 The New ‘DRQ) – Detroit – 3/24/97 – Jay Towers

Following the “worst-to-first” success of New York’s “103.5 The New ‘KTU” in 1996, a number of stations around the U.S. attempted similar formats (essentially Rhythmic AC) in their markets. One was “93-1 The New DRQ” in Detroit, as demonstrated on this aircheck. Features the “All Request Lunch Blocks”, hosted by longtime Detroit personality Jay Towers. This was a fun station to listen to, highlighted by an all-around high-energy presentation. More information can be found on the WDRQ Wikipedia page. You also may wish to check out the other DRQ aircheck posted here.

KZRQ (Star 105 FM) – Albuquerque, NM – 2/24/97 – Dave Dart & Terry Young

Star 105 was another station that seemingly wanted to clone the success achieved by New York’s WKTU, which launched as a Rhythmic AC the year prior and skyrocketed to the top of the ratings in one book. This montage (recorded 18 years ago today) features PD Dave Dart (who made me the aircheck, and met me for lunch while on a visit to Phoenix) and all of my all time favorite personalities, Terry “Motormouth” Young. KZRQ had an excellent high-energy presentation, similar to WDRQ in Detroit (which was another KTU clone.) I love the legal ID in particular – “KZRQ-FM Santa Fe/Albuquerque…and sometimes beyond.”

WKTU (103.5 The New ‘KTU) – New York – 1/19/98 – Dimas Martinez

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 media market. This is a sample of the station about 2 years after its debut (recorded 17 years ago today.)

KRZS (MOViN 97.5) – Phoenix – 10/27/06 (FIRST DAY)

In May 2006, 92.5 FM in Seattle flipped to Rhythmic AC as “MOViN 92.5” (KQMV) and enjoyed instant ratings success. As is often the case in radio, numerous stations around the country jumped on the bandwagon, attempting to duplicate KQMV’s achievement. One of those stations was Standards-formatted KRZS, which was targeting Phoenix from about 85 miles to the North. Eight years ago today, it became “MOViN 97.5”. The call letters eventually became KMVA. You can hear the actual format change/debut at our sister site, Formatchange.com.  The audio linked below represents a montage of the 2 hours or so that followed.

WKTU (103.5 The New ‘KTU) – New York – 9/27/98 – Dangerous Dave Hanson

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 media market. This is a sample of the station about 2.5 years after its debut, recorded during “KTU Dance Factory” Saturday night mixshow programming.

WOWB/WOWZ (97.9 & 105.5 Wow-FM) – Utica/Rome, NY – 4/9/97 – Paul Reilly, J.P. Marks

This is a sample of a relatively short-lived but fun small market Dance CHR station.  Wow-FM was seemingly modeled on the blueprint laid out by New York City’s WKTU, which had debuted a little over a year earlier and went from worst to first in a single rating book. More information about the history of this station can be found at Wikipedia.

WKTU (103.5 The New ‘KTU) – New York – 2/10/96 (FIRST HOUR)

18 years ago today, 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 media market. The actual debut of WKTU is available at our sister site, The Format Change Archive. Posted here is the remainder of approximately the first hour. It includes a lengthy spoken word segment from top brass at Evergreen Media, which owned the station at the time.  

WDVW (Diva 92.3) – New Orleans – 12/3/04

  “Music for the Diva in you” – Per Wikipedia, this was one of two “Diva” stations in Louisiana in the mid-2000’s.  Diva 92.3 offered a format best described as a mix between Rhythmic AC/Rhythmic Oldies, along with entertainment/fashion news.  This sample is from the station’s earliest days (within a few weeks of the debut), recorded nine years ago this week.

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