WZJM offered a pure Mainstream CHR format through most of 1995, as demonstrated on this montage. Towards the end of the year, the playlist began leaning in a Dance/Rhythmic direction (as heard on THIS compilation of the station from June 1997) – it would remain that way until the station became a victim of the “Jammin Oldies” fad in March 1999. Many thanks to Mark Pfeifer for contributing this aircheck!
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.
“The New Beat of San Diego” – this aircheck, from October 1996, represents the sound of Channel 9-3-3 in its earliest days. It offered an outstanding music mix, talent, sweepers, and all-around production values. IMHO, this is what a Dance CHR station should sound like, and it’s the best I’ve personally ever heard. However, the masses did not agree – KHTS evolved to a more conventional Rhythmic CHR in early 1997.
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 montage, recorded at the peak of that era, is a great example of why dance radio fanatics held the station in such high regard. The aircheck was recorded in the midst of the NBA’s Chicago Bulls 1996 playoff run, preceded by a record-setting 72 win regular season. It includes several references to the team and a variation of “The Roof is On Fire” by To Kool Chris, titled “The Bulls Are On Fire”. Special thanks to Steven Ratz, formerly of Dance Music Authority (DMA) Magazine, for contributing this aircheck.
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. In the Spring of 1996, KBZR (103.9 FM) in rural Coolidge, AZ began a six-month stunt focused on “old school” music that eventually led to a hip-hop/old school-friendly Rhythmic CHR format. At the end of October 1996, the station officially signed on as “The New 103.9, Arizona’s Party Station.” In its first full book (Winter 1997), KBZR (eventually KPTY) achieved a 2.9 share 12+ … which was absolutely remarkable considering that it was operating with a signal...
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.
Musically, 1997 was a year of transition for B96. In comparison to previous years, the station began phasing out much of the Dance music that had defined its sound over the prior decade or so. Yet, at this time, B96 still positioned itself as “Chicago’s Dance Beat”, fueling the launch of a suburban competitor earlier in the summer.
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...
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.
This is a sample of Z90, serving America’s Finest City, recorded on Independence Day 1994. At this time, Z90 was seemingly one of the most unique-sounding Rhythmic CHRs around; I personally do not recall hearing most of the songs featured on this aircheck anywhere else.
The last Class B signal to debut in the Atlantic City market began testing in late February 1998. 107.3 WZZP was owned at the time by Spring Communications with a tower at the top of the Trump Taj Mahal casino. As the station got closer to debuting for good, the testing turned more towards stunting. There was a day of looping Chumbawumba’s “Tubthumping”, followed by Classic Rock billed as “ZZ 107” and later a turn towards CHR as “ZZ 107 – The Zipper”. Finally, or so we thought at the time, on April 25 the station began billing itself as “Fun 107” using the same branding as its sister station WFHN in New Bedford, MA. This stunt was much more prolonged than the rest, as many were under the impression that this would be the final for...