Sean Caldwell

WKIE/WKIF/WDEK (Energy 92-7 & 5) – suburban Chicago – 12/24/01 – Joe Smith & Chris Shebel

The Chicago division of Big City Radio offered some of the more interesting programming on the Windy City’s radio dial. However, three times, a format they debuted on one of their sets of suburban frequencies (92.7/92.5 or 103.1) ended up being copied and presented in a different form on a full signal in the market. When “92.7 Kiss-FM” (later 92 Kiss-FM) debuted in November 1998, it represented the first serious attempt at a CHR/Pop outlet in the Chicago area since the early 90’s. The suburban trio of 92.7 WKIE/Arlington Heights, 92.7 WKIF/Kankakee, and eventually 92.5 WDEK/DeKalb combined to produce ratings near or at a 2 share 12+. (In comparison, those three signals consistently combined for a “no-show” in the 12+ ratings before Big City took control and linked the signals together.) Ho...

WJPZ (Z89) – Syracuse, NY – January 1998 – Spike & DJ Pa$$ the Mic

This is a montage of Syracuse University’s longtime student-run radio station, recorded nearly 17 years ago, during Friday night dance mix show programming. According to Wikipedia, throughout a significant portion of the past 30 years in which it has programmed a CHR format, the “lean” has been towards Dance/Rhythmic music.

KZRQ (Star 105 FM) – Albuquerque, NM – 10/14/96

Over the years (although not as much recently), 105.1 FM in Albuquerque has gone through a number of format changes, starting in 1996 when it became Hot AC as “Star 105 FM” — as heard on this aircheck (recorded 18 years ago this month.) At some point in the months that followed, the station kept the “Star” name but evolved into what we now call Rhythmic AC — a sample of the station from that era can be heard here.

WKCI (KC101) – New Haven, CT – 8/29/98

 Recorded 16 years ago this week, here’s a montage of New Haven’s longtime CHR station, during Saturday night mixshow programming. Please visit Wikipedia for more information about the history of this station.  

WSNX 104.5 – Grand Rapids, MI – 8/14/98 – Keith Curry

WSNX was one of the standout CHRs of the mid/late 90′s.  This sample of the station (recorded 16 years ago today) was during Friday night mixshow programming, when the station branded itself as “Party Radio 104.5, WSNX”. The music featured on this mix is more reminiscent of what would have been heard on a similarly formatted station in a larger market. (Perhaps the station took a page from the playbook of Chicago’s B96, which was audible in some of the same areas of West Michigan as WSNX.) This was a “live to air” program hosted from a club named The Orbit Room.  On this particular evening, the boyband 98 Degrees was making an appearance at said venue.

WMGI (100.7 Mix-FM) – Terre Haute, IN – 7/16/95 – Bryan Thomas

During the mid-90’s, 100.7 Mix-FM was a unique small market CHR, offering a surprisingly dance-music-friendly format. This aircheck was recorded 18 years ago today.

KRQQ (93.7 KRQ) – Tucson, AZ – 11/29/97 – Jumpin’ Jack

  One of the longest-running CHRs in America is Tucson’s KRQQ (93.7 KRQ).  Here’s a sample of this heritage station from a Saturday afternoon in late 1997 (recorded 16 years ago today); they mention being on the air for 20 years. (My apologies for the somewhat inferior audio quality on this aircheck.)

KHTS (Channel 9-3-3) – San Diego – Nov ’96 – Cha Cha

“All New, All Dance” – this aircheck, from November 1996, represents the sound of Channel 9-3-3 (KHTS San Diego) 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 by the Spring of 1997. –

KHTS (Channel 933) – San Diego – October 1996

“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.  

WKFR (103.3) & WSNX (104.5) – Kalamazoo & Grand Rapids, MI – 8/15/97 – Dr. Dave Michaels & Keith Curry

Recorded on the same evening (16 years ago yesterday), this is a sample of longtime CHR stations serving neighboring markets in West Michigan. Both stations were offering Friday mixshow programming when the airchecks were being recorded; WKFR referred to itself as “Club 103” while WSNX branded itself as “Party Radio 104.5, WSNX”.

WQAL (Q104) – Bill Ryan & WMVX (Mix 106.5) – Jim Harden – Cleveland – 8/7/99

            Both recorded 14 years ago today, this is a sample of competing Hot AC stations in the Cleveland market at the end of the 1990’s.  Q104 positioned itself as  “The best hits of the 80’s, 90’s and today” while WMVX was “The Greatest Hits of the 80’s, 90’s and 70’s”. It also seems that both stations employed Sean Caldwell’s voicework in some capacity; he was the primary voice of Q104, while he appears to have been a secondary voice at Mix 106.5, as heard at 7:15 on the aircheck. At one point, WQAL was owned by Chancellor Media Corporation, while WMVX was under the Jacor umbrella. Clear Channel acquired both companies, but ended up spinning of WQAL to CBS in order to comply with FCC ownership rules.

WKIE/WKIF/WDEK (Energy 92-7 & 5) – suburban Chicago – 1/6/03 – Chris Shebel

This montage represents approximately the final ~50 minutes of suburban Chicago’s Dance CHR, “Energy 92.7 & 5” (WKIE Arlington Heights, WKIF Kankakee, WDEK 92.5 DeKalb). It occurred just a few days before what would have been the station’s two-year anniversary. Included are goodbye announcements from several of the station’s on-air personalities.  Also featured are commercials for soon-to-be-former competitors B96.3 (WBBM-FM) and 103.5 Kiss-FM (WKSC) promoting themselves to Energy’s audience. The audio heard here was recorded from Energy’s webcast.  While the sound quality is less than ideal (but listenable) — it actually represents the sign-off as it was meant to be heard.  After Program Director Chris Shebel said “g...

  • 1
  • 2
css.php