September

WZBZ (99.3) & WGBZ (105.5) – B105.5, The Buzz – Atlantic City, NJ – 9/28/99

In the Spring of 1998, 107.3 WZZP teased Southern New Jersey with a Rhythmic CHR format. With no promotion or publicity, this brand new signal garnered a 2 share (12+) in its first ratings book. Seeing the hole for something between Urban AC WTTH and Adult leaning CHR WAYV, Margate Communications rolled the dice with hopes of being different. Pulling the plug on recently acquired satellite Modern Rocker WDOX, Margate moved the southern half of the Urban AC “Touch” simulcast from 105.5 to WDOX’s 93.1 slot. Rimshotting greater Atlantic City area from Cape May Court House, WZBZ debuted with a Dance CHR format designed to target WAYV, while still protecting WTTH. Within a year, WZBZ moved to 99.3 in Pleasantville, while retaining the 105.5 simulcast as WGBZ, giving the station full signal cove...

KKDL (106.7 KDL) – Dallas/Fort Worth – 9/23/02

Recorded 13 years ago today, this is a montage of a great-sounding but short-lived attempt at making the Dance format work in Dallas/Fort Worth, about a month after its debut.  Please note that this aircheck actually consists of two separate recordings blended together, so there is some repetition of songs. Per Wikipedia, by 2004, the station began moving in a Rhythmic CHR direction as it attempted to target young Hispanic listeners.

WXSS (103.7 Kiss-FM) – Milwaukee – 9/20/99

This is a sample of Milwaukee’s 103.7 Kiss-FM about a year and a half after its launch. The station represented one of the finest examples of Mainstream CHR I’ve ever heard, offering multiple hits from multiple contemporary genres, without any sort of “lean”. In addition, the duo of 1980’s style jingles and Mitch Craig voiceovers made this station almost one of a kind for its era.

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.

WZPL (99 1/2, ZPL) – Indianapolis – 9/13/97 – Jason Addams

From its days as a Mainstream CHR, this is a sample of the “ZPL Hitzone” mixshow from a Saturday night in September 1997.  This was a high-energy program broadcast live from an upscale beach-themed nightclub (now defunct) named Gators on the fourth floor of the Circle Center Mall in Indianapolis. At this time, the station’s primary voice was the  late and great Brian James.

KKFR (Power 92) – Phoenix – Labor Day ’96 Dance Party – Various Personalities

From 19 years ago this weekend, this is an extended sample of the “Labor Day Dance Party” on KKFR (Power 92) in Phoenix.  It was presented in a “Top 250” format. Regrettably, I did not record the entire countdown uninterrupted from start to finish, but this montage still represents what was originally over 8 hours of material spread across six cassettes.  Several of the station’s air personalties are heard on this aircheck; they are listed in the Tags section (below). At the time, crosstown KBZR (103.9 FM) was in the midst of a 6-month stunt (more details at the Format Change Archive.) playing many of the songs heard on this countdown. At the time, rumors ran rampant that the station eventually sign on with some sort of dance-oriented format — and so it&...

WJKS (Kiss 101.7 FM) – Wilmington, DE – 9/29/99 – Melly Mel

WJKS has been a longtime representative of the Urban format in Wilmington, and surrounding areas that span Southern New Jersey, Pennsylvania, and Maryland. This aircheck was recorded 15 years ago today, and voiced by the legendary Mitch Craig.

KKFR (Power 92) – Phoenix – 9/25/91 – Dave Ryan, Dena Fox, Scott Thrower

  “100,000 watts of music power…” Recorded 23 years ago this week, below is a detailed 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”. The star of the show was Dave Ryan, who had joined Power 92 recently, after being at Adult CHR KZZP through its final days. Ryan departed KKFR in March 1993 and landed at legendary Mainstream CHR KDWB/Minneapolis – and as of September 2014, he remains their morning show host. During Ryan’s final days at KZZP, one of the morning show hosts at Power 92 (the main host?) was Danny Bonaduce. However, following an incident involving a prostitute, Bonaduce found himself first on administrative leave and...

WXYV (B102.7) – Baltimore – 9/23/99 – Various Personalities

In 1997, Baltimore’s WXYV flipped from Urban “V103″ to Mainstream CHR as “102.7 XYV”. However, the station would be marred with inconsistency for the next couple of years. WXYV would constantly change its lean from dance to hip-hop to alternative while searching for a gain in audience. In 1998, the name changed to B102.7 in order to prevent a competitor from bringing back B104 and at the same time connect the two CHR’s in Baltimore’s recent history. A newfound mainstream pop lean came in 1999 as B102.7 finally found some stability. In 2001, the station would move to 105.7 and flip to Urban as “X105.7″ This aircheck was recorded 15 years ago today.

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.

WCBR (Cyber Radio 92-7) – Arlington Heights/Chicago, IL – 9/6 & 9/7/97 – Alysha (FINAL WKND)

“Broadcasting from Chicago to the world…” Cyber Radio 92-7 was a brokered Dance CHR format that aired on weekends from approximately May to September 7, 1997 on the suburban WCBR signal. According to this message board posting, it was the first radio station in the Chicago area to broadcast on the Internet. Cyber Radio debuted around the same time that longtime heritage Rhythmic CHR WBBM 96.3 FM “B96” shifted its focus from Dance music to a more traditional Rhythmic CHR approach, yet continued to position itself as “Chicago’s Dance Beat”. Cyber Radio poked fun at its competitor, featuring liners such as “This is a dance beat…(insert dance song)…this is not (insert R&B song)” and “We’ve Got the Beat̶...

WXXP (Party 105) – Long Island, NY – 8/30/98 – Fester

Recorded 16 years ago today, this is a sample of Long Island’s Party 105 just a few months after its debut. With the legendary Mitch Craig as its voice, and a high-energy presentation featuring both dance and hip-hop selections, Party 105 was more reminiscent of Rhythmic CHRs from the late 80’s and early 90’s. (Most of its peers in the format at this time were focused mostly or entirely on hip-hop, with a less aggressive approach.) Per Wikipedia, Party 105 has undergone numerous format tweaks and call letter changes over the years.

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