Generally speaking, at least in the U.S., the larger the market, the less interesting (musically) the radio stations become. Fortunately, towards the end of the 90’s, Z100 — a heritage Mainstream CHR in Market #1 — was an exception to this rule. While the station’s music mix was perhaps not quite as diverse as it had been two years prior, it still stood out among its peers.
Generally speaking, at least in the U.S., the larger the market, the less interesting (musically) the radio stations become. Fortunately, in the mid to late 90’s, Z100 — a heritage Mainstream CHR in Market #1 — was a wonderful exception to this rule. At this time, the station offered an incredibly diverse music mix, including numerous recurrents and flashbacks.
Both recorded 15 years ago today, this is a sample of the two dominant CHR stations in the largest U.S. media market during the late 1990’s. WKTU offered what we now call a Rhythmic AC format, while Z100, true to its roots, aired a straight-ahead Mainstream CHR format.
Many thanks to Rory Francisco for contributing this aircheck and the detailed description below! 1998 was a great year for Top 40 music and Z100’s renaissance after their ill-fated “alternative” years (late 1993 to mid 1996). Z100 veteran Kid Kelly was hired back as the night DJ in the fall of 1997, replacing Lukas (who went to late nights at Z100 for a few months and then left to do mornings on KDND Sacramento). Kid isn’t quite as high energy as he was in 1990 (search YouTube for “Kid Kelly Z100” for that incredible video aircheck) but still had very much the same sound as he did in Z100’s pre-alternative days.