Month: January 2011

The End of an Era: The CFTR Story, Part 1 | June 4, 1993

For more than two decades, CFTR had been known for being one of TWO contemporary hit music stations in Toronto. The other was the legendary 1050 CHUM. CHUM moved away from Top 40 in 1986 in favor of an Adult Contemporary format, leaving CFTR alone as Toronto’s Top 40 station. It all came to an end on Monday, June 6, 1993 when CFTR became 680 News. Leading into the change, was a weekend countdown of the Top 500 songs of the past 25 years. There was a conspicuous lack of jocks this particular weekend. The countdown was simply voiced by someone unnamed, and there were promos running all weekend long for listeners to tune in Monday morning for the new News format. One promo even suggested listeners tune down the dial to AM 640, which by then, was doing a Rhythmic leaning CHR format! The ...

The “Spaceman”, CHOG AM 640 – “The Beat of Toronto” | September 1, 1995

Who does the Spaceman sound a little like to you? Well, I’m sure its pure coincidence that the featured jock here comes off like John Records Landecker, of WLS, and CFTR fame. Either way, Spaceman sounds great here. We hear two jingles in this scope, along with the hits of 1995. AM 640 was little more than a month away from flipping to Talk radio, and at this point in time, was the LAST contemporary hit station left in Toronto – on AM OR FM! CHOG had a great lineup at the time, including John Gallagher, Tarzan Dan, Kenny ‘The Hitman’ Caughlin, Roger Kelly and the Toronto radio team of Jesse and Gene. There’s one stopset included. Imaging is used sparingly. This is the way Top 40 radio is supposed to sound like!

104.3 KXME Honolulu – “Extreme Radio @ 104.3” | February, 1998

A Rock-Leaning CHR aimed at men? That’s what this was all about. Jerry Clifton had in mind to take KXME in a Rock/Rap direction, hoping to build on ratings. It didn’t work, and six months later, 104.3 went the other direction, and turned into a Rhythmic CHR aimed at a much younger, female audience. This was tried elsewhere. Three different markets, namely Phoenix at KPTY (posted here at airchexx), and in Baltimore at 102.7, where the format also didn’t quite work out. Sometimes new formats are born, yet never take hold. This is just another example.

Chuck Diamond, 1520 KOMA Oklahoma City | Summer, 1978

At three minutes in length, you won’t hear any commercials, but you will hear a lot of Chuck Diamond. He calls himself Oklahoma City’s original Chucker, but this isn’t the same “Chucker” heard in Scott Lowe’s special elsewhere on this site. KOMA was another one of those clear channel stations, with a protected 750 mile nighttime signal contour, which meant that nearly all of the western United States could pick it up after dark. A great western Top 40 station, KOMA continued playing music until just a few years ago, when it flipped from it’s then Oldies format to News. I’m not sure when they dropped Top 40 for Oldies, but I’m thinking it was the early 90s. The call letters and Oldies format moved to FM the day of the switch to News.

“Position 93” Sampler, KHJ Los Angeles | Early 1978

“Position 93, your California JAM Station…” It may be quick, at under 5 minutes, but you certainly get a feel for the pace of the legendary 93/KHJ, with some equally legendary West Coast jocks each of whom are still in the business! This starts out with Charlie Tuna, moves on to Bobby Ocean and then some great Machine Gun Kelly. There are no jingles, as this new format approach, known for a short time as “Position 93” supposedly eliminated the need for them. Where the format went next after this part of the year 1978 was right down the Top 40 tubes, as KHJ for about a year went to a more music, less talk almost AOR sounding format before making one last try at personality-based Top 40. But this still sounds GOOD! This is still high-energy, even with the conspi...

A Sample of KPTY “Party Radio @ 103-9” Phoenix | September 12, 1998; 7:25 – 8:10 PM

“Party Radio @ 103 point 9… We Don’t Suck!!” At four minutes in length, scoped down from a 90-minute cassette, you get the impression that there’s not much to this Alternative/Rap hybrid station, but there’s more than meets the ear in this short representation of the former KPTY Phoenix. The station wasn’t around very long – 1997-2000, but it did make it’s mark on the Phoenix market. About a year after this aircheck, the station relaunched under the same call letters and slogan, but only this time marketed toward a much younger, teen audience, with a rhythmic lean. You can hear that relaunch HERE, courtesy of our sister site, the Format Change Archive.

Melody Meadows, (99.7) WMC-FM 100 Memphis | November, 1997

Going through some tapes I had laying around the studio, I ran across this unmarked c90 that I apparently picked up while living in Millington, TN. This is Melody Meadows who had already moved on to greener pastures when I arrived to work at FM 100 in 2005. UPDATE: We found Mel, she’s at 1070 WDIA, one of the nation’s legendary Rhythm & Blues stations, and incidently, one that consistently ranks in the top 5 stations in Memphis (routinely beating out most of the city’s FM stations – of ANY format!) WMC-FM was at the time of this recording, still co-owned with WMC-TV 5 and News/Talk 790 WMC AM by Raycom Media. It would be sold a year or two later (if memory serves, the sale went through in either late 2001 or early 2002) to Infinity Broadcasting / CBS Radio. It&...

97.5 WPST Trenton – A Retrospective. By Scott Lowe for Airchexx.com

Description by Scott Lowe. In the mid 1970’s, 97.5 WPST in Trenton, NJ was one of the early Top 40 stations on FM. This composite was assembled by Scott Lowe, from various sources, highlighting many of the air talents that were heard over a twenty year period between 1978 – 1998. Historically, WPST always had a Rock lean, usually ignoring disco and most of the rap music of the day. Through the years, WPST helped to break a lot of new acts like Boston, The Cars, Meatloaf, Tom Petty, Bon Jovi, Depeche Mode, The Cure and Nirvana. WPST has always thrived despite the heavy competition from the neighboring New York and Philadelphia markets. In 2005, WPST moved down the dial to 94.5 MHz and continues today with a Hot AC format.

A Sample of Scott Shannon’s “True Oldies Channel”, 850 AM Stereo WREF Danbury, CT | January 20, 2011

Who says AM Stereo is dead? With all the talk about HD Radio and it’s associated pros and cons, we thought we’d highlight an exciting Oldies format (well, this should be classified as “Classic Hits”) done on an AM station that is STILL broadcasting in Motorola C-QUAM ™ AM Stereo. 850 WREF is a daytime-only station that suffers from a lot of interference during twilight operation. Still, it has a powerful signal that does cover about half the state of Connecticut. We can’t say how big the audience, in an area that is inside the footprint of Oldies’ WCBS-FM New York and WDRC-FM Hartford, but it does sound good, despite being noisy here at the Airchexx studios. This is Scott Shannon’s “True Oldies Channel” Satellite Network. It would...

A Scott Lowe Special: “The Chucker Revolution” | Winter 2009

New Contributor Scott Lowe checks in with a fantastic interview with Chuck Kirr, aka “The Chucker”. As you know, we’ve partnered with BigAppleAirchecks often in the past, and interestingly enough, Mr. Lowe contacted US about posting this great piece of work himself: I recently interviewed “Chucker” (formerly from WKBW, WFUN, WTIX + others) and assembled a fast paced 45 minute audio documentary that combines the Q&A with sample airchecks from each station he was at. I put the whole thing together with special thanks to Matt Seinberg, for access to the master reels that belonged to Chucker. What you will hear is simply a wonderful piece of work. Scott Lowe describes this interview: “The Chucker Revolution” In the 70’s, Chucker’s career stops inc...

Bill Houston, 98.3 WKJY Patchogue NY | 1990

Courtesy of Contributor Ray Bozzanca, here’s a short glimpse into the previous Oldies format at 98.3 WKJY. Ray writes: Oh back around 1989 or 1990 Bill Chamberlin AKA Bill Houston fills in on an overnite shift on “The New WKJY” Bill Houston is featured elsewhere on this website, at WJDM, WHLI and WLNG. Runs a brief three minutes, fifty seconds.

Format Change: 96.1 flips from WKJI “K-JOY” Center Moriches, NY Simulcast to WJVC “My Country 96.1”

Its been a long-awaited event in this part of New York, where Country actually can be heard on FM, but as was announced on our sister site, radioinsight.com, JVC broadcasting launched a new Country format on 96.1 at the stroke of Midnight, January 19, 2011. The change had been slated for 12pm on January 18th, but bad weather forced the flip to be pushed back by 12 hours. The change was very low key. No announcements beforehand on-air. Simply the normal “John Tesh Radio Show” until just before Midnight, a 5 minute stop-set, a final ‘Legal ID’ as WKJI, then a full :30 seconds of silence. Country then began as a Legal ID of WJVC, and combined sweeper announcing one thousand songs in a row, commercial free. Here is the flip, including the last half hour or so of the K-J...

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