Month: February 2011

Michael Boss, XETRA “The Mighty 690” Tijuana Mexico | August, 1982

Courtesy of, here’s a ‘check that will warm the hearts of AM Top 40 listeners from Southern California. Admittedly, your webmaster has been all over the place ever since high school, and in 1984 I was in the U.S. Navy, attending Radioman “A” school in San Diego. This was one of the stations I listened to before they flipped to Oldies. The Mighty 690 aimed its programming at Los Angeles – some 200 miles to the north, despite a transmitter in the badlands of Baja California south of the border in the Rosarito area. With 77,500 watts days (which, by virtue of it’s location on the AM dial gave it an effective 100,000 watts!) and 50KW at night, this station could be heard all over Southern California. Indeed, the Mighty 690 even had remo...

WBMX Boston, “The New Sound of Mix 98-5” | May 1, 1999

Here’s a rather generic ‘check of WBMX Boston as it kicked off the final Summer of the 1990s. Plenty of sweepers and creative imaging reflecting Mix 98-5’s contests and music here. While scoped, you can really get a feel for the wide variety of music that the station was playing at the time. I was never terribly impressed by most of the ‘Mix’-branded HotAC formats of the time, but there was a very tight competition between WBMX and suburban (Worcester) 104.5 WXLO in the format which started in 1984 when 104.5 first aqcuired the WXLO call letters and launched their HotAC format from the Worcester Center Galleria (98.5 was then WROR), right up to present, and because of that, both stations have benefitted greatly from the necessary high level of creativity and f...

Traine on the Radio, 95.1 WAPE-FM Jacksonville (FL) | Undated

Traine on the legendary Big Ape! WAPE-FM, that is! 95.1 picked up the CHR, er, Top 40 format where 690 left off two decades earlier. This particular weekend, it’s “Big Ape’s 80s Backtracks Weekend”! Similar to what some stations were doing with ‘Whatever Weekends” in the middle 2000s to counter-program the emerging “Jack-FM”(tm) stations, WAPE-FM is doing a flashback of all 80s tunes. Good ones, too! No jingles on this particular aircheck, but the imaging is good, and Trane has a great set of pipes!

Chrissie, WPLA 93-3 The Planet, Callahan/Jacksonville (FL) | Undated

Here’s another station with a dubious history. Finding info on some of these now defunct stations can be a challenge, but hey, we try. The jock goes simply by the name “Chrissie” in this Modern Rock formatted scope. There are two spot breaks in this, bringing the total time up to 11 minutes. While this tape had no date, I would guess by the music that this was recorded sometime in 1995. One of our visitors could make a more educated guess, and that’s what the Comment section below is for. WPLA moved to 107.3 in 2005, then flipped to Oldies in 2010.

Frat Michaels, 102.5 WRFY “Rock Hits Y102” Reading PA | August, 1996

“Berks’ County’s Number One Choice for Rock Hits…” This is a cool little format, sort of a mix of Rock leaning CHR and Alternative, with an AOR approach. This will certainly bring you back to 1996 as you hear a super wide variety of Rock… really, do the Eagles “Hotel California” fit this format? I suppose, if you’re trying to be different, as most of the playlist in this hour of music scoped down to about 12 minutes comes from Alternative and grunge genres… although Van Halen sounds mighty good in the mix! Frat Michaels is a good AOR / Classic Rock jock, and it sounds as if he has some liberty in what he gets to say on the air, although by 1996, a format like this is usually very scripted. Overall, this is a very nice format, very...

Jackie Rush, 100.3 KGGG “Hit 100” Rapid City SD | August 5, 1992

Here’s a little known aircheck from South Dakota, recorded about three years before format changes, first to Oldies, then, to it’s current Classic Rock incarnation as KFXS “The Fox”. “Hit 100 FM”, as it was known at the time of this recording, featured live jocks and a fairly tight format, using Jam’s “Z-World” jingle package, with custom sings for Hit 100. This is the Jackie Rush show. Jackie sounds warm and wonderful on this scope, which runs 11:05 in total length scoped down from a C-90. Included are two stop sets, so you get the feeling of being right there in the Black Hills. More information about KGGG Rapid City is available at the station owner’s website. We can find no logo anywhere for this station, despite an exhaustive...

Johnny Uran, KCLD-FM 104 1/2 St. Cloud | June 30, 1979

Now this is a blast from the past! KCLD has been a CHR station for quite a while, and the station’s slogan is somewhat misleading. The station is on 104.7 FM. Our Contributor describes this ‘check as follows: KCLD FM Stereo St. Cloud, MN Segments from an afternoon broadcast on Saturday June 30, 1979 DJ’s: Johnny Uran (U-ran – spelling?) & Ed Rivers taking over Distance:

KDWB Richfield/Minneapolis/St. Paul Sampler | 1980 or 81

Here’s the first of two, short, QuickChecks sent in by our contributor. Description by Donald J. Bohn… KDWB FM Stereo Richfield / Mpls. / St. Paul, MN 1980 or 1981 (?) half hour non-stop music set (and still didn’t get the entire set!) + 2 good air checks Original tape deck: Pioneer RT-707 Reel-to-reel 1st generation tape: Memorex 120 tape @ 7.5 IPS (used half a 7″ spool for this set!) Tuner: Sanyo T-55 Plus Distance: 75 miles from transmitters

WMXV New York Stunts as “Arrow 105.1” – Part 2 | April 1, 1994

Part 2 of WMXV’s April Fools’ Day stunt as “Arrow 105.1” – the format was launching all over the place in the Spring of ’94. WMXV simply decided to jump on the bandwagon – for one day!.

“Starsky & Hutch”, WMXV New York Stunts as “Arrow 105.1” | April 1, 1994

Done as an April Fools’ joke, WMXV produces an entire format – Arrow 105.1, an all-70s format compete with beds from popular TV shows and a re-branded morning show as ‘Starsky & Hutch’ from a popular TV show of the same name. The “Arrow” format had, by this time, launched in DC with Arrow 94.7 as the first Arrow station, a narrowcasted 1970s-only format. I don’t know what happened the day AFTER this stunt, but some listeners can surely fill us in!

A Sample of 102.9 WOWI ‘103-Jamz’ Norfolk VA | September 2, 1996

Side two of the recently-posted WNVZ ‘Z104’ tape is from the same day. Here’s 103-Jamz, an Urban station that’s been in the market over three decades. As with most HipHop/R&B stations, there are no jingles here, but there is some light imaging – not overused. On the unscoped version, the master copy here in the Airchexx studio, you hear a lot of dead segues and perfect mixes – there just had to be a set of turntables in this studio! But what really stands out are the personalities. They are a perfect fit with the Urban music and Urban lifestyle. Its something that has made 103-Jamz remain a top contender in the market, where nearly half the listening audience is in the Navy!

Sean O’Brien, WNVZ ‘Z104’ Norfolk, VA | September 2, 1996 – 1:00 AM

This virgin cassette hasn’t been traded anywhere but to us here at Airchexx – it’s the Mainstream CHR format at Z104 Norfolk. We hear Sean O’Brien doing a really GOOD overnight show – hey, this is ’96 and they were still live 24/7! No voicetracks heard here! Its nice to hear Z104 with small stopsets, they get right in and out of spot breaks in under 3 minutes and quickly return to music. There are no jingles, as there were a decade before during Z104’s “Hot Hits” ™ Top forty format under consultant Mike Joseph, but here there are plenty of sweepers done ad nauseum to try and make Z104 sound larger than life. Some like these, but your webmaster isn’t especially a big fan (I think its too fake sounding). Still, for an overnigh...