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Norfolk/Virginia Beach

Sean O’Brien, WNVZ ‘Z104’ Norfolk, VA | September 2, 1996

Z104 has been the market-leading 18-24 station ever since the Mike Joseph “Hot Hits” ™ format that launched the WNVZ CHR format in the 1980s!  This is an original cassette recording donated by ‘Anonymous’ (and he wishes to remain so), which features the Overnight slot at Norfolk’s hit music leader. 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” (TM) 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 ...

Wild Jay West – 104.5 WNVZ Norfolk/Virginia Beach | December, 1998

d Counting down to the new year, we have that BIG party down at Peabody’s… Important Note: If you have the means, please donate what you can to Airchexx.com. I offer this online museum free of charge to anyone, but the untold thousands of hours that I have put into this site, to the detriment of my family, takes its toll. Use the PayPal button below and donate any amount. Thank you!     Curators Notes: Heres a great recording which demonstrates the CHR format, in place now for over 30 years! Jay West runs a tight show, but in 1998, there were already PC automation systems for radio, and I’m not certain whether Z104 was live and using the old analog equipment, or if it had already been moved to an online source. Well, either way, this sounds great and you’l...

George Crawford, 1310 WGH Norfolk VA | August 19, 1977

…unusual fact from Crawford’s Almanac   Curator’s Notes: Recorded only a few days after the death of Elvis Presley, here’s an aircheck that will evoke strong memories as the Summertime season grinds to a close. The weather in Norfolk is cooler and less humid this day. “The World of Star Trek” contest is still underway and YOU could win! Take note of the high commercial load. There is only one period where there were two songs played back to back, every other song played is followed by a few commericals. Speaking of commercials, perhaps you’ll remember these national brand names: Exxon gasoline, LaChoy Soy Sauce, 7-Eleven and more! There are plenty of creative LOCAL ads for Tidewater area businesses. Listen for a full newscast read by Ira Hall,...

Dan O’Brien, 1310 WGH Norfolk | 1977

…Number one. With more listeners each week than any other station, AM or FM! Original Comments: It’s been said that the call letters WGH stood for “World’s Greatest Harbor”. Perhaps, in the early days of broadcasting. And it’s true in the sense that Hampton Roads, in general, has perhaps the best harbor in the U.S., with a quarter of the U.S. Navy stationed there. But, in the world of radio, WGH holds a special place in the greater Norfolk area. It really WAS Hampton Roads’ first Top 40 radio station (a slogan that WGH-FM would later use in 1987-89). Curator’s (updated) Notes: As evidenced here in this 13-minute scope, WGH, in true Top 40 fashion played it all. Rock, Disco, slow ballads… you name it! Unfortunately, this tape suffers fro...

M.J. Kelli, The Top 9 at 9; 97.3 WGH-FM Newport News VA | April, 1988

MJ be a jammin’, YES Listeners to today’s “Todd Schnitt Show” might be somewhat shocked to learn that this M.J. Kelli, is, in fact, the same person! At this point in time, WGH-FM had transitioned from AC WRSR to CHR within the previous year, and while the station sported high energy most of the day outside of morning drive, Kelli makes this simply the hottest CHR I’ve ever heard. This even tops anything I remember hearing on this site or elsewhere of Z-100 New York! Notice Kelli’s use of jingles and talkups into jingles, sped-up effects, phone calls, drop ins… pretty much everything in a classic Top 40 jock’s bag of tricks is heard here, as the aircheck begins a few songs before 9pm, and the callers voting for their favorite song. Then, the T...

Ellis B. Feaster, 104.5 WNVZ Norfolk | 1990

Is that a Radio in your pocket or do you just wanna play?… Curator’s Notes: This is the closest aircheck I’ve ever heard that compares to MJ Kelli (Todd Schnitt) when he did nights on crosstown 97.3 WGH-FM 97-Star back in it’s CHR incarnation. Ellis and I shared a fun two-hour phone conversation.  I’ll try to paraphrase how he described his time at Z-104: Ellis: – I took over the night show FROM MJ Kelli back in the 1980s and tried to beat him using the same approach.  High energy, lots of listener interaction – meaning lots of phone calls.  It worked!  We did it and basically put WGH-FM out of the CHR business! Indeed!  Shortly after this aircheck was recorded, WGH-FM 97.3 flipped to Country as “Eagle 97”.  It remains Country to this d...

Russ Cassidy, WCMS “FM 100” Norfolk Va | February 17, 1988

…FM 100 WCMS, Your Station Of The Stars! In what might just turn out to be the only remaining aircheck of the old WCMS (AM 1050, FM 100.5), here’s a recording I made while living in Portsmouth, Va. I was stationed in Norfolk during the years 1985-1988, much of that time in the Naval shipyards in Portsmouth. WCMS was the leading Country music station in those years. Other stations came and went. For a time, there was WKEZ “Keys Country” at 94.1 on the Penninsula. Then, I think around 1987 there was WSKX, “Kix 106” on 106.9 in Suffolk. WKEZ lasted for a while. 106.9 did not. As I recall they went Classic Rock. The Norfolk market is much changed these days with the main Country station being WGH 97.3. WCMS no longer exists (but the call letters are in use a...

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! [etv]

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