September 23, 2021

3 thoughts on “Chicago CHR Wars – WBBM-FM (B-96) vs. WYTZ (Z-95) | March, 1991

  1. The Z-95 portion of this aircheck was the beginning of Randy Michaels (of WFLZ/Tampa fame) ill-fated stint as the station’s consultant when Z-95 decided to shift from Mainstream CHR to Dance and take B-96 head-on in late January, 1991. The station kept the Z-95 handle for about 2 weeks before becoming “Hell 94.7”, which caused quite a stir in both radio and religious circles in Chicago and was meant to give the station some publicity. After two weeks of “Hell”, the station changed its handle once again to “Hot 94.7” and kept it for the next 9 months.

    While at WYTZ, Randy Michaels had tried to employed some of the same tricks that he had used at The Power Pig in their battle against Q-105. But B-96’s then-PD, Dave Shakes, had carefully studied Randy’s “playbook” and was able to counter-program against him. A prime example of this was when Z-95 would claim that B-96 wasn’t playing any commercials and would encourage their audience to “check them out, while they wait”. When the audience flipped over to B-96, they would stop their commercial break at that moment and play music, making it seam that Z-95 was lying to them.

  2. (Clicked “submit” too soon, oh well!)

    Anyway, WYTZ stayed Dance until the Summer of 1991 when they shifted back to Mainstream CHR. The ratings (which at that point were much worse than they were before Randy Michaels came to town) started to slowly creep back up and in the last trend as a CHR (August-October, 1991), they had actually beaten B-96 in several key demos.

    Unfortunately, it was too little-too late as Capital Cities/ABC decided to change over to a full-time simulcast of WLS’s News/Talk format.

    On this site, there is an aircheck of Brett Miller doing middays in the station’s final days as a CHR outlet.

    Robyn

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