In the early 1980s, Mike Joseph’s “Hot Hits” format was one of the hottest CHR formats in the country. Joseph first installed his high energy approach to Top 40 on 96 WTIC-FM in Hartford & WFBL in Syracuse. The format really took off in fall of 1981, when Joseph signed up WCAU-FM in Philadelphia. After that there was WBBM-FM Chicago, WHYT Detroit, KITS San Francisco, WMAR Baltimore,WFEC Harrisburg, PA., & Z104 WNVZ Norfolk. WNVZ started as a Hot Hits clone, that used the Hot Hit jingles, and tried to use the formatics, but could not say “Hot Hits” on the air. Instead, they used “Continuous Hits.” After doing this for months, by fall 1984, WNVZ ponied up the cash, and actually hired Mike Joseph to consult the station, so they could do the true Hot Hits format. The station stuck with the format until 1986 when they added more post-powers & gold to the rotations. I went to work at WNVZ in 1988, and we were still using some of the Hot Hits jingles in rotation with other jingle packages. This aircheck features Dan McCoy on Z104 in summer 1985, when I first visited the station. -Ellis.
Since 1979, Ellis has been on the radio, mostly hosting morning radio shows across the country, from Philly to Salt Lake City, Tampa to Seattle, and for the last 25 years, has been waking Orlando & Daytona Beach.