This afternoon at 3:00PM, long-time Dallas/Fort Worth market alternative station KDGE 102.1 Fort Worth-Dallas began stunting with looping Semisonic’s “Closing Time” as preparation for a new format. KDGE signed on originally June 30 1989 on the 94.5 rimshot facility targeting D/FW from approximately 50 miles north of downtown Dallas. At that time, 94.5 had been the North Texas affiliate of the 24/7 satellite-fed Z-Rock hard rock service (as KZRK “Z-Rock 94.5”). A few markets in the US had a modern rock format (Los Angeles’ KROQ 106.7) then, but most didn’t. The format became widespread starting in the early 1990s. So, in many ways, KDGE was an influential pioneer to that generation of alternative rockers. KDGE’s calls and format moved to the stronger 102.1 Fort Worth facility in November 2000.
So, a little tribute by going back to the early days before big time corporate ownership. The first aircheck is KDGE 94.5 from July 3 1989, a few days after sign on. No DJs yet…just some imaging and music.
The next aircheck is from August 2 1990. DJ: Jerry Lentz.
We had back to 1994 in this edition. Tune…in…your…head…
WHTZ 100.3 “Z100″ New York
Another visit to 1994 when Z100 skewed rock and sounded great… Several OJ Simpson trial references in Z100’s liners as well as an early e-mail address, but no website, as radio stations started to embrace the Internet stick out here.
WHTZ 100.3 Newark-New York “Z100.” 9 July 1994. DJ: Human Newman.
The 101.3 facility began as WPBC-FM in 1959 as the FM simulcast and sister to standards WPBC 980. In the early 1970s after being sold, WPBC became oldies WYOO and WPBC-FM became rock WRAH. They would simulcast again in the mid-1980s as top 40 WYOO/WYOO-FM “U100” (given analog dials, “100” seemed close enough, reportedly, for stations at 980 kHz and 101.3 MHz). In 1976, the stations were sold — WYOO to the owners of easy listening WAYL-FM 93.7 to become simulcast WAYL and WYOO-FM to top 40 rival KDWB 630 to become simulcast KDWB-FM. KDWB/KDWB-FM would split the simulcast a couple of years later, with KDWB-FM going to rock and KDWB remaining top 40. The top 40 simulcast resumed in 1984 and KDWB-FM has remained top 40 since then.
KDWB 101.3 Richfield-Minneapolis-St Paul. 11 November 1991. DJ: Hollywood Henderson.
Christmastime 1988 on the Dallas/Fort Worth radio dial brought “the big switch.” The new ownership of easy listening KMEZ-FM 100.3 “EZ100” decided to flip the station to R&B KJMZ “100.3 Jamz.” The KMEZ-FM calls and easy listening format would then go to then-R&B KDLZ 107.5 “Power 107.5.” This aircheck is a composite of KMEZ-FM 100.3/KMEZ 1480 and KDLZ 107.5 a few days in advance announcing the changes, followed by the sign-off of KMEZ-FM on 100.3 and the debut of KJMZ. KJMZ launched with stunting of Nucleus/”Jam On It” repeated over and over before launching on Christmas day. KJMZ started out with some top 40 “crossovers” (the then-popular industry term for stations between top 40 and R&B), but evolved to just R&B. KMEZ 1480 simply changed simulcast partners…going from simulcasting KMEZ-FM on 100.3 to KMEZ-FM on 107.5.
KMEZ-FM 100.3 Dallas-Fort Worth to KJMZ / KDLZ 107.5 Fort Worth-Dallas to KMEZ-FM
KEGL originally signed on the air as KFJZ-FM in June 1959 as an FM off-shoot of KFJZ 1270 and KFJZ-TV channel 11. KFJZ-FM played classical and jazz. In April 1969, KFJZ-FM changed to standards/MOR KWXI “Quickxie.” In the mid-1970s, it would shift to oldies. It re-claimed the KFJZ-FM calls in 1976 and began simulcasting the top 40 format of sister KFJZ. (For more on KFJZ and audio of its top 40 days, see my blog post from a couple of weeks ago http://chipsshots.com/radio-tbt-klif-kfjz-wfmf-ksmb/). In April 1977, the simulcast ended and KFJZ-FM became top 40 “Z97.”
Our first trip outside the US for the cassette digitizing project heads north of the border. Unlike the US, where most large market AM top 40 outlets changed formats in the late 1970s/early 1980s as the format moved to FM, top 40 on AM survived in many Canadian markets until the 1990s. AM top 40s survived because the CRTC, the Canadian government regulator over broadcast stations, had rules requiring a certain amount of Canadian content and restrictions on the broadcast of “hits” by English-language commercial FM radio stations that effectively blocked top 40 on FM signals until then.
This week, we will start with a couple of legendary top 40 outlets back in the day from Dallas and Fort Worth — KLIF 1190 Dallas and KFJZ 1270 Fort Worth. Until 1973, Dallas and Fort Worth were separate markets and each station ruled their side of the Dallas/Fort Worth Metroplex. Both had well-regarded top 40 competitors (KBOX 1480 Dallas, KXOL 1360 Fort Worth) they would outshine and outlast. In 1973, with top 40 now on FM (KLIF’s sister, KNUS 98.7), and both stations now having to pull listeners from both sides of the Dallas/Fort Worth Metroplex, both KLIF and KFJZ started declining in the ratings. In the first combined D/FW ratings, both KLIF and KFJZ fell under a 10 share.
KRBE has been in the top 40 format now continuously for over 30 years. This aircheck is from March 3 1990 when it was still using the “Power 104” handle. KRBE dropped the handle in 1991. At this point in 1990, KRBE had two competitors: top 40 KKBQ 92.9/790 “93Q” and dance KNRJ 96.5 “Energy 96.5.” KNRJ would exit in the summer and KKBQ would flip to country in 1991, leaving KRBE as the sole top 40 outlet for Houston for many years. KKBQ’s exit was chronicled several weeks ago.
KRBE 104.1 Houston “Power 104.” 03 March 1990. DJ: Scott Sparks.