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.


The analog-to-digital revolution continues…

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.

Leadership: You Are Doing It Wrong

The results of the annual employee satisfaction survey have arrived, which got me thinking about all the managers I have reported to over the years. I have worked for 15 different managers in my career across different companies and different types of organizations (IT, R&D, product development). Of those 15, many were average, a few excellent I would be glad to work for again, and some truly terrible. There are always things I think I can do to improve my own leadership skills (learning and improving should always be a continuous process), but once again, my employees thought enough of me to score me very high. I have always scored much better than most of my peers, and I actually owe some of that to those managers I reported to who were truly awful leaders. The only positive for working for a terrible leader is that it teaches you how not to manage a group of employees. So, here are some of the things I have learned about good leadership from those terrible leaders:


More cassettes converted…

KRBE 104.1 “Power 104” Houston

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.

Radio #TBT: Calls That Travel, Volume 1: KBBT Portland, San Antonio

The digitizing project this week looks at one set of calls on several facilities in different markets.  The call letters in this case: KBBT.  3 frequencies in 2 markets with 3 formats, but all using the “Beat” monicker…

KBBT-FM 107.5/KBBT 970 Portland OR

The KBBT calls were assigned to then-KESI 970 Portland in May 1991 as “Easy 970” converted to modern rock “970 the Beat.”  The Beat evolved to a modern AC and migrated to then-contemporary Christian KDBX 107.5 Banks-Portland in 1996, becoming KBBT-FM “107.5 the Beat.”  KBBT-FM lasted until 2000, when the station flipped to 80s oldies KVMX “Mix 107-5.”

KBBT 970 Portland “970 the Beat.” 01 July 1996. DJ: Kim.

KBBT-FM 107.5 Banks-Portland “107.5 the Beat.” 24 February 1997.  DJ: Troy Daniels.

Radio #TBT: 51 Short Clips About Texas: 1989 Edition

This week, we go back 25 years for clips of 51 radio stations from around the great state of Texas (actually 55 if you count AM simulcasters).

As it was 1989, there is no reference to e-mail, websites, Twitter, or liking a station’s Facebook page.  There are lots of chances to win cassettes, however.  At the time, no owner could own more than one AM and one FM in a single radio market, and it could only own 12 AMs and 12 FMs nationwide.  So, stations often sounded different rather than today’s environment where common ownership across the country has created many stations that sound like clones.


From my project of digitizing my cassette radio vault, for #TBT, I pulled some more audio from the radio past: New York’s WHTZ “Z100,” Indianapolis’s WHHH “Hoosier 96″‘s first day,  Little Rock’s KKYK, Shreveport/Bossier City’s KTUX “Tux 99,” KIOC “Power Hits K106″ Beaumont/Port Arthur/Orange, and Texarkana’s KFYX “107FYX, the Fix.”

WHTZ 100.3 “Z100″ New York

I posted an aircheck from WHTZ from 1991 a couple of weeks ago.  This aircheck comes from a couple of years later, 1994, when WHTZ had shifted towards a rock-leaning top 40 outlet.  WHTZ sounded great in this era.

WHTZ 100.3 Newark-New York “Z100.” 18 February 1994.  DJ: Human Newman.

Pretty Body, Ugly Heart

Whether it is taking up running or biking or going to the gym, a few people who start those some sort of fitness routine to lose weight or become fitter at some point decide to take the personal challenge of entering a competition. For those that take up running, they may decide to take their training to the next level and enter a marathon. For those who go to the gym, competitions can be powerlifting meets, CrossFit competitions, or something in the physique realm. In the physique world, the largest amateur organization in the US is the NPC. For women competitors, they have a number of divisions to choose from: fitness, bikini, figure, physique, and bodybuilding. Most women competitors end up choosing to compete in bikini, figure, or physique. The kind of conditioning (leanness, muscle detail) required is based on which division they compete in.