FM came on strong in 1977, with many upstarts delivering knock-out blows to their AM counterparts. In the top 40 race, 1977 saw the debut of “Z97”. KFJZ was a legendary AM top 40 in its own right, and during most of that time, its sister FM was programming middle-of-the-road music as KWXI. Seeing the rise of FM, KFJZ’s owners saw a chance to move their top 40 franchise to FM. Initially, the new KFJZ-FM simply simulcast KFJZ 1270 AM. Then in April 1977, “Z97” was launched as a top 40 station in its own right. Running commercial free for its first month, Z97 debuted in the top 10 in its very first ratings period. The immediate effects can be seen most drastically with KNUS’s decline. That station fell out of the top 10 in the fall, and would never quite recover from the blow. Of even greater significance was the effect on the market’s lone remaining AM top 40. The fall ’77 survey would mark the very last top 10 appearance for KLIF, marking the end of an era that spanned almost a quarter of a century.
Another station to take note of in 1977 was KKDA-FM, which had been launched the previous spring. While traditional “soul” stations had faded from the ratings race on the AM dial (KKDA-AM peaked in ’75, while KNOK-AM peaked in ’74), a new kind of “soul” music was taking root in dance clubs across America. “Disco” took the rhythm of soul, combined it with pop hooks, and created a new form of dance music that had very broad appeal. KKDA-FM (or K104 as it was known) would becoming one of a growing number of FM stations nationwide jumping on the disco bandwagon, and it’s popularity would place it in the top 10 in the fall of 1977. K104’s popularity would prove much more durable than disco’s – the station evolved to urban contemporary after disco’s demise, and placed in every single top 10 from the fall of 1977 through the fall of 1993!
|12+ Ratings for April/May 1977|
|Call Letters||Frequency||Format||O/N 1976||A/M 1977|
|KFJZ-FM *||97.1||Top 40||1.2||4.6|
|* was KWXI (MOR) until September 1976.|
|12+ Ratings for October/November 1977|
|Call Letters||Frequency||Format||A/M 1977||O/N 1977|
©2002 Arbitron Inc.
<1976 Home 1978>