While KSCS and KVIL battled for supremacy at the top, other stations were just trying to stay in the race. Four years after KFJZ-FM entered the top 40 battle as "Z97", things had come to a standstill. Z97 was looking for new life, and a total makeover led to the birth of "The Eagle" in February, 1981. Like KNUS almost a decade before, The Eagle was not your typical top 40 station, so rock-edged was the station that some would classify it as a true AOR and not a top 40. Whatever the label, the station made an immediate impact - The Eagle landed in the top 10 in its very first book, and brought top 40 back into the DFW ratings race. Read a 1981 article from D Magazine about the birth of KEGL here.
The other station to debut in the top 10 in 1981 was KMGC, its success was not as immediate as KEGL's. "Magic" began life in 1978, as the "Mellow Sound" alternative to KVIL. With KVIL's dominance, it was difficult for KMGC to gain a foothold, but three years of chipping away led to KMGC's first (and only) top 10 finish in the fall survey.
You'll note that beginning with the first ratings period of 1981, the names of the surveys were changed from month-based to season-based titles. Arbitron had expanded its survey periods in 1981. Previously spanning only eight weeks (hence the names "April/May" and "October/November," the expanded surveys now gathered listener diaries over a twelve week period so "Spring" (generally April through June) and "Fall" (the end of September through the beginning of December) became the official terminology. Arbitron was also increasing the number of yearly surveys per market. Dallas/Fort Worth would soon add "Winter" (January through March) and "Summer" (July through September) survey periods.
|12+ Ratings for Spring 1981|
|Format||O/N 1980||Sp 1981|
|KEGL *||97.1||Top 40/Rock||3.5||4.9|
|* was KFJZ-FM until February|
|12+ Ratings for Fall 1981|
|Call Letters||Frequency||Format||Sp 1981||Fa 1981|
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