Dallas/Fort Worth has seen its share of great top 40 rivalries over the years. First came the early AM top 40 pioneers like Dallas' KLIF and KBOX, and Fort Worth's KFJZ and KXOL. Then top 40 moved to FM, and KNUS and KFJZ-FM led the way. KEGL arrived in 1981, and had already fought off KAFM and KTKS (Kiss 106). But by the late eighties, The Eagle's newest competitor, KHYI (Y95), was doing serious damage. Y95 beat The Eagle in every book in 1988, and the top 40 battle was turning into a very serious war. The only answer for KEGL was to step up its promotional effort. Unfortunately, they stepped too far.
During the Spring 1989 survey, The Eagle ran a contest that urged people to listen to the station at work. Not a problem, except for the promotional announcements that stated: "Remember, if someone asks what station you listen to, from now on write down KEGL for the entire day. It's the answer that pays cash." Arbitron found this type of contesting to be in strict violation of its policies against inappropriate contesting (specifically the line about the answer paying cash,) and took serious action. KEGL was listed "below the line" in the Spring 1989 book. In Arbitron's ratings reports, stations are listed alphabetically by call letters, so when a station gets placed "below the line", a line is placed below the final station and the offending station is listed separately after all the others, thus bringing attention to the fact that the offending station's ratings may not be truly representative due to inappropriate contesting.
If the battle between Y95 and The Eagle wasn't enough, things were getting even more complicated with the debut of KJMZ (100.3 Jamz). The station took the dial position of the former KMEZ (which in turn took over the 107.5 frequency), and featured a mix of music that focused on the urban and rap music of the pop charts, the buzz words for the format at the time were "churban" or "crossover". Jamz would evolve to focus less on its top 40 competitors and more on competing with legendary urban KKDA-FM (K104).
December 1989 saw the end of another era. A station that had been the bastion of rock music in DFW for over fifteen years was unceremoniously put to rest. For almost its entire existence, KZEW (The Zoo) had remained locked in battle with KTXQ (Q102). But with the fragmentation of rock music and the arrival of a classic rock station in the late eighties (KZPS), The Zoo's doors were finally closed and locked for good.
|12+ Ratings for Winter 1989|
|Call Letters||Frequency||Format||Fa 1988||Wi 1989|
|KMEZ-A/F *||1480/107.5||Easy Listening||1.6||4.5|
|* 107.5 was KDLZ (Urban AC) until Dec. 23, 1988.|
|12+ Ratings for Spring 1989|
|Call Letters||Frequency||Format||Wi 1989||Sp 1989|
|** KEGL||97.1||Top 40||4.5||4.4|
|** Arbitron determined KEGL was engaged in special station activity and|
|was therefore listed "below-the-line" in the Spring survey.|
|12+ Ratings for Summer 1989|
|Call Letters||Frequency||Format||Sp 1989||Su 1989|
|12+ Ratings for Fall 1989|
|Call Letters||Frequency||Format||Su 1989||Fa 1989|
|KMEZ *||107.5||Easy Listening||4.3||4.0|
|* KMEZ(AM) ceased simulcasting in September.|
©2002 Arbitron Inc.
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