Billboard 1986: Chicago Outlet Adopts Z-Rock Format WYEN Goes From Soft To Hard
Posted by WYTZZ95FM on August 24, 2019, 11:24 am
Awesome article from Billboard September 1986. WYEN Des Plaines Chicago on 106.7 was nowhere on the Arbitron ratings when they flipped. They were targeting 12 - 34 Men (suicide in revenue today a bold move back then). They rated 12+ always above a 1 share, not much more. 1 year later they flipped to a sat fed New Age format. I am not sure who made that great decision considering 95.5 WNUA was already on it with local (if not tracked) personalities. |
Z-Rock was loud and in your face. The format itself was awesome but the main failure of the station was, it was not local. Scott Loftus was kicking ass on 103.1 WVVX Highland Park (mono signal) and put that station on the Arbitron map even though he was brokering but, RPM (Real Precious Metal) was only on 1/2 the day, mostly overnights. Z-Rock fueld record sales, concert ticket sales, helped MTV and the record labels tap into the scene among other $$$.
At the end of the day, in Chicago, RPM won. Z-Rock continued on until 1996 ironically a lot of small AM stations carried the format around the country. In 1996 when then Citadel, now Cumulus pulled the plug on the national feed, they allowed local outlets to use the trademarks (positioners, graphics, logos) to keep their stations afloat. Cumulus still owns the trademarks and keep it live via ZRock WXZZ, Lexington, Kentucky. There is also an independent run Z-Rock online stream that uses the logos and positioners but features current hard rock bands and tracks.
Link: Chicago Outlet Adopts Z-Rock Format WYEN Goes From Soft To Hard