As the country field in the market became larger, WHB (which, after 77 years on the 710 frequency, moved to 810 in 1997) had a tough time competing (see the earlier WHB flip, above, for details.) Also, a void existed for a full-market sports station. On October 2, 1999, WHB ended its longtime country format for Sports.
The first week of January 1999 was not a good time for the state of Modern Rock-oriented radio in Kansas City. Just as 102.1 was changing from Modern AC to AC , 107.3 decided to drop Modern Rock in favor of Rhythmic Oldies. The station had enough problems generating ratings due to its limited signal, and the ratings fell further after a dispute that led to the station dropping the syndicated Mancow morning show.
It seems like Modern AC on 102.1 was doomed from the very beginning. When legendary KYYS “KY-102” was blown up in favor of “102.1 the Zone” in 1997, listeners did not welcome the new station. This backlash, along with the station’s similarity to CHR sister KMXV, resulted in a change to AC as “Star 102” in early 1999.
WHB, the only full-market locally owned AM in the Kansas City market, has had a large history of being a successful station. After 71 years as one of the Midwest’s best known AM stations, WHB was sold to the owners of KMZU/Carrolton, MO and flipped from Oldies to Country/Farm Talk. Jim Rice hosted the last hours of the old WHB, which included an ad for KCMO “Oldies 95”.
CHR KXXR 106.5 was set to change formats to country, but decided to stay around, via LMA with KCFM 107.3. The station moved to 107.3, where it lasted two years, first as “107.3 KXXR”, then “107.3 Kiss-FM”. In 1996, KISF changed to modern rock as KNRX, and then KNRX became Rhythmic Oldies in 1999