“Arizona Jamz” KAJM relaunches as “Mega 104.3 & 99.3″


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For as long as many people can remember, 104.3 FM-Payson, AZ and its translators across northern and central Arizona (including 99.3 FM in the metro Phoenix area) had consistently been the home of poorly programmed and executed radio. Some of the attempts in the 90’s included Country (despite the presence of the powerful KNIX and KMLE in Phoenix), a bizarre AOR/Modern Rock/CHR format called “The Blaze”, a simulcast of CHR/Rhythmic KBZR-Coolidge (later KPTY-Gilbert), a return of the “Blaze” format (under the new name “CD Rock”), Traditional Oldies as “K-Best”, and an incredibly unfocused 60’s-90’s Rhythmic Oldies format, under the name “Arizona Jamz”, featuring (among other oddities) sweepers with “Beavis and Butthead” sound bytes. Obviously, given the constant changes, none of these formats garnered enough ratings or revenue to satisfy the financial desires of the owners. It doesn’t help that, in many parts of Phoenix, it’s difficult to pick up both 104.3 and 99.3 on an ordinary radio.

It seemed like there was no light at the end of the tunnel. But then Carey Edwards, an established Phoenix air talent who had most recently been programming Rhythmic Oldies KGMG “Mega 106.3″ in Tucson, was brought to the station. Soon after his arrival, allaccess.com reported that KAJM (the stations’ calls from 12/23/1999, up through the time of this writing) would be “relaunched” soon. The question was whether this “relaunch” would be simply an improvement of “Arizona Jamz” or a complete format change. The answer came on April 20, 2001, at 5:00 pm, as Edwards applied the formula from KGMG — KAJM became “Mega 104.3 & 99.3″, with a much more focused playlist, significantly improved production values, and live air talent. While the signal deficiencies remain, these changes give the station an opportunity to maximize its potential.