XETRA-FM - History

History

91X was formed in 1978 and signed on with an AOR format. It remained until 1983. 91X broadcast studios were located at the 91X transmitter site on Mount San Antonio in Tijuana. Initially, programming was recorded at the San Diego Studios in the Harcourt, Brace, Jovanovich building downtown and driven to the transmitter site several times a day. That proved not to be competitive. . Disc jockeys then commuted from San Diego to Tijuana each shift. 91X was notorious for having DJs with no personality; they would simply announce the previous song, and the next song. On January 11, 1983 at 6PM, 91X followed in the footsteps of KROQ-FM and switched formats to "rock of the 80s" (modern rock). 91X played "Stairway to Heaven" (Led Zeppelin) as the final song of the AOR format. Immediately afterward, then 91X Executive Vice President and General Manager John Lynch made on air announcement of the format change and disc jockey Todd Ralston went right into "Sex (I'm A...)" by Berlin. Former 91X on-air personality Jim LaMarca recounts the transition:

"The day 91X (XETRA-FM) went Rock of the 80s, almost no one knew it was coming so there was no speculation. An air staff meeting was called for 3pm. These really straight liner-card jocks were sitting around the conference room when in walks wild Rick Carroll with a cardboard box. He dumps it on the table and says, 'I'm Rick from Los Angeles and this is your new format.' The first song was played at 6pm by Todd Tolkoff who was given the name Mad Max. He said, 'This is 91X Rock of the 80s and this is "Sex" from Berlin.' Everyone at the station (remember he is now in Mexico 30 minutes away) thought this song was too weird. It seemed slow and goofy, but hey this was all new to us. It also took forever. Well no wonder, he was playing a long-play version so the LP should have been playing at 45 rpm. Since we had never heard the song no one knew. This happened a lot."

During the 1980s and 1990s 91X was one of the top-rated alternative stations in America.

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