WBBM-FM Chicago debuts its long-running Top 40 format, beginning as a Hot Hits station called "96 Now!" In September, WHYT Detroit also goes Hot Hits and is also known as "96 Now!"
The year brings two other significant format changes in Detroit – ailing Top 40 station WDRQ experiences a ratings surge after adjusting its format to urban contemporary that summer, and WABX jettisons its long-running album-oriented/progressive rock format for a New Wave-based CHR format called "Hot Rock."
Ruth Bennett, mother of KMEL morning host Alex Bennett, begins as host of weekly Kamel Album Countdown on the station, allegedly becoming the world's oldest album-oriented rock disc jockey. A few months later, her son leaves the station.