|City||Tijuana, Baja California|
|Broadcast area||San Diego-Tijuana|
|Slogan||Today's Hit Music|
|First air date||1970|
|Audience share||5.1 (Holiday 2016, Nielsen Audio)|
|Callsign meaning||Sounds like "hits"|
|Owner||Comunicación XERSA, S.A. de C.V.
(programmed by Local Media of San Diego)
|Sister stations||XETRA-FM, XHRM-FM|
XHITZ-FM (Z90) is a CHR station in San Diego-Tijuana broadcasting on 90.3 MHz. The station is owned by a Mexican company, with its transmitter and antenna on Mount San Antonio in Tijuana. This company leases the programming and advertising rights to Local Media of San Diego, with studios in San Diego.
XHIS-FM received its concession in November 1973, owned by Víctor Díaz, founder of Califórmula Broadcasting which would come to own and operate various stations in the market.
In 1983, XHIS became XHITZ-FM and changed to an album rock format under contract to San Diego Radio Company, an American-based operator. However, in 1984, the station stumbled in an ownership dispute. A bitter battle between San Diego Radio Company and Califórmula led to the abrupt end of the album rock format as the latter took control of the station. Díaz cited continued low ratings, but the straw that broke the camel's back was a humorous news report read on the station that stated a German anthropologist had discovered a tribe of "mole people" living in the sewers of Mexico City. When the report was read in late June, it caught the attention of Mexican authorities, who were outraged over the secondhand account they had heard, which implied that Mexicans were so poor they lived in sewers.
In 1986, Díaz sold the American marketing rights for XHITZ again, this time to Broadcasting, Marketing and Management, Ltd. BMM ceased operation of the station on June 30, 1988 as it assigned the rights to another company, Consolidated Radio Sales, which was also bankrupt. The result was that Díaz and the head of Consolidated Radio Sales, Jack McCoy, clashed. In mid-July, McCoy fired all the employees in the US and had all the locks changed, with several employees instead showing up to work in Tijuana; later that day, however, a bankruptcy judge ruled that Díaz owned the US operation of the stations.
In 1989, XHITZ flipped to a "Pirate Radio" format based on the success of KQLZ in Los Angeles. On April 5, 1990, however, the station switched formats to Rhythmic Top 40 under Program Director Rick Thomas, with a Dance-leaning direction. "Z90" competed against Q106, which was the powerhouse of Top 40 in the market. With Z90's debut, however, it took only a few books for XHITZ to beat Q106, and thanks to its success, it also forced the market's only Urban outlet, future sister station XHRM, out of that format by 1993 As Z90 remained on top, Q106 shifted towards a more Mainstream Top 40 format, and wasn't until September 1996 that XHITZ would have another direct competitor against KHTS, which had a Dance-lean much like XHITZ.
However by August 1998, XHITZ would move away from its Dance/R&B approach to begin focusing more on R&B/Hip-Hop product. The station also rebranded as "Jammin' Z90" before reverting to "Z90.3". In 2002, Califórmula, which wound down most of its operations over the early 2000s as Díaz retired and then died, sold the US operating rights to Clear Channel Communications and the concession was transferred to a new Mexican concern, Comunicación XERSA. XHITZ remained a hip-hop leader until 2004, when XHMORE-FM flipped to a hip hop-emphasizing Rhythmic Top 40. These two stations would battle until late 2009, when XHMORE changed formats. Shortly after this, the station shifted back to its Dance-leaning and more Mainstream sound. Despite being the market's only Rhythmic Top 40, XHITZ continues to share the same music as KHTS and KEGY, all of whom are Rhythmic-leaning Top 40/CHRs, along with Adult Top 40 KMYI. On April 2, 2012, XHITZ rebranded themselves on-air from "Z90.3" to "Jammin' Z90." In mid-2014, XHITZ rebranded back to "Z90." Today, the station airs a CHR format, resulting in both Nielsen BDS and Mediabase moving XHITZ from their Rhythmic to Mainstream reporting panels in February 2015.
A 2003 ruling forced Clear Channel to divest the operating rights to its Mexican stations in order to remain under FCC ownership caps. On July 25, 2005, Clear Channel transferred the programming and local marketing arrangements of XHITZ, along with XETRA-FM and XHRM-FM, to Finest City Broadcasting, a new company under the direction of former Clear Channel/San Diego VP/Market Manager Mike Glickenhaus. Finest City took over operations on December 1, 2005.
In 2009, these programming and marketing rights were sold to Broadcast Corporation of the Americas after Finest City defaulted on assets that resulted in its bankruptcy. In 2010, BCA would spin off XHITZ, XETRA and XHRM to Local Media of America after a change in management.
On October 6, 2015, Midwest Television (owners of KFMB and KFMB-FM) announced that it had entered into a joint operating agreement with Local Media San Diego LLC, forming an entity known as SDLocal to manage their collective cluster of stations. The intent of this agreement is to "[preserve the] local ownership and operation of San Diego's top-rated radio stations".
Current Operations and ZeeJays
- Morton in The Morning with Edina and DJ DRock
- Deejay Al
- DJ Play
- Instituto Federal de Telecomunicaciones. Infraestructura de Estaciones de Radio FM. Last modified 2017-02-27. Retrieved 2015-07-09.
- "Nielsen Audio Ratings Fall 2014".
- Arnold, Thomas K. (18 August 1985). [Los Angeles Times "Z90: Quick Switchover in Tijuana"] Check
|url=value (help). Retrieved 22 December 2016.
- Lassa, Todd (1 August 1988). "Battle Cry for a Radio Revolution: Free the Z From Owners' Dispute". San Diego Business Journal.
- "Local Media, KFMB Stations announce joint-operating agreement". San Diego Union-Tribune. Retrieved 6 October 2015.
- Official website
- Investigation of radio operations in Tijuana, MX conducted by broadcast engineer Donald Mussell
- Finest City Broadcasting (former owners of XHITZ)
- Query the FCC's FM station database for XHITZ
- Radio-Locator information on XHITZ