KBKS-FM

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KBKS-FM
KBKS-FM new Logo.jpg
City of license Tacoma, Washington
Broadcast area Seattle/Tacoma
Branding 106.1 KISS FM
Slogan Seattle's #1 Hit Music Station
Frequency 106.1 MHz FM (also on HD Radio) 106.1-2 FM-Dance Top 40 ("Club Phusion")
First air date May 1959 (as KLAY-FM)
Format Top 40 (CHR)
ERP 73,000 watts
HAAT 698 meters
Class C
Facility ID 27020
Transmitter coordinates 47°30′17″N 121°58′04″W / 47.50472°N 121.96778°W / 47.50472; -121.96778
Callsign meaning Best KisS
Former callsigns KLAY-FM (1959-3/24/1980)
KRPM-FM (3/24/1980-12/23/1981)
KRPM (12/23/1981-4/11/1986)
KRPM-FM (4/11/1986-11/1/1995)
KCIN-FM (11/1/1995-4/5/1996)
KRPM-FM (4/5/1996-4/15/1996)
Owner Clear Channel
Sister stations KHHO, KJR, KJR-FM, KKBW, KYNW, KUBE
Webcast Listen Live
Website kissfmseattle.com

KBKS-FM (106.1 FM), better known as "106.1 KISS FM", is a radio station in the Seattle, Washington area that plays current popular (Top 40 Mainstream) music. The Clear Channel outlet broadcasts at 106.1 MHz with an effective radiated power of 73,000 watts from a transmitter on Tiger Mountain, and operates from its studios in Seattle's Queen Anne neighborhood northwest of downtown. KBKS-FM is licensed to Tacoma, Washington.

History[edit]

KBKS signed on the air in May of 1959 as KLAY-FM, a sister station to KLAY. Like most FM stations at the time, the station aired a beautiful music format that targeted Tacoma, its city of license, and South Puget Sound. KLAY-FM was the first FM station in the Pacific Northwest broadcasting in stereo.

Sometime in the late 1960s, the station flipped to a progressive rock format, but kept the KLAY-FM call letters. Many famous Seattle radio personalities got their start here during this time period.

In March 1980, the station was sold to Heritage Media. The station flipped to country as "K106", and the call letters changed to KRPM. The station competed against EZ Communications' KMPS. At the time, the country format was quite popular, and crowded. The station simulcasted on 1090 AM for a period of time (and also simulcasted on KRPM/KULL 770 AM (now KTTH) from 1986 to 1995). The station would adopt the call sign KCIN-FM (when the station rebranded to "Kickin' Country 106") on November 1, 1995 (while 1090 and 770 swapped formats, but not callsigns, with 1090 taking the KRPM-AM calls).

Shortly after the passage of the Telecommunications Act of 1996, many changes took place in radio not only locally, but nationwide. EZ purchased KCIN and KRPM- from Heritage on March 18, 1996, making KMPS and KCIN sister stations. EZ also bought KYCW-FM (which also ran a country format) from Infinity Broadcasting two weeks prior, which would lead to the end of the country format on 106.1/1090. On the same day EZ purchased KCIN, 106.1/1090 dropped regular programming and began simulcasting KMPS from Monday (March 18) to Thursday (March 21), then simulcasted KYCW on Friday (March 22) and Saturday (March 23). At Midnight on Sunday (March 24), 106.1/1090 began a 39-hour stunt with random audio soundbites (bird calls, ships creaking, wind blowing, etc.), as well as announcing a change coming the following afternoon.

On March 25, 1996, at 3 PM, KCIN/KRPM flipped to a gold-leaning Rhythmic Adult Contemporary format known as "Kiss 106". [1] 106.1 would reacquire the KRPM call letters on April 5, but would adopt the current call letters on April 15. 1090 AM would still simulcast the station until 1998, when it began simulcasting KYCW, and then KMPS, before forming a format of its own in 1999. The station's playlist consisted of a wide range of rhythmic hits targeting adults 25–54 years old, ranging from Motown to then-current hits from artists like Mariah Carey, Janet Jackson, and Boyz II Men, and competed against KUBE, KLSY, and KPLZ-FM. EZ and American Radio Systems would merge in 1996; ARS and Infinity would merge early the next year. With this, KBKS would become an Infinity Broadcasting station (which was owned by CBS).

On May 23, 1997 (the Friday before Memorial Day weekend), KBKS flipped to its current Top 40 format and modified its moniker to "Kiss 106.1." [2] This marked the first Top 40 station in Seattle since 1993, when KUBE evolved to rhythmic top 40 and KPLZ-FM shifted to Hot AC. The Rhythmic AC format would return to Seattle radio on KKBY-FM (104.9 FM) from 1998-1999 (though this would be considered an "Urban Oldies" station), KBTB (95.7 FM) from 2000-2002 (also considered an "urban oldies" station), KQMV (92.5 FM) from 2006-2010, and KMTT (103.7 FM) in 2013.

At first, KBKS' direction leaned more towards Modern Rock/Modern Adult Contemporary as a way to counter KUBE's Rhythmic Top 40 direction. In the early 2000s, KBKS would incorporate some popular punk-rock tracks in its playlist. In 2007, at the same time the station rebranded to "106.1 KISS FM", the station began broadening its direction by leaning rhythmic, while keeping its punk-pop/rock material in place, in the hopes to dent KUBE's dominant ratings in the Seattle Top 40 wars. With the introduction of the PPM in Arbitron ratings measurement in mid-2009, KBKS jumped from 13th place (in the old diary system) to 3rd place. KBKS also plays more punk-rock/pop tracks that most Top 40 stations in the United States don't play, which is also a benefactor in their rise in the ratings. Both KBKS and KUBE go back and forth in the ratings, but overall, they are in the lower end of the Top 10. In the latest Arbitron ratings report (November 2011), KBKS has a 4.3 share, placing at #6, while KUBE has a 4.2 share, placing them at #8.

On December 14, 2005, Infinity Broadcasting would be renamed CBS Radio.

Former KBKS logo (2007-2011); also with "Seattle's #1 Hit Music Station" as slogan (2011-2012)

On December 10, 2008, CBS Radio announced it would swap 5 of its stations (including KBKS) to its current owner Clear Channel in trade of 2 stations in Houston, Texas; the deal was approved by the FCC on March 31, 2009, and consummated on April 1. The station would also back off of its rhythmic lean and would shift back to its rock-lean it had prior to 2007.

In June 2011, the station would back off of its longtime punk/rock lean and shift towards a more mainstream direction.

The acquisition by Clear Channel joined KBKS with former long-time rival rhythmic top 40 station KUBE, leaving KBKS to compete against Sandusky Broadcasting's pair of CHR KQMV (Movin' 92.5) and Hot AC KLCK-FM (Click 98.9), and Sinclair Broadcast Group's Hot AC KPLZ-FM (Star 101.5).

HD radio[edit]

The station signed on HD Radio operations on January 19, 2006. The station's HD2 channel first aired a New CHR format branded as "New Kiss 2". New Kiss 2 had a website ([1]) and had on-air personalities. In April 2009, with the sale of the station to Clear Channel, the HD2 channel flipped to Mainstream Urban as "The Beat". By December 2011, the HD2 channel switched to a Russian language format outsourced to a different provider. As of July 2012, the HD2 channel flipped to a Dance Top 40 format, branded as "Club Phusion", which is carried through Clear Channel's iheartradio mobile application and platform.

Morning show[edit]

The station's morning show is currently hosted by Bender, who has been on air since January 21, 2001. In the beginning, the show was hosted by his then-wife Jackie, and was titled "Jackie & Bender". After Jackie decided to leave the show in March 2014 to co-host a new morning show on KLCK (and after a brief off-air period for personal issues), the show was reformatted to "The Bender Nation". [3] The show also includes co-hosts Ben, Molly Mesnick, and Kat, who runs KISS TV, a 5-camera system that displays the show live to viewers online.

Previous morning shows include Dana Deardon & The Kiss Boys from March 1996-May 1997, Chris (Collins) & Dana In The Morning from May 1997-February 2000, Candy & Jer from February 2000-January 18, 2001, and Jackie and Bender from January 21, 2001-March 6, 2014.

References[edit]

External links[edit]