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Kiss Logo2010.jpg
City of license San Francisco, California
Broadcast area San Francisco/Oakland/San Jose, California
Branding "98.1 KISS FM"
Slogan The Bay's Old School
Frequency 98.1 MHz (also on HD Radio)
First air date July 17, 1958 (as KAFE)
Format Rhythmic Oldies
ERP 75,000 watts
HAAT 309.6 meters
Class B
Facility ID 59964
Callsign meaning KISS Q
Former callsigns KAFE (1958-1965)
KABL-FM (1965-1994)
KBGG (1994-1997)
Owner iHeartMedia, Inc.
Sister stations KIOI, KKSF, KMEL, KNEW, KOSF, KYLD
Webcast Listen Live

KISQ is a radio station licensed to San Francisco that features an Urban Oldies format on the 98.1 FM frequency. It is owned by iHeartMedia, Inc.. The station transmits its signal from Mount Beacon atop the Marin Headlands above Sausalito, California, while studios are located in the SoMa district of San Francisco.


As KAFE[edit]

98.1 FM signed on the air on July 17, 1958 as KAFE.

As KABL-FM[edit]

The frequency was the former home of KABL-FM ("Cable"), which once programmed a beautiful music/easy listening format. In the early 1990s, the station changed its format to soft AC, and competed directly with KOIT. In spring of 1993, KABL tweaked its format by dropping all 60s and 70s songs from the playlist and focusing on soft AC hits from the 80s and 90s. KABL-FM relaunched as "B98". The new format was short-lived as KABL-FM would change its format again in early 1994.

As KBGG[edit]

In 1994, KABL-FM (B98) switched to a classic hits format, playing songs mostly from the 70s. The call letters were changed to KBGG-FM (Big 98.1). In 1995, Shamrock Broadcasting of Burbank, CA reached a deal to sell KBGG, as well as KNEW and KSAN to Chancellor Media.

As KISQ today[edit]

Logo for 98.1 Kiss FM, 1997-2009
Logo for 98.1 Kiss FM, 2010

On July 22, 1997, Chancellor Media would flip Big-98 to KISQ and the 70s format gave way to Urban AC, and branded as "98.1 Kiss FM". Despite the format, KISQ leaned heavily on a format similar to a Classic Soul/Urban Oldies format, with a playlist of more old school R&B music with occasionally few new R&B songs (mostly mainstream with no neo-soul). This may have helped garnish a diverse audience of blacks, Latinos, and whites who listen to R&B and this station in particular. The station's owners may have also formatted the playlist this way to not only protect longtime Urban Contemporary-sister station KMEL, which plays some old school in addition to current Hip Hop/R&B, but to differentiate itself from competitor KBLX, which plays new and old R&B. Since September 2006, KISQ has also been in competition with KMVQ, a Rhythmic Adult station, but when Clear Channel decided to gravitate most California urban AC stations to rhythmic AC stations (including KHHT in Los Angeles), KISQ retained the Mainstream Urban AC format. Mediabase began reporting the station's playlist, with newer music of those sourced from rhythmic AC stations. By 2008, KMVQ-FM took on the Top 40 format at the time the "MOViN'" format declined in popularity, allowing KISQ to evolve its format more in a rhythmic AC direction.

As of 2010, the station is described as having a Gold-based Rhythmic Oldies format, with no currents. The station also plays a few new wave hits from the 1980's from artists such as The Police and Human League. At the same time as the format adjustment, the station changed its logo to one bearing resemblance to a logo most urban oldies/rhythmic oldies used during the peak time of the format in the late 1990's/early 2000's.

External links[edit]

Coordinates: 37°51′04″N 122°29′53″W / 37.851°N 122.498°W / 37.851; -122.498