|City of license||Cary, North Carolina|
|Slogan||Carolina's New Country|
|First air date||February 24, 1947 (as WFNS-FM)|
|Audience share||2.7 (Fall'08 P2, R&R)|
|Callsign meaning||W KiSs RaLeigh (previous format)|
|Former callsigns||WFNS-FM (1947-1964)
|Owner||Clear Channel Communications|
|Sister stations||WDCG, WRDU, WTKK, W237BZ|
WKSL, known as "B93.9", is a country music radio station that serves the Raleigh-Durham market of North Carolina. It is owned and operated by Clear Channel Worldwide, whose sister stations include G105, 106.1 FM, Classic Rock 100.7 WRDU and 95X (WDCG-HD2).
The station was formerly licensed to Burlington, North Carolina, which is part of the Piedmont Triad market. However, the station changed its city of license to Cary after moving its transmitter from Terrell's Mountain in Chatham County to the former WLFL-TV analog tower in Apex, along with G105 in the spring of 2008. WKSL's studios are located at Clear Channel's Triangle facility in Raleigh.
WFNS 1150 and WFNS-FM 93.9 simultaneously signed on from Burlington February 24,1947. The stations were owned by the Burlington-Graham Broadcasting Company. In 1964, the stations became WBAG and WBAG-FM. Prior to its move into the Triangle market, the station went by the call letters WBAG-FM. It was also the place that John Isley of John-Boy and Billy fame got his start in the radio business in the mid-1970s.
In 1984, WBAG-FM successfully completed its move and changed its call letters to WZZU-FM, It went by the handle "94Z" and carried a Top 40 format to compete with future sister station G105. At the time, WZZU was owned by Chapel Hill-based The Village Companies (now VilCom), who also owned WCHL. 94Z was credited with pioneering the "Morning zoo" concept in the Triangle area, which featured mostly on-air banter amongst the personalities and numerous comedic bits. In 1989, the station changed formats from Top 40 to rock and branded itself "U93.9", competing with WRDU. WZZU also picked up the UNC Tar Heels from WQDR-FM.
WZZU would later switch to classic rock and a new handle, this time it would be "Classic Rock 93.9". In May 1993, the station picked up the syndicated John Boy and Billy show to fill its morning spot. Later that year, Tucson, Arizona-based Prism Radio Partners purchased WZZU. WZZU-FM was initially paired with WDCG-FM. The Tar Heels moved to WTRG in 1994 as WZZU chose to focus more on music. Prism radio was purchased by SFX in 1996, placing WTRG (later WRVA-FM) and WRDU in the same stable.
SFX did not want WZZU and WRDU to compete against each other; the station would change formats once again. This time, the call letters were changed to WRSN-FM, the format to soft rock, and its on-air name to "Sunny 93.9" all in an attempt to go after the well-established WRAL-FM. It was also during that time that the JB&B show got bumped from 93.9, only to be picked up by WRDU a month later. Through a number of ownership changes over time, WRSN ended up being owned by Clear Channel since 2000. It was during that time that Sunny 93.9 began broadcasting an all-Christmas music format on an annual basis, usually beginning the week prior to Thanksgiving, like a number of other CC properties that broadcast similar formats in markets all over the country. Sunny 93.9 even had a morning show hosted by Madison Lane from 2004 to 2006, after serving as co-host of sister station G105's Bob and the Showgram for a number of years. However, this was one of many missteps made by Clear Channel since taking over that eventually led to Sunny's demise.
On December 25, 2006, WRSN flipped formats to Rhythmic AC, branded as "93.9 KISS FM." The last song "Sunny" played was, ironically, the original version of "Don't Let The Sun Go Down On Me" by Elton John. The call letters were soon changed to the current WKSL.
In 2010, WKSL's musical direction evolved from Rhythmic AC to Rhythmic Top 40, with most of the recurrents being phased out in favor of more current Rhythmic Pop/Dance hits. The move was seen as a response to competition from new Rhythmic Top 40 simulcasts WWPL/WPLW. By November 2010, Mediabase moved WKSL to the CHR/Rhythmic panel as a result of the changes in its presentation. By fall 2011, WKSL was the only rhythmic contemporary station in the Raleigh/Durham area following the WPLW/WWPL transition to Mainstream CHR.
On November 1, 2013, at 4 PM, WKSL flipped formats to country, branded as "B93.9." The final song on "Kiss" was "Timber" by Pitbull, while the first song on "B" was "That's My Kind of Night" by Luke Bryan. The flip makes this the second time Clear Channel has tried a country format in the Raleigh-Durham area. WTKK, then known as "106.1 the Rooster", aired a country format from 2006-2009 before flipping to its current talk format. This move puts WKSL in direct competition with local powerhouse WQDR.
- "Raleigh-Durham Market Ratings". Radio & Records.
- Bob Langford, "AM stations, WQOK-FM make big gains," The News & Observer, May 4, 1991.
- Charles Salter Jr., "A rocky reign: A new gig leaves novice facing a bigger unseen audience," The News & Observer, July 6, 1993.
- Kay McFadden, "WZZU-FM radio is sold for $4 million to Tucson investors," The News & Observer, August 19, 1993.
- Chip Alexander, "UNC football, basketball change signals," The News & Observer, August 18, 1994.
- "Durham radio station sold to Prism," The News & Observer, October 9, 1993.
- Kyle Marshall, "2 radio stations sold in wake of telecom bill," The News & Observer, February 15, 1996.
- Grant Parsons, "Rechristened radio station's 'soft rock' shocks faithful," The News & Observer, August 31, 1996.
- Howard Henry Chen, "No Silva lining in format shift," The News & Observer, September 30, 1996.
- Query the FCC's FM station database for WKSL
- Radio-Locator information on WKSL
- Query Nielsen Audio's FM station database for WKSL
- WRSN history on RDU Radio Waves