|City of license||Charlotte, North Carolina|
|Branding||"Kiss 95.1 FM"|
|Slogan||"Charlotte's #1 Hit Music Station!"|
|First air date||1962 (as WIST-FM)|
|Format||Top 40 (CHR)|
|Callsign meaning||We Are North Carolina's KiSs!
What's Up North Karolina?! (play on the word "Carolina")
|Former callsigns||WIST-FM (1962-?)
|Owner||Beasley Broadcast Group
(WCHZ License, LLC)
|Sister stations||WBAV, WBCN, WFNZ, WKQC, WPEG, WSOC-FM|
WNKS, known on the air as Kiss 95.1 FM, is a 100,000 watt radio station in Charlotte, North Carolina. It broadcasts at 95.1 MHz from a tower in Dallas, North Carolina, primarily serving the Charlotte metropolitan area. On air programming consists of mainstream top 40 (CHR) music. The station is owned by Beasley Broadcast Group and formerly served as the flagship for the syndicated Ace & TJ Show until May 2011. The studios are located on South Boulevard in Charlotte's South End and a transmitter is located in Dallas, North Carolina.
In the 1960s, WIST-FM was one of the first oldies stations. SIS Radio bought the station in 1972. WIST-FM changed to album-oriented rock with the new letters WRNA, eventually becoming WROQ a.k.a "95Q". Among the WROQ/WAYS DJs to become major celebrities were Robert Murphy (later the WKQX/Chicago morning host), and actor, comedian, Jay Thomas, who went to KPWR as the official host of "The Power 106's Morning Zoo". Larry Sprinkle, a WCNC-TV morning weather personality, also worked at the stations.
With album-oriented rock declining in popularity, WROQ became a CHR station called " The New Q95" in 1984. Late in the 1980s, WROQ evolved into Rock 40. In January 1990, after stunting with repeated airplay of "Shock The Monkey" by Peter Gabriel, the station returned to CHR as WZZG a.k.a. "Gorilla Radio, The New Z95.1 FM". Later in the year, WZZG became WGKL-FM "Kool 95.1", an oldies station emphasizing 50s music more than Magic 96.1. In October 1991, WGKL stunted with a different format each day, using mostly satellite formats from SMN, and one day even doing all-comedy, before becoming WAQQ "95-Double-Q", a CHR station with an modern rock emphasis. In 1994, along with a name change to WEDJ "95.1 The Edge", the station moved even closer to modern rock. The switch to the current name, letters and format was made in 1996.
On October 2, 2014, CBS Radio announced that it would trade 14 radio stations located in Tampa, Charlotte, and Philadelphia to the Beasley Broadcast Group in exchange for 5 stations located in Miami and Philadelphia. The swap was completed on December 1, 2014.
The Kiss logo
Kiss 95.1 uses the same logo as WXKS-FM ("Kiss 108"), a Top-40 station owned by iHeartMedia and based in Boston, Massachusetts. This dates back to when both stations were owned by Pyramid Broadcasting, and later Evergreen Media, before WNKS was spun off to American Radio Systems in 1997. (ARS was purchased by CBS Radio in 1998.)
This is actually the second station in Charlotte to use the "Kiss" moniker. During the late 1980s and early 1990s, WCKZ was known as "Kiss 102", using a churban format similar to what is today called rhythmic CHR; it is now the Urban AC-formatted WBAV ("V101.9"), another Beasley-owned station. Only this "Kiss 95.1" is a Pop station; the moniker was used before iHeartMedia trademarked it for its pop stations years down the line.
- http://www.thatwasradio.com/ways.html, Retrieved on February 28, 2008.
- Jeff Borden, "Disc Jockeys to Reunite Here," The Charlotte Observer, October 7, 1988.
- Tim Funk, "WROQ Monkeys With Its Format", The Charlotte Observer, January 20, 1990.
- Joseph Menn, "WGKL-FM Altering Format Again As Adams President Fires All But 2", The Charlotte Observer, August 21, 1991.
- Tim Funk, "What's WGKL Airing Next Week? Charlotte Radio Shuffle," The Charlotte Observer, September 28, 1991.
- http://www.thatwasradio.com/wroq.html, Retrieved on February 28, 2008.
- CBS And Beasley Swap Philadelphia/Miami For Charlotte/Tampa from Radio Insight (October 2, 2014)
- Venta, Lance (December 1, 2014). "CBS Beasley Deal Closes". RadioInsight. Retrieved December 1, 2014.
- Kiss 95.1 Website
- History of the station
- Query the FCC's FM station database for WNKS
- Radio-Locator information on WNKS
- Query Nielsen Audio's FM station database for WNKS