The station signed on October 15, 1988 and had been known as WQRT, branded as 98 Rocks, under the ownership of Michael Washington until the year 2006, when Washington sold the station to its current owners. The intention was to split WQRT into two stations, WQRS (Q Rock Salamanca) and WQRW (Q Rock Wellsville). However, when the station's only local jock, Scott Douglas, was let go by the company in 2007, those plans were dropped. The WQRW station was still built, but now airs a Hot Adult Contemporary format instead.
The loss of Douglas, and the lack of a local replacement, hurt the station badly, resulting from the station losing over half of its market share, from third-place in the mid-2000s to tenth in the most recent books. Between January and March 2009, Michael Hamm hosted a live morning show at the station, but left for WDOE in Dunkirk, NY after his short stint. Hamm is now hosting evenings on country giant WPIG in Olean. WQRS primarily broadcast programming from Dial Global's "Classic Rock" (and before that, The Classic Rock Experience from ABC) and also carried the syndicated Nights with Alice Cooper program.
In September 2010, WQRS quietly ended its classic rock format and switched to an all-satellite country music format. WQRS competes with WBYB, WDDH and market leader WPIG for the country music audience. During its time as a country outlet WQRS was the local affiliate for the Colgate Country Showdown; WPIG took over that distinction in 2014. WQRS affiliated with the New York Yankees Radio Network in 2011.
On October 2, 2013 WQRS changed their format back to classic rock and returned to the "98 Rocks" brand. The current format is locally originated (but automated) and features a broader, album-oriented playlist, programmed by Roxanne Stuart who also hosts the morning show.