WSKQ-FM

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WSKQ-FM
WSKQ-FM.PNG
City of license New York City
Broadcast area New York City
Branding Mega 97.9
Slogan La Mega Se Pega
Frequency 97.9 MHz (also on HD Radio)
First air date 1941 (as W47NY at 44.7)
1947 (as WGYN at 97.9)
Format Tropical
ERP 6,000 watts
HAAT 415 meters
Class B
Facility ID 61641
Transmitter coordinates 40°44′54.36″N 73°59′08.36″W / 40.7484333°N 73.9856556°W / 40.7484333; -73.9856556 (Empire State Building)Coordinates: 40°44′54.36″N 73°59′08.36″W / 40.7484333°N 73.9856556°W / 40.7484333; -73.9856556 (Empire State Building)[1]
Former frequencies 44.7 MHz (1941–1947)
Owner Spanish Broadcasting System
(WSKQ Licensing, Inc.)
Webcast Listen Live
Website lamega.com

WSKQ-FM, known on-air as Mega 97.9, is a radio station in New York City owned by Spanish Broadcasting System (SBS). Currently located at 97.9 FM, the station has a tropical format, which consists of such musical styles as Salsa, Merengue, Bachata, and Reggaeton. The station has a transmitter atop the Empire State Building.

History[edit]

The 97.9 FM facility's heritage goes back to 1941, when the Muzak Corporation went on the air as W47NY at 44.7 MHz. The call letters changed to WGYN in 1943 and the frequency ended up at 97.9 on the FM band in 1947.

In 1952 the call letters became WEVD-FM. The station was owned by The Forward with brokered ethnic programming, Jewish programming, and some pop standards and big band music.

Norman B. Furman was general manager of WEVD from 1968 to 1972. He initiated a variety of programs to serve the many ethnic communities in New York. The call letters were announced as WEVD...." the station that speaks your language." These languages included Yiddish, Hebrew, Italian, Greek, Portuguese, German, Russian, Japanese and Irish, All serving their various communities. The "Forward Hour", a popular variety show, was MC'd by Furman for many years. He had a major role in developing and procuring the most popular of all Jewish jingles:" Joe and Paul a fargenigen ... A suit, a coat kenst du krigen."

In October 1983 SBS brought the 620 AM frequency in Newark, New Jersey, and converted what had been big band/adult standards-formatted WVNJ into a Spanish adult contemporary music station with the callsign of WSKQ. Known on-air as Super KQ, the station was led by Rafael-Diaz Gutierrez, Raul Alarcon (former DJ in Cuba), and Adriano Garcia Sr. (CEO of SAR Records and father of lead vocalist A.G. (Adriano Garcia Jr. of New York Hardcore band Against The Grain). WSKQ would become the New York market's fourth full-time Spanish station at that time, after WADO, WJIT (now WZRC), and WKDM.

In 1988, SBS negotiated a deal that would enable them to acquire the 97.9 FM frequency that was occupied by ethnic WEVD. SBS had acquired the 1050 AM frequency in October 1988, as the frequency's previous occupants, WFAN had just replaced WNBC on the 660 AM frequency. Since it was illegal in 1988 for the same company to own two AM stations in a market, there was a problem in regards to what to do with the 1050 frequency. To solve this problem, the FCC allowed SBS to operate the 1050 frequency as a non-commercial station. The call letters would be WUKQ, and would play Spanish adult contemporary music without commercial interruptions, while 620 AM would become a Spanish oldies station. Finally, on February 1, 1989, the deal between SBS and WEVD closed, and SBS instituted a Spanish music format with the call letters WSKQ-FM on 97.9 FM, while WEVD moved to 1050 AM.

The Spanish oldies music format on 620 AM would remain for several years after the deal, and in 1995, that station would take on a tejano format as WXLX. A couple of years later, SBS would sell the station to One-on-One Sports (now Sporting News Radio), and it would become a sports-talk station.

As for WSKQ-FM, the Spanish adult contemporary format would initially obtained mediocre ratings. Then in 1993, with the hiring of Vice President and General Manager Alfredo Alonso the station moved to an upbeat tropical format playing a lot of salsa, merengue, and dance music using the name MEGA 97.9. At that point the station would flourish; as of 2005, it is one of the highest rated radio stations in New York City. In fact, its morning show, the syndicated El Vacilón de la Mañana, has sometimes reached number one out of all other morning shows in New York. The shows, such as the Luis Jimenez era El Vacilon and its former Sunday night programs "On Fuego: The Daddy Yankee Show" and TRL Latino were syndicated by CBS Radio and ABC Radio Networks.

The Spanish adult contemporary format would be resurrected in January 1996, when SBS would acquire WPAT-FM's license and transmitter.

References[edit]

  1. ^ National Geodetic Survey datasheet KU3602, Retrieved July 26, 2009

External links[edit]


Preceded by
WEVD
FM 97.9 in New York City
1952 – February 1, 1989
Succeeded by
WSKQ
Preceded by
WSKQ
AM 620 in New York City
1983–1995
Succeeded by
WXLX (now WSNR)
Preceded by
WUKQ
AM 1050 in New York City
February 1, 1989 – Present
Succeeded by
WEVD (now WEPN)