||This article may require cleanup to meet Wikipedia's quality standards. (December 2007)|
|City of license||WSKS: Whitesboro, New York
WSKU: Little Falls, New York
|Branding||97.9 & 105.5 Kiss FM|
|Frequency||WSKS: 97.9 MHz
WSKU: 105.5 MHz
|First air date||WSKS: 1994 (as WOWZ)
WSKU: 1990 (as WOWB)
|Format||Top 40 (CHR)|
|ERP||WSKS: 1,500 watts
WSKU: 2,250 watts
|HAAT||WSKS: 204 meters (669 ft)
WSKU: 161 meters (528 ft)
|Facility ID||WSKS: 53630
|Callsign meaning||KISS Utica|
|Owner||Roser Communications Network|
WSKS (97.9 FM) and WSKU (105.5 FM) are radio stations simulcasting a Rhythmic-leaning Top 40 (CHR) format. Licensed to Whitesboro, New York and Little Falls, New York, the stations serve the Utica-Rome area and are currently owned by Roser Communications Network.
WSKS signed on the air in 1990 as WOWB-FM, 105.5 (WOW 105), licensed to Little Falls. The station was licensed to Towpath Communications Limited as an adult-contemporary station.
The station was soon sold to the Professional Broadcasting Corporation (a joint venture of Frank DuRoss and Kenneth Roser), who added a simulcast on WOWZ at 97.9 FM in September 1994. Licensed to Whitesboro, it was the first allocation of 97.9 in the Utica market. The resulting simulcast was identified as Wow-FM.
WOWZ/WOWB became a Top 40 Rhythmic Station in December 1996. Now known as "The Beat of Central New York", "Wow-FM" went in a dance direction with Program Director J.P. Marks, the nighttime air personality under the adult contemporary format, at the helm. Marks had previously been the nighttime personality at Hot 107 (WRCK) before they changed format to Classic Rock Rock 107.
WOWZ and WOWB were sold to Clear Channel Communications in 2000. The Top 40 Rhythmic format was abandoned and in 2001, WOWB became WSKU and WOWZ became WSKS, while the top 40 programming and "KISS FM" branding previously heard under the WSKS call letters at 102.5 FM (now WUMX) moved to WSKS/WSKU.
Clear Channel closed its operations in Utica, New York in 2007, and the KISS FM stations on 97.9 WSKS and 105.5 WSKU were sold to former co-owner Ken Roser, through his company Roser Communications. The format and branding of the stations remained the same, under program director and air personality Shaun Andrews. WSKS/WSKU and all Roser Communications stations lost their live web stream on December 6, 2014. The stations submitted for renewal on December 7, 2014. Web streaming returned in late February 2015. Roser Communications moved their studios from the Adirondack Bank building on Genesee Street, to Leland Avenue in Utica on March 30, 2015.
A notable stunt occurred on WSKS/WSKU on May 18, 2009. In a news release issued by Roser Communications on the Friday before, the company announced that effective 7:30 a.m. on Monday the station was going to switch formats due to "financial constraints". On Monday, WSKS/WSKU, still feigning their format change, stopped playing their regular format at 7:31 a.m. and played the "beautiful music" format similar to that presented by then-sister stations WADR/WUTQ. A few hours later, WSKS/WSKU returned to its normal programming by announcing that all of the "format changes" were actually a publicity stunt to promote their new program lineup and radio hosts. The station celebrated 20 years on-air in 2014, during which a new morning host was added along side Big Poppa through the "Search for a Sidekick" contest. This consisted of listeners making YouTube videos explaining why they would make a great sidekick for Big Poppa. The station narrowed the results down to four final contestants that went on air and helped Big Poppa run the morning show. Listeners were able to vote online. The winner was Banna, and another contestant, Liz, was hired to have an on-air spot on the weekends.
- FM-to-begin-playing-new-musical-format-on-Monday "Back Home .KISS FM to begin playing new musical format on Monday.". Utica Observer Dispatch. 2009-05-15. Retrieved 2009-05-29.
- FM-signs-off-replaced-by-Beautiful-Music "Kiss FM signs off, replaced by 'Beautiful Music'". Utica Observer Dispatch. 2009-05-18. Retrieved 2009-05-29.
- "Just a publicity stunt - KISS FM remains on air despite weekend claims". NBC-WKTV News Channel 2. 2009-05-18. Retrieved 2009-05-18.
- Query the FCC's FM station database for WSKS
- Radio-Locator information on WSKS
- Query Nielsen Audio's FM station database for WSKS
- Query the FCC's FM station database for WSKU
- Radio-Locator information on WSKU
- Query Nielsen Audio's FM station database for WSKU