From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Jump to navigation Jump to search
KISW Current Black Logo.png
CitySeattle, Washington
Broadcast areaSeattle/Tacoma
Branding99.9 The Rock KISW
SloganThe Rock Of Seattle
Frequency99.9 MHz FM (also on HD Radio)
99.9-2 FM-"Metal Militia"
First air dateJanuary 18, 1950
FormatMainstream Rock (HD-2 Format: Active Rock)
ERP67,000 watts [1]
HAAT707 meters
Facility ID47750
Callsign meaningKool In Seattle, Washington / K Independent State of Washington
OwnerEntercom Communications
(Entercom License, LLC)
Sister stationsKKWF, KHTP, KNDD, KSWD
WebcastListen Live
The Metal Channel (HD2)

KISW (99.9 FM) is a radio station in Seattle, Washington. The station airs music in the Mainstream Rock format, with the slogan, "The Rock of Seattle". KISW broadcasts on a frequency of 99.9 MHz with an ERP of 67,000 watts through a transmitter near Issaquah, Washington on Tiger Mountain, and operates from its studios at the Metropolitan Park complex in Downtown Seattle.


KISW has a long history in Seattle with the slogan "Seattle's Best Rock". Over the years the station has employed on-air hosts including Bob Rivers, Crow and West, Robin and Maynard, Steve Slaton and others. KISW's license is held by Entercom, who operates four stations in the Seattle metropolitan area.


KISW commenced broadcasting on January 18, 1950.[2] KISW played classical music under the tutelage of its founder and first owner, Ellwood W. Lippincott (1904–1977). From 1954 to 1956, the station was managed by Harvey Manning.[3]

In 1969, the station was purchased by Kaye-Smith, a partnership of famed entertainer Danny Kaye and Lester Smith. At that time Kaye-Smith were also the owners of the number one pop music station in Seattle, KJR.[4] By 1971, KISW had switched to a progressive rock (or "underground") format pioneered by Tom Donahue at KMPX and KSAN in San Francisco.[5]

KISW was not the first commercial station in the Seattle/Tacoma market to experiment with rock and roll programming on the FM radio dial - KOL had already accomplished some success with their AM (1300 kHz) and FM (94.1 MHz) frequencies.

In 1991, as an April Fool's prank, the radio station changed their format to soft rock for a day.[6]

In August 2000, the popular "Twisted Radio" show led by Bob Rivers left to join rival radio station KZOK-FM. Howard Stern's nationally syndicated show was signed in March 2001 as a replacement. At the end of 2005, Stern moved to Sirius Satellite Radio.

On January 3, 2006 at 5:00 a.m. PST, The BJ Shea Morning Experience (originally from sister station KQBZ) replaced Howard Stern.

HD Radio[edit]

  • HD1 carries the analog format ("KISW 99.9") from the standard 99.9 FM frequency.
  • HD2 carried a "live rock" format featuring rock songs from concerts. This lasted until August 10, 2015 when 99.9-HD2 switched to "The Metal Militia".[7][8]


Ellwood W. Lippincott 1950-1969 - Ellwood W. Lippincott founded KISW. He was a resident of Centralia, Washington, and worked as an electrical engineer for Weyerhaeuser. During the week, Lippincott's job required him to travel about 3,200 miles a month maintaining Weyerhaeuser's radio equipment from the Canada–US border to southern Oregon. Lippincott would spend his weekends managing the station.[9] KISW was his labor of love. Under Lippincott's ownership, KISW operated out of a small studio on the northwest corner of NE 92nd Street and Roosevelt Way NE in north Seattle. The building was demolished and replaced with townhouses in 2007.

Kaye-Smith 1969–1982 - Kaye-Smith was a joint venture between actor/comedian Danny Kaye and businessman Lester Smith. Kaye-Smith owned several radio stations including KJR, the dominant AM top 40 station in Seattle during the 1960s and 1970s. Together, they also owned Seattle's Kaye-Smith studios (where records by Heart, Steve Miller and Bachman–Turner Overdrive were recorded), Concerts West (with Pat O'Day, a booking and promotion company that handled Jimi Hendrix, Led Zeppelin, Bad Company, Eagles, Paul McCartney and others); and were original owners of the Seattle Mariners baseball team.

Alexander Broadcasting Company 1982–1987 - In 1982 Danny Kaye sold his interest to Lester Smith's company, Alexander Broadcasting.

Nationwide Communications, Inc. 1987–1996 - A subsidiary of the Nationwide Insurance Company, Nationwide Communications originally established itself in the Radio business in 1947. Nationwide had sold off its radio stations by 1997.

Entercom Communications Co. 1996–present Entercom is the 4th largest radio broadcasting company in the United States. Entercom operates four stations in Seattle and is the market's leading operator in terms of revenue. Data from the Arbitron ratings company shows that the Entercom's Seattle holdings regularly draw more than 20% of all radio listening in the Seattle/Tacoma market.


In 2007, the station was nominated for the Radio & Records magazine Active Rock station of the year award in a top 25 market. Other nominees included WIYY in Baltimore, WAAF in Boston, KBPI in Denver, WRIF in Detroit, and WMMR in Philadelphia.[10] Nominated for a RadioContraband Rock Radio Award for "Major Market Radio Station of the Year" 2012

KISW was inducted into the Rock Radio Hall of Fame in the "Heritage Rock Radio Stations-Still Rocking" in 2014.[citation needed]


  1. ^
  2. ^ "UW Unit to Go on Air Hour Daily," Seattle Times, 27 January 1950.
  3. ^ Harvey Manning, "Letter to the Editor," Seattle Weekly, 21 September 1994.
  4. ^ Victor Stredicke, "Commission Approves Sale of KISW," Seattle Times, 3 January 1969, p. 10.
  5. ^ Victor Stredicke, "Like It Or Not, Rock Music is Here to Stay," Seattle Times, 3 March 1971, p. 155.
  6. ^
  7. ^ KISW Launches All-Metal HD2
  8. ^ "Archived copy". Archived from the original on 2015-07-22. Retrieved 2015-05-31. HD Radio Guide for Seattle-Tacoma
  9. ^ Byron Fish, "Not Very Old, KISW, Good-Music, Wins Public's Praise," Seattle Times, 3 November 1952.
  10. ^ "2007 Industry Achievement Awards". Radio and Records. September 28, 2008. Archived from the original on May 17, 2008.

External links[edit]

Coordinates: 47°30′14″N 121°58′34″W / 47.504°N 121.976°W / 47.504; -121.976