|City of license||Newton, Massachusetts|
|Broadcast area||Boston, Massachusetts|
|Branding||Bloomberg 1200 and 94.5 HD2|
(also on HD Radio via WJMN-FM-94.5 HD2)
|First air date||April 21, 1947 (as WKOX)|
|Callsign meaning||KS = Kiss 108 (WXKS-FM format; callsign transferred from 1430 AM, which had traditionally shared callsigns with WXKS-FM)|
|Former callsigns||WKOX (1947–2010)|
|Former frequencies||1190 kHz (1947–1985)|
|Affiliations||Bloomberg Radio, AP|
(Capstar TX LLC)
|Sister stations||WBWL, WJMN, WKOX, WXKS-FM|
WXKS (1200 AM; "Bloomberg 1200") is an AM station licensed to Newton, Massachusetts, and serving the Boston, Massachusetts area. It is owned by iHeartMedia, Inc.. The station carries financial news from Bloomberg Radio.
WXKS is highly directional to protect WOAI (another iHeartMedia, Inc.-owned station and in fact the company's flagship) out of San Antonio, Texas. The station's studios are located in Medford and the transmitter site is in Newton.
The station signed on April 21, 1947 as WKOX, a daytime-only station on 1190 kHz in Framingham. WKOX signed on an FM station at 105.7 in May 1960; it is now known as WROR-FM and is owned by Greater Media. Fairbanks Communications purchased the station in 1970. In 1985, WKOX moved to 1200 kHz to gain authorization to go 24 hours.
For many years, WKOX functioned as a full service station, oriented towards the MetroWest region. However, during the 1990s, the station changed formats constantly; following stints with satellite-fed oldies and talk radio, it became a simulcast of the FM station (by then WCLB-FM, a country music station) on March 1, 1993 (except for morning drive, which continued to be programmed separately), which gave way that August to ABC Radio/Satellite Music Network's Real Country format (offering classic country music to compliment the more contemporary mix heard on WCLB). Another attempt at talk, including a show hosted by former WEEI and WRKO host Gene Burns, was made on October 2, 1995 (by this point, WKOX had begun to orient itself to the Boston market as a whole rather than MetroWest); after only one year, this was replaced with brokered programming in October 1996. Most of the station's programming during this time was ethnic, though for a time contemporary Christian music station WJLT (1060 AM, now WQOM) leased WKOX's overnight hours to extend its programming (at that time, 1060 signed off overnight to protect KYW in Philadelphia).
By this time, Fairbanks Communications was attempting to sell WKOX. Although companies such as Westinghouse Broadcasting and B-Mass Holding Company expressed interest in acquiring the station, they did not actually do so, and by 1998 WKOX had become Fairbanks' last radio station. A few months after the death of owner Richard M. Fairbanks in August 2000, the station was finally sold, to Clear Channel Communications (now known as iHeartMedia). The brokered format (by then primarily consisting of Spanish-language religious programming) was retained until 2004, when the station began simulcasting a progressive talk format with the original WXKS (1430 AM). This was dropped at Noon on December 21, 2006, in favor of a Spanish tropical format, branded as "Rumba".
As early as 1995, WKOX had been pursuing options to upgrade its power and serve the entire Boston area. The station was approved by the FCC to move to the WUNR site in Newton, where it would run 50,000 watts and change its city of license to Newton in the process, but the plan was met with a great deal of community opposition. Finally, in fall 2008, the station left Framingham and began broadcasting from a new tower array on the WUNR site. In April 2009, it was announced that WKOX is now 50,000 watts full-time. On September 4 of the same year, WXKS broke from the WKOX simulcast and flipped to a Spanish adult hits format, branded as "Mia 1430". "Rumba" would continue on 1200.
Clear Channel announced in January 2010 that WKOX would once again change to a news/talk format in April; the launch was moved to March 8 after rival WRKO dropped The Rush Limbaugh Show. In preparation, the station swapped call letters with 1430 AM and became WXKS on March 1. Coast to Coast AM was the first talk program to air on the station, moving from WRKO in February 2010 — several weeks before the full format change. "Rumba" programming ceased on March 5, at which time the station began stunting. For the first year of the talk format, WXKS branded as "Rush Radio 1200", which was named for Limbaugh (Clear Channel has also used this branding at WRNO-FM in New Orleans, WRDU in Raleigh-Durham, and WPTI in Greensboro, North Carolina); on February 28, 2011, the station dropped the "Rush Radio" name and began calling itself simply "Talk 1200 Boston".
On August 6, 2012, it was revealed that the station had dropped local talk hosts Jeff Katz and Jay Severin and that the Rush Limbaugh and Coast to Coast programs would return to WRKO. The station continued with a lineup of syndicated talk shows until August 10, 2012, when the station began stunting with a 10-minute loop of political gaffes, branded as "Gaffe 1200." On August 13, 2012, at 8:30 AM, WXKS-FM host Matt Siegel announced on both stations the new Matty's Comedy 1200 format, which began with a bit from Dane Cook. Most of the new station's programming came from the 24/7 Comedy Radio satellite format.
On February 27, 2013, Clear Channel announced that WXKS would begin to carry Bloomberg Radio's financial news and information programming as of March 1. The comedy format continued on the HD2 channel of WXKS-FM (until December 2013), with the simulcast of 1200 AM (which had previously been on 107.9-HD2) moving to the HD2 of WJMN, replacing old-school hip hop.
In September 2013, WXKS began broadcasting Harvard University football, men's hockey, and men's basketball games. The broadcasts are produced by an independent packager who pays for the airtime.
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Back when Westinghouse thought it was about to buy WKOX, circa 1993-94...
- Fybush, Scott (February 6, 1999). "WKOX, WLLH Sold". North East RadioWatch. Retrieved March 4, 2010.
- Fybush, Scott (January 15, 2001). "North East RadioWatch". Retrieved March 5, 2010.
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- Fybush, Scott (October 4, 2004). "Scott Muni Dies". NorthEast Radio Watch. Retrieved March 5, 2010.
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- Heslam, Jessica (January 14, 2010). "Lawrence pastor ‘proud’ of Conan O’Brien". Boston Herald. Retrieved January 14, 2010.
- Heslam, Jessica (February 11, 2010). "For all you "Coast to Coast" fans…". Boston Herald. Retrieved February 18, 2010.
- "Making Moves: Tuesday, March 1, 2011". Radio-Info.com. March 1, 2011. Retrieved March 2, 2011.
- Heslam, Jessica (August 7, 2012). "WRKO tunes into Rush Limbaugh". Boston Herald. Retrieved August 11, 2012.
- "Talk 1200/Boston Launches 'Gaffe 1200' Stunt". All Access. August 10, 2012. Retrieved August 11, 2012.
- Query the FCC's AM station database for WXKS
- Radio-Locator Information on WXKS
- Query Nielsen Audio's AM station database for WXKS