Infobox Radio Station
name = WKJS
frequency = 105.7 (MHz) HD Radio
99.3 (MHz) HD Radio
area = Richmond
Urban Adult Contemporary
owner = Radio One
WCDX, WKJS/WKJM, WPZZ, WROU
erp = 2,300
branding = "105.7/99.3 Kiss"
slogan = "Today's R&B and Classic Soul"
class = A
website = [http://www.yestokiss.com/ www.yestokiss.com]
callsign_meaning = KiSs (brand)
WKJS and WKJM are two radio stations ( 105.7 in Richmond, and 99.3 in Petersburg ) that simulcast, covering the Richmond, Virginia market with a top-rated
Urban Adult Contemporaryradio product. WKJS is licensed to Richmond, and WKJM is licensed to Petersburg. The station and its Adult Urban format actually started in the mid 90s at 100.3 in Petersburg as 100.3 WSOJ, ( which originally signed on as WSVV-FM a few years earlier.) The "SOJ" in WSOJ's calls meant "South of the James", referring to its location south of the James River. WSOJ's original owners Radio One-Hundred purchased the 104.7 frequency from Capstar Broadcasting, and began a simulcast on 104.7, eventually breaking off the simulcast with 100.3 and becoming " Kiss 104.7 WKJS" on 104.7 until its switch to 105.7 & 99.3 in November of 2004.The station is also the local affiliate of the popular and highly rated syndicated Tom Joyner Morning Show, which also originally made its local debut on 100.3 WSOJ.
The 105.7 frequency began operating back in 1995 under then owner Hoffman Communications as Contemporary Christian WDYL, after moving from its long-time dial location of 92.1. WDYL traded 92.1 with Sinclair Telecable in order that Sinclair could increase signal power for its urban station WCDX, then known as Power 93 and broadcasting on 92.7. After the switch, WCDX, signed off 92.7 and continued with its Urban format on 92.1 as Power 92, while WDYL assumed control of the 105.7 frequency and continued their longtime Christian format. In 1998, Sinclair Telecable traded their 101.1 frequency, where Sinclair was running a jazz format as Smooth Jazz WSMJ, with that of 105.7. After the transaction, Hoffman moved their Christian format onto 101.1. Once Sinclair took control of 105.7 , instead of moving the Jazz format to that frequency, they decided to discontinue the Jazz station altogether and sign on a new country station on 105.7. WJRV, The River ( The River eventually began simulcasting with 100.3 in Petersburg with the calls WARV a few years later ) Sinclair Telecable later sold not only WJRV , but also WCDX, WPLZ ( 99.3 ), and WGCV-AM ( 1240 ) to Radio One, who'd already had purchased the 104.7 and 100.3 frequencies from local owners Radio 100, and 101.1 from Hoffman ( Radio One had flipped WDYL from Christian to Alternative Rock as Y101 by this time, and around this time began simulcasting WJRV with 100.1 using the call letters WARV ) ). In early 2001, Radio One, being a company that specialized in African American programming, decided to ditch the Country format on 105.7 moved the Urban Oldies, "Magic" brand and the WPLZ
call lettersfrom 99.3 to 105.7 to take advantage of a better signal. The station eventually changed the call letters from WPLZ to WJMO ( which had been discarded by a Washington DC station ). It's interesting to note that shortly after purchasing Country formatted WJRV, to respond to rumours that being an African American owned company, and WJRV being the only country station in the chain, Radio One would soon flip the format to some kind of African American targeted programming. Radio One responded by circulating a "open letter to the advertising community" ,saying that the rumours were false and they have always been "purveyors of the truth" and they thought they was room for a second country station in Richmond and there were no plans to change WJRV's country format. About a year and half later Radio One DID ditch the country format. There were stories that the format change was not only precipitated by WJRV's inability to beat dominant Heritage Country leader WKHK, Radio One's lack of expertise ( and probably interest ) in the country format, but also a highly publicized arrest of one of the station's better known air personalities on federal drug trafficking charges, that may had a hand in damaging the station's credibility. A few year later, Radio One signed WJMO off, moved then gospel WPZZ ( then on 99.3 ) to the more powerful 104.7 frequency and began a simulcast of WKJS on both 105.7 and WKJM on 99.3.The WKJS transmitter is located in Richmond. ( The original station that KISS's current Urban A/C format originated on, formerly WSOJ, now currently WARV,100.3,is no longer part of Radio One, and has since gone through a few ownership changes and is now owned by Mainline Broadcasting and simulcasts the oldies format with current Mainline sister station WBBT-FM as "Oldies 100.3" )
99.3 dates back to 1967, when it signed on as Petersburg based WSSV-FM, and simulcasted the Top 40 format of sister station WSSV-AM. In 1970, then-owner Roger Bean, in order to concentrate on his more profitable cable TV operations, decided to sell the radio stations. WSSV AM & FM were then purchased by Eure Communications, headed by William L. Eure, In 1973, responding to changes in FCC regulations regarding AM/FM simulcasts, the FM station began a separately programmed automated Beautiful Music format under the call letters WPLZ, with the slogan "Music To Please", "Please" being part of the calls ( P-L-Z ).
In 1979 the station switched formats to Automated Top 40 as "99Z FM". During the 70s, sister station WSSV-AM was the main moneymaker in the combo with a successful Top 40 format (see
WTPS( the 1979 switch to automated rock was said to be the first in a plan, hatched by then WSSV/WPLZ Operations Manager Russ Brown to move the AM Top 40 format to the FM frequency. But Brown later resigned to take the PD job at new FM Top 40 sign on WXLK "K-92" Roanoke, and the transfer of programming never took place ). In 1978 revenues for WSSV-AM fell , by 1980 they were flat, and it was clear that the largely ignored FM would have to be the new profit center for the combo. In 1981, seeing that there was not an Urban station on the FM band in Central Virginia ( which had at that time only been served by 4 weak AM stations in Richmond ), the station flipped formats once again, and became the first Urban formatted FM in Central Virginia as " Magic 99FM "
In their first Arbitron ratings, the station rocketed from a virtual unknown to 4th place 12 plus in their first rating period and eventually became the number one rated station in The Richmond market. The station initially started automated with just one DJ, Morning man Mitch Malone, about a month later adding Music Director and afternoon drive personality Hardy Jay Lang, about year later rounded out the staff with night man Jay "Kip" Carneal, Midday person Addrienne Jones, and finally overnight jock Kevin Kofax. The unexpected success of WPLZ caused longtime Top 40 leader WRVQ/Q94 to jettison all R&B based music from its playlist. From 1981 and 1983,WRVQ was a Rock based Top 40 type format.)
In 1982, WPLZ also faced some competition from weaker signaled Williamsburg based "Churban" WKQS Kiss 96, plus in 1984, renewed competition from WRVQ, which had returned to a more aggressive mainstream Top 40 approach. During this time WPLZ was either running totally automated or "automated assist" (a live announcer operating in tandem with the automation ).By late 1984, after moving to better facilities, the remaining taped automated music was dumped and WPLZ became a live 24/7 urban station. In mid 1985, WQKS was sold and went easy listening as WQSF, ( it is now Cox owned classic rock WKLR ). leaving WPLZ alone in the urban format until 1987. In 1985, longtime WPLZ morning man Phil "Philly Phil" Daniels joined the station. In 1986 Eure Communications sold WPLZ-FM and WSSV-AM to Paco-John Broadcasting, headed by Philadelphia attorney Glenn Mahone, for 6.5 million dollars.
In November 1987, WCDX at 92.7 , which had been through two previous unsuccessful formats, first CHR , then Adult Contemporary, changed to an Urban format. WCDX's stronger signal in Richmond caused WPLZ ratings to drop ( 99.3 had always had a marginal signal in Richmond owing to the Petersburg location of its tower, where it still is today ). Paco-John, to compensate, purchased the 99.3 frequency in Fredericksburg and became a simulcast on both 99.3 frequencies, which brought WPLZ's programming in the northern areas of the Richmond Metro, including Hanover County and parts of Henrico. This simulcast for a time, gave not only Fredericksburg an Urban station, but Charlottesville one as well.
By the early nineties, despite the simulcasting, WPLZ was unable to regain its lead over WCDX. Paco-John attempted to expand its holdings by attempting to purchase WMYK ( now WPYA ) in Norfolk, then later,Norfolk stations WGH-AM & FM. In both cases, the company was unable to secure financing for the purchases and the sales were cancelled. Paco-John later went into bankruptcy and the stations were put under control of a trustee named Charles Giddens.
A few months later, both of the 99.3 stations were sold, ( the 99.3 frequency in Fredericksburg is now Alternative Rock WYSK ) and WCDX's owner Sinclair Telecable ended up purchasing WPLZ and its AM sister station which by this time had become gospel WGCV ( it is now Talk formatted WTPS ), moving the studio's and offices out of Petersburg to their current location on Emerywood Pkwy in Richmond .At first WPLZ's format was adjusted to "Adult Urban" but later switched to Urban Gold as "Jammin Oldies Magic 99 FM". By the end of the 90s, Radio One had purchased not only WPLZ & WGCV, but also WCDX, WJRV, WARV, and Adult Urban WJKS at 104.7.
In 2001, Radio One, being a company that specialized in African American formats, decided to ditch the country format on 105.7, and moved WPLZ and its Urban Gold format to 105.7, the calls on 105.7 , simulcasting with 99.3. A short time later, the WPLZ calls were changed to WJMO on 105.7, and a gospel format debuted on 99.3 as WPZE, but it was short lived. Getting advance warning of a format flip to Urban getting ready to happen on Clear Channel's 106.5 frequency, Radio One flipped 99.3 to a hard core rap and hip hop format as WHHH "Hot 99-3", just a few days ahead of the 106.5 format flip. And short time later 99.3 was switched back to a gospel format as WPZZ. Praise 99.3, where it remained until November 18th 2004.
The Major Shake-Up
At midnight on Thursday,
November 18, 2004, a major station shake-up occurred when Radio One shifted Urban Adult Contemporary "104.7 Kiss FM" from 104.7 to "Magic 105.7" WJMO which disappeared from the Richmond airwaves, and Urban Gospel "Praise 99.3" moved to it strongest signal 104.7. The new "Kiss FM" began simulcasting on 99.3. Took their new call letters WKJM on November 22, 2004, then the calls went back to WJMO briefly until it finally changed to WKJS on December 14, 2004. On November 25, 2004, (approximately 1 year to date since it took it last calls) 99.3 changed call letters from WPZZ to WKJM.
* Operations Manager Al Payne
* Program Director Al Payne
* Music Director Freddy Foxx
* Community Affairs/News Director Clovia
* [http://www.yestokiss.com/ "105.7/99.3 KISS" Official Website]
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