(AllHipHop News) Urban radio in New York has undergone a major transformation, as 98.7 KISS FM will merge with 107.5 WBLS.
The merger will end 30-plus years of KISS, which is owned by Emmis Communications, broadcasting to listeners in the New York/New Jersey areas.
“I extend my gratitude and deepest thanks to the many special people that created the memories and sense of community that KISS FM delivered for 30 years,” said Emmis’ New York SVP/General Manager Alexandra Cameron. “Emmis will be forever grateful. We are so very glad that a part of KISS will remain remembered through WBLS programming as they welcome beloved personalities like Shaila and Lenny Green.”
In the coming weeks, ESPN Radio will take over Kiss’ famed 98.7 frequency.
KISS is recognized as being the first commercial radio station in the United States to play Hip-Hop, back in 1983, with the addition of Kool DJ Red Alert.
WBLS responded by hiring Mr. Magic and the legendary DJ’s saturated New York radio with Hip-Hop music.
In addition to regularly playing rap music by future icons like Run-DMC, Whodini, Kurtis Blow, Boogie Down Productions, KRS-One and Afrika Bambaataa, KISS helped launch the career of media personality Wendy Williams.
Emmis Communications, which also owns Hot 97, bought KISS in 1994.
It switched to an all-R&B format in 1999.
“WBLS and WRKS have been the voice of the tri-state black community for 30 years and we plan to merge the best of both stations to create a stronger voice to deliver the best in R&B music while also super serving our community,” added WBLS VP/General Manager Deon Levingston.
All this weekend both stations will run programming celebrating 98.7 KISS FM’s role in shaping the urban/Hip-Hop landscape.