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KIIS-FM

KIIS-FM (pronounced "Kiss FM") (102.7 MHz, "102.7 KIIS FM") is a commercial FM radio station which is licensed to Los Angeles, California and broadcasts to the Greater Los Angeles area. The station airs a contemporary hit radio (CHR) or "top 40" format. Owned by iHeartMedia, KIIS-FM is the origin of the KISS-FM brand and serves as the flagship station for the radio program On Air with Ryan Seacrest. The KIIS-FM studios are located in Burbank, while the station transmitter resides on Mount Wilson north of Los Angeles.

Besides a standard analog transmission, KIIS-FM broadcasts over two HD Radio channels including "Evolution" on its HD2 subchannel, featuring an all-dance music format; streams online via iHeartRadio; and extends its on-air signal by using a single full-power repeater, KVVS (105.5 FM) in Rosamond, California. The station also simulcasts over channel 11 on Sirius XM satellite radio. KIIS-FM has consistently been rated the number-one radio station in the Los Angeles/Orange County and Ventura County markets, averaging nearly one million listeners.

KIIS-FM is one of two top 40 stations in the Los Angeles area, the other being KAMP-FM (97.1 FM), owned by Entercom.

History



KLAC/KRHM

The station at the 102.7 FM frequency first signed on in 1948 as KLAC-FM, a sister station to KLAC. It was a simulcast of the AM station until the late 1960s, when the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) banned continuous AM/FM simulcasts for over half of the broadcast day. KLAC-FM started its own separate programming consisting of a middle of the road music format in 1967, changing its call letters to KRHM. The MOR format existed for four years.

KKDJ/K-Double-I-S

KRHM changed its call sign to KKDJ and flipped to top 40 on April 15, 1971. The format lasted until 1975, when Combined Communications purchased KKDJ. The station's format was changed to adult contemporary on October 22, 1975 at 6:00 a.m., during Charlie Tuna's morning show when KKDJ began simulcasting with KIIS 1150 AM with an on-air mock wedding, with KKDJ "marrying" KIIS. Meanwhile, KKDJ's call letters were changed to KIIS-FM. The spelling of "K-I-I-S" instead of KISS was because it resembled the AM frequency: "1150"="IIS". The new merged station was referred to as, "AM and FM, K-double-I-S."

Making the transition from KKDJ to KIIS-FM were popular personalities including Humble Harve, Jay Stevens, John Peters, Danny Martinez, and Charlie Tuna. Tuna, an iconic voice of Los Angeles radio, served as both program director and morning show host for KKDJ and KIIS-FM at the transition; he died in February 2016. In 1977, KIIS-FM hired Gary McKenzie as its news director; later, he went on to anchor at RKO Radio Networks and CBS. The AM and FM stations did simulcasts during the day while returning to two separate stations in the evening hours.

102.7 KIIS-FM

Unable to draw high ratings with adult contemporary, KIIS-FM began to evolve, first to top 40 in 1976, then dance and disco music in 1978, and back to top 40 in 1980. KIIS AM would keep its soft rock/AC format until late 1979. Just prior to this, Gannett Company purchased both the KIIS-AM-FM station pair and Combined Communications. In 1981, the format of KIIS AM was changed to religious talk and new call letters KPRZ were adopted.

Rick Dees joined the station for mornings in July 1981 after KHJ switched formats to country music. Fill-in personality Dave Sebastian (Williams), working both the AM and FM stations at the time, hosted the vacated FM morning show until the arrival of Dees due to a non-compete clause in his contract. With Dees in mornings, KIIS became a CHR powerhouse in Los Angeles.

In 1985, KIIS returned to a Top 40 format and simulcasted KIIS-FM morning and afternoon shows, while all other day parts had different disc jockeys. The simulcast continued until 1997, when KIIS AM flipped to Sports Talk as KXTA, simulcasting with XETRA-AM Tijuana/San Diego until 2005.

In 1996, in a deal in which Gannett acquired WTSP television in the Tampa, Florida market from Jacor, KIIS-AM-FM was acquired by Jacor/Citicasters, which in 1998, merged into Clear Channel Communications (now iHeartMedia). After Clear Channel's acquisition of KAVS (now KVVS) and KYHT (now KLXB), the two stations abandoned their previous format as "High Desert Modern Rock 97.7 & 105.3" and together began serving as repeaters for KIIS-FM. Another simulcast, KIIS (1220 AM) in Santa Clarita, was added in 1999, as well as KFMS (101.9 FM) in Las Vegas, Nevada.

The grouping of KIIS-FM in Los Angeles, KIIS (1220 AM) in Santa Clarita, KAVS (97.7 FM) in the Antelope Valley, KYHT (105.3) in Barstow/Victor Valley, and KFMS (101.9) in Las Vegas created nearly continuous coverage of KIIS-FM between Los Angeles and Las Vegas. (KFMS in Las Vegas was branded as "KISS" instead of "KIIS".) However, this regional network was short-lived as KYHT broke its simulcast off in 2001 to become a repeater for KZXY. Resulting from KYHT's flip from the KIIS-FM moniker, KFMS switched to all local programming. KAVS was relocated from 97.7 to 105.5 in December 2007 and adopted the call sign KVVS. KIIS 1220 AM became KHTS in 2003. KIIS-FM has also been simulcast on 850 AM in Thousand Oaks, California in the last year before that station's towers were demolished.

In February 2004, the decade-long general manager of KIIS-FM, Roy Laughlin, elected not to renew Rick Dees' contract, replacing him with Ryan Seacrest's On Air show and retaining co-host Ellen K to team with Seacrest. Together they created the nationally syndicated On-Air With Ryan Seacrest which airs on many of iHeartMedia's CHR/top 40 stations. KIIS was named the 2007 "Station of the Year" in the contemporary hit/radio/top 40 category for market size 1 to 25 at the national Radio & Records convention.

In December 2007, KIIS's Antelope Valley simulcast at 97.7 was moved to 105.5, replacing the previous format as "105.5 The Oasis". The country music format at 103.1 FM in Tehachapi, California was moved to 97.7 FM (now operating under 103.1's former call letters KTPI) and is now branded as 97.7 KTPI. KSRY (103.1 FM) in Tehachapi became a simulcast of KYSR (98.7 FM, "Alt 98-7").

The station was, according to Radio & Records in 2008, the United States' second-highest revenue billing radio station (behind WTOP-FM in Washington, D.C.), with $66.3 million. In 2010, the station was honored by the National Association of Broadcasters with the Marconi award for CHR Station of the Year.

On June 8, 2011, KIIS-FM began rebroadcasting on Sirius XM channel 11. Since the end of 2003, Clear Channel had replaced the KIIS simulcast with an exclusive KISS XM channel. In 2004, all XM music channels went commercial-free, and KIIS-FM was replaced with a unique-to-XM KISS-XM channel, retaining the same format. Since then, Clear Channel/iHeartMedia has regained the right to air commercials on their XM music channels.

In May 2017, Seacrest became co-host of the New York City-based syndicated talk show Live with Kelly. To accommodate the new role, it was announced that Seacrest would begin to host On Air from a studio constructed at the facilities of WABC-TV (where Live with Kelly and Ryan is produced). The show continues to air live, although the first hour will either be pre-recorded or handled mostly by co-host Sisanie.

On January 3, 2020, it was announced that midday host Alex had exited the station after 6 years. Her successor has not been formally nominated. This was later followed by DJ Drew on January 16, 2020 as a result of a series of nationwide layoffs by iHeartMedia.

KIIS-FM today

As of July 2019 KIIS has seven Rhythmic stations in Southern California, KIIS competes with CHR rival KAMP-FM (97.1 AMP), Rhythmic contemporary hip hop station KPWR (Power 106) (105.9 FM), urban contemporary hip hop sister crosstown station rival KRRL (Real 92.3), Classic hip hop station KDAY (93.5 KDAY), KGGI KIIS’s sister station in Riverside, CA. Also, they have competed with its new Rhythmic rival KLLI (Cali 93.9), and Top 40 rival KVYB in Santa Barbara.