Monday, April 30, 2012

Legendary New York City Radio Station 98.7 Kiss FM Goes Off the Air

Today I turned on the radio, to 98.7 FM and heard "the all new 98.7 ESPN New York" and it dawned on me that 98.7 Kiss FM is really gone!


I've been hearing about the merger news between them and their rival station 107.5 WBLS and I even tuned in last night as Kiss FM hosts and listeners were reminiscing and counting down their final hours on the Kiss station, but it really set in when I didn't hear them on the radio today.


98.7 Kiss FM wrapped up their final moments last night at midnight to merge with WBLS. Kiss has been on the radio for 30 years and I'm just in shock that it is really over. 


This led me to thinking, what is going to happen to the Michael Baisden Show and all the strong talk show personalities on Kiss or what is going to happen to 98.7 airing live at the Key Club in Newark with DJ Qua? 


How could the station just up a disappear after all these years and do that to their listeners?



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,” WBLS VP/General Manager Deon Levingston said in a statement posted on the station’s website.


Now there is only one station to listen to that good ol' R&B music instead of two stations. And I haven't been a huge WBLS fan since Doug Banks and DeDe McGuire's morning show ended.


Although this new ESPN FM station is great news for sports fanatics, such as myself, to have ESPN on a clear FM station rather than a crappy AM station, I'm just saddened that Kiss had to go. 


According to the Daily News:

The merger is part of a major reshuffling triggered when Disney agreed to acquire 98.7 FM from Emmis.
The complicated $96 million deal essentially lets Disney lease 98.7 FM as of Monday morning, when it will start simulcasting ESPN radio there. ESPN radio is now heard on the weaker 1050 AM signal.
Disney had been thirsting for an FM signal so it can better challenge CBS Radio's all-sports WFAN (660 AM).
A key factor in this new deal is that WRKS and WBLS have both had financial problems, at the stations themselves and with their parent companies.
......
As for hosts, the merger will integrate them starting Monday.
Steve Harvey's syndicated show, now heard on WBLS, will continue in the morning.
Shaila from Kiss will do middays, 10 a.m.-3 p.m., Jeff Foxx from WBLS will do 3-7 p.m., and Lenny Green from Kiss will do 7 p.m.-midnight.
That means Tom Joyner and Michael Baisden of WRKS, among other hosts, will be gone.

So disappointing and a major hit in urban media.

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