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Utica’s Kiss-FM to Flip Formats Monday

UTICA-ROME — After nearly 15 years as Utica-Rome’s dominant CHR station duo, Kiss-FM (WSKS/WSKU) will be flipping formats on Monday, according to a press release issued by the station today.

The station has also been airing promos voiced by PD Shaun Andrews, announcing the impending change, declaring this to be “Goodbye Kiss FM Weekend.”  The format flip will take place at 7:30 Monday morning.

The press release blames “financial constraints” for the change, and it says the new format “already in place and ready to be executed,” but it does not indicate what that new format will be.

New at 10:00pm:  Both the Utica Observer-Dispatch and local NBC affiliate WKTV (text | video) are reporting all personalities will be retaining their jobs — as station officials explained the “financial constraints” mentioned in that press release had nothing to do with salaries, but rather a jab at high music licensing fees.

Despite the new details, program director Shaun Andrews and promotions director Jesse Jordan are still being tight-lipped about what will hit the air on Monday morning.  During his show tonight, “Intern Dave” was taking calls from listeners sorry to see the old format going away — and when asked what will happen on Monday, he claimed he did not know.  The weeknight jock would only say he’d still be there, “maybe doing fill-ins or weekends or something.”

Here is the full text of the press release issued this morning:

May 15, 2009

ROSER COMMUNICATIONS ANNOUNCES FORMAT FLIP

Utica/Rome CHR simulcast WSKS/WSKU 97.5/105.5 KISS FM announced today that due to financial constraints, the CHR powerhouse will be changing formats.

979/1055 KISS FM has been playing the popular Top 40 format for nearly fifteen years and for its change, the station is implementing a “Goodbye Kiss FM” weekend.  Listeners are encouraged to call in and share their favorite memories of Kiss FM in its final days as a CHR.

The new format is already in place and ready to be executed.  The new stations will begin broadcasting and be revealed in grand scale style live, on the air, Monday morning at 7.30am with a special “Sign Off” with Jesse Jordan, morning personality, and Shaun Andrews, Afternoon Drive and Program Director.

97.9 WSKS and 105.5 WSKU are owned and operated by Roser Communications Network in Utica, NY.  Roser also owns Bug Country 99.7/101.1 WBGK/WBUG and Beautiful Music, WADR/WUTQ 1550/1480.

We don’t usually get into opinions here, but having grown up in the Utica-Rome market, your editor is frankly, very surprised to see this… especially considering Kiss-FM is the only CHR in the market.  We’ll definitely keep you updated on what happens Monday morning.

It’s rare we get to hear about a format flip in advance… so we’ve set up a new poll where you can predict which format will debut on Monday.  The poll will be open until sometime early Monday morning:


[poll id=”42″]


Elaborate further on your prediction by posting a comment below.  If you don’t have a free CNYRadio.com login, click here (and then click the “Register” link just below the login area).  All you need to provide is a valid e-mail address so our system can verify you’re a real person.

5 Comments to Utica’s Kiss-FM to Flip Formats Monday

  1. Hello…I am probably wrong, but the entire press release and everything that has gone along with the proposed format flip seems a bit strange, almost like a well planned publicity stunt. A station employee repeated the phrase “Don’t Worry About Anything” “Don’t Pay Attention To the Rumors”

    Not sure what that means. Could it mean a new format that is similar, so if you are an advertiser, you won’t decide to quit advertising with them because of a new format with unproven listenership?
    Will the format be so different that they have a plan of attack to keep advertisers from jumping ship? Could it be no change in format and a great stunt?

    Whatever happens, if anything, they sure did get many people’s attention

  2. my guess is that he is going to put his Country station on the kiss frequency. OR he is just screwing with everyone to get some cume during the book

  3. Did anyone notice that the front page of cnykiss.com has ZERO mentions of this “goodbye weekend” or the impending format change? Or how about the fact they still have a pretty big graphic promoting the “Kiss FM Summer Internship Meeting” on May 19? That’s next Tuesday, the day AFTER the so-called change.

    I have to agree with Keith222, I think it’s nothing more than a PR stunt. Why would the ONLY top-40 in the market shut down? Aside from overlap from 93Q and Hot in Syracuse, which only affects the western half of the market, there’s no competition.

    Won’t be surprised if, come Monday AM, they say “well, we were going to do something else, but ‘so many’ of you begged us not to, we decided to keep things the way they are.”

  4. It seems schlocky to me, too. IMHO: The idea is to generate calls and emails and so on to help give a better feel of what kind of listenership they have. What with irregular ratings releases and blackouts upstate, they need something else to show to advertisers to prove it’s worth buying commercials on the station. That because so many places have cut back on the advertising with the down economy. I tend to agree they’ll just change the name and logo if anything.

  5. the station might be in hd format now thay really cant tell till when it happends we all know thay dont need this as the station is doin great as is but buy doin this kiss fm will be loseing people listing to shauns show at 7am to when ever thay go to work but we just hope and pray kiss fmm wont fall to the ground after this format change lets just sit back and see what happens later today at 730am

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