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WKYS, "Station for Interactive Hip Hop and R&B", is a radio station that serves the greater Washington metropolitan area. The station broadcasts from a class B signal with an effective radiated power of 24,500 watts (24.5 kilowatts on 93.9 MHz frequency. WKYS has a city of license of Washington, D.C.marker and is owned by Radio One.

History

Originally, the station was owned by NBC. During its early days it was known as WRC-FM, with a jazz format. The transition from the Beautiful Music format into what is now WKYS occurred when NBC moved the Top 40 format that was on sister station WRC-AM to WKYS to make way for an all news format on the AM station. For a short time in 1975, the two stations simulcast the Top 40 format.

Shortly after the simulcast was discontinued, the original AM Top 40 format continued for a short while on the FM station, but later, seeing the coming boom in disco music, WKYS adopted a highly successful disco format in the late 1970s and branded itself as WKYS - "Disco 93.9". DJs during the Disco era included Donnie Simpson, Bill Bailey, Jeff Leonard, Chuck Davis, Candy Shannon and Max Kinkel.

The disco format eventually evolved into the present urban contemporary format, WKYS - "93.9 Kiss FM".

When NBC divested all of their radio properties in 1988, WKYS was sold to Albimar Commucations. Several years later, amid financial difficulties, the station was sold to Radio One. In the mid 1990s, WKYS was forced to drop the "Kiss FM" moniker and changed it to "93.9 WKYS" because Clear Channel held ownership of the name. However, WKYS has recently reintroduced the "Kiss FM" moniker with its over-the-air branding.

For many years, WKYS was home to legendary radio personality Donnie Simpson, who was with the station from the 1970s to 1993. The station is now the flagship of the nationally syndicated Russ Parr Morning Show.

Competitors

WKYS competes with rival Rhythmic Crossover station WPGC-FM easily. It also competes with Urban AC stations WMMJ (sister station thereof) and Howard University's WHUR.

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