Iconic NY black radio station 98.7 KISS FM folds

A legendary New York City radio station is ending its historic 30-year run. 98.7 KISS FM, known to many of its fans for playing hip-hop music before anyone else and a consistent R&B playlist, will merge with long-standing rival 107.5 WBLS. ESPN Radio will take over the 98.7 FM frequency. Newsday reports:

ESPN also announced changes to its lineup effective Monday, notably Stephen A. Smith replacing Robin Lundberg beside Ryan Ruocco from 1 to 3 p.m. and Michael Kay’s show being trimmed by an hour to 3 to 6. (Smith is to be the first voice heard on 98.7 at 12:01 a.m. Monday.)

The change in format at 98.7 came as a shock to many R&B fans in New York; KISS-FM (WRKS) has been around for 30 years. Emmis sold intellectual property rights to the station to YMF Media, which will merge it into WBLS (107.5 FM).

WRKS has suffered in the ratings under Arbitron’s people meters, which replaced the old diary system. It also lagged in overall advertising billings.

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