WKSF-FM, better known to its listeners as 99.9 KISS-FM,
began "rocking the South in stereo" in September, 1984.
Located in Asheville, NC, the station's listening area
included Hendersonville, Greenville-Spartanburg, and
parts of Georgia and Tennessee. The station played
"Top 40" music with a bias toward "Southern Rock" which
became more pronounced in the evening hours. This
web page documents the history of KISS from its birth
through through 1987, the year it was sold to the
Heritage Broadcast Group.
Prior to becoming KISS-FM, the station had, for years, played easy-listening music as WLOS-FM. WLOS was purchased by an ownership group which included Ric Jorgenson in the spring of 1984. Ric, owner of legendary Asheville AM station WISE, saw that Top 40/CHR listeners were abandoning the "big boss" AM stations of the 60s and 70s and tuning in the superior sound of FM. He wanted to continue the legacy of WISE on the FM band, take advantage of the larger coverage area of high-powered FM stations, and expand his business.
With the sale, the call letters were changed to WRLX but the
station continued playing an easy-listening "elevator" music
format while preparations for the format change were being
made. WRLX featured K. C. Jones, formerly of WGNI-Wilmington,
in the mornings. K.C. had been hired because of his past
experience with both easy-listening and rock music, allowing
them to have him in place prior to the format change and
leave him there afterward.
Over the summer it was decided that John Stevens, PD of Big WISE, would become the Program Director of KISS. And Dawn (whose real name was Anna Harrin) would join him on the new FM. For the sake of continuity, some of the WISE personalities remained there and others were promoted to full-time status to fill the gaps. Vince Rutherford took over as PD of WISE, Radar (Bruce Chandley) remained on the morning show, and Michael Lane (Terry Ballard) took over the afternoon shift. The station went to satellite programming during the evening hours.
To fill out the KISS-FM staff, John decided to bring in
some "new blood" and hired Brother Bill Prather and Pat
Garrett. Bill was known in the market from previous
jobs with with WTYN-Tryon, WQOK-Greenville and WCKN
Anderson-Spartanburg and was currently the PD at KQID
in Alexandria, LA. Pat came from WGNI-Wilmington where
he worked with K.C. and was hired because John was
impressed with one of his old airchecks from WXLK "K-92"
in Roanoke, VA.
The KISS-FM Site