Infobox Radio station
name = WKSZ

city = De Pere, Wisconsin
area = Green Bay and Fox Cities, Wisconsin
branding = "95.9 Kiss FM"
slogan =
airdate =
frequency = 95.9 MHz
format = CHR
erp = 4,500 watts
haat = 236 meters
class = C3
facility_id = 1518
callsign_meaning = W-KSZ (sounds like "kiss")
former_callsigns = WJLW (1983-1995)
owner = Woodward Communications, Inc.
sister_stations = WAPL, WECB, WHBY, WSCO, WZOR
webcast =
website = [http://www.959kissfm.com 959kissfm.com]
affiliations =

WKSZ (95.9 FM, "95.9 Kiss FM") is a radio station licensed to De Pere, Wisconsin and serving the Green Bay and Fox Cities area of Northeast Wisconsin. The station is owned by Woodward Communications, Inc. of Dubuque, Iowa, and broadcasts a contemporary hit radio (CHR) format.


The history of the 95.9 MHz frequency in the Green Bay area dates back to the mid-1980s, with WJLW. Locally owned by Jack LeDuc (from whom the "JL" of the call letters originated), WJLW broadcast a Country music format [http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=MMZGGg3cbwk&mode=user&search=] until October 1995, when LeDuc sold the station to Woodward Communications. (LeDuc would resurrect the WJLW call letters, and its country format, one year later at the 106.7 frequency in Green Bay.)

The 95.9 frequency went dormant for a month until November 1995, when Woodward launched WKSZ as "95.9 Kiss FM." The station was positioned as a contemporary hit radio station, putting it in direct competition with Midwest Communications' heritage CHR station, WIXX.

Kiss FM's ratings managed to stay only in the middle of the Arbitron ratings for the Green Bay market, thanks to the long-time dominance of WIXX as the premiere hit radio station in Northeast Wisconsin. However, a ratings surge by WKSZ in 2001-2002 had the station beating WIXX in several key younger demographics. In response, Midwest Communications changed the format of their low-rated AC station, WLTM, to a rhythmic/urban format as WLYD, "Wild 99.7."

In April 2003, after a stellar first book performance by Wild, Woodward pulled the plug on "95.9 Kiss FM." A local research project commissioned by Woodward indicated a format "hole" for Hot Adult Contemporary, and after stunting with Christmas music, Woodward launched the new Hot AC format on WKSZ as "Today's Best Variety, Mix 95.9". The move to Hot AC, however, backfired for Woodward, as Mix 95.9's listener share sank to at or near the bottom of the Arbitron ratings in the Green Bay market.

In February 2006, Midwest Communications dropped WLYD's rhythmic format in favor of Variety Hits (as WZBY). One month later (March 2006), Woodward would fill the void "Wild 99.7" left behind, flipping WKSZ from Hot AC back to the "95.9 Kiss FM" format, mixing Kiss' contemporary hit music with some rhythmic music formerly heard on "Wild 99.7." (Reviving the "Kiss FM" moniker was an acknowledgement that listeners still referred to WKSZ by that name, even during its "Mix" days.) The return of Kiss paid off, for in the first Arbitron ratings book after the flip (Spring 2006), WKSZ leaped to a 4th place ranking (of 21 stations) with an audience share that, though still trailing WIXX, was "5 times greater" than the share "Mix 95.9" pulled in during its waining days.

As of October 2006, WKSZ is among the Top 40 stations monitored by Nielsen Broadcast Data Systems as part of its Top 40/CHR panel.

tation logo history

External links

* [http://www.959kissfm.com WKSZ-FM official website]

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