It's a sad day for urban radio. Two of New York's main adult contemporary urban stations, WBLS (107.5 FM) and WRKS (98.7 FM, Kiss-FM) will become one station after 30 years of being rivals, reports The Daily News.
Under the slogan "One Family, One Station" the two entities released a joint press release announcing the merger and the kick off of a weekend long celebration of the 30-year legacy of Kiss.
The stations can now be found under WBLS 107.5 solely and will begin regular programming on Monday morning. As a result of the merger hosts will be integrating into one schedule. Steve Harvey's morning show will continue in the morning. Shaila from Kiss will do middays, 10 a.m. to 3 p.m., Jeff Foxx from WBLS will do 3 p.m. to 7 p.m. and Lenny Green from Kiss will do 7 p.m. to midnight. However, this means that Tom Joyner, Michael Baisden and other hosts are out.
The merger is a part of a major reshuffling that began when Disney acquired 98.7 FM from Emmis, but other related issues may have contributed to the union. Emmis Chairman Jeff Smulyan blamed Arbitron's switch to a new ratings system, under which almost all black and ethnic stations saw a dramatic drop in ratings. Also, there's the issue of the struggling economy which has caused a dip in ad revenues.
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(Photo: Courtesy Kiss FM and WBLS)