Previous Format: Hot AC “96.5 WKDD”
New Format: CHR “96.5 Kiss-FM” WAKS (Kiss concurrently moved from 104.9)
Date & Time Of Change: July 3, 2001 at 12:00am
More Info: Wikipedia
Related Changes: 95.5 WCLV moves to 104.9
Aircheck Contributed by Jason Takach
To add, 96.5’s idents for the next few months used “In case you were wondering, WKDD-Akron has moved. The new number is 98.1. This is your sound. The sound of now. The sound of the future. Static-free. Cleveland’s new 96.5, KISS-FM.”
Eventually (but, it seemed like FOREVER), they modified it to where a frustrated announcer cut off the recorded message after “wondering” and “the new…” However, they promoted the heck out of “static free,” being off of the low-tech 104.9FM transmitter.
That “in case you were wondering…” ident lasted for one month. The WAKS call letters moved to the 98.1 frequency – probably a consequence of it having been traded from Salem Communications to Clear Channel. Remember, this was a VERY complex three-way trade of licenses and broadcast facilities.
Likewise, “95.5 The Fish” spent it’s first month as WHK-FM, “WHK/1220” had the WHKC calls, “WCCD/1000” had the WHK calls, and the 1440 frequency in Warren, Ohio (previously known as WRBP, taken silent and then revived as a relay of AM 1220, which it mostly is to this day) had the WFHM calls. Only WCLV/1420, WCLV/104.9 and WKNR/850 had a clean transfer of calls without being parked on other frequencies.
I had a recording of the switch (tragically, the tape accidentally got erased) but still remember that particulars.
The last complete song played on “Kiss 104.9” was Nelly’s “Ride Wit Me,” followed by a brief snippet of N*Sync’s “Bye Bye Bye” that was supposed to fade out, but the 104.9 transmitter in Sheffield Township/South Lorain was turned off ten seconds too early (WCLV signed on at a new transmitter in Avon, just 20 miles away from Downtown Cleveland).
The last song played on WKDD/96.5 was Sheryl Crow’s “A Change Will Do You Good.” Then the STLs were changed prematurely, and the tail end of “Bye Bye Bye” ran, leading to this recording. Right when the announcer said “Cleveland’s NEW 96-5 KISS FM”, the signal switched from WKDD’s former transmitter in Cuyahoga Falls (where the current WKDD/98.1 returned to in late 2009) over to the current WAKS transmitter, at the WTAM/1100 tower in Brecksville, so most of “96-5 KISS FM” got lost in the tower shift.
As improbable as this all was (and again, I still kick myself for losing the tape), it could have been even MORE complex. Clear Channel tried to trade some of their Mansfield/Mount Vernon properties to Dix Communications in exchange for Dix’s WQKT/104.5 Wooster, which would have been moved to Akron/Canton as the new home for WKDD.