|Branding||AM 590 & 92-3 KSSK|
|Affiliations||Fox News Radio|
First air date
|March 15, 1930|
Former call signs
|1320 kHz (1930–1940)|
Call sign meaning
|Phonetically similar to "kiss"|
|Power||7,500 watts unlimited|
|Repeater(s)||92.3 KSSK-FM (Waipahu)|
KSSK (590 kHz) is an adult contemporary formatted AM radio station, licensed to Honolulu, Hawaii and owned by iHeartMedia, Inc. Studios are located in the Kalihi neighborhood of Honolulu, and the transmitter site is located a mile from the studios. KSSK serves as Hawaii's primary AM station entry point for the Emergency Alert System, with KRTR-FM providing PEP capabilities on FM.
KSSK's programming is simulcast with KSSK-FM in Waipahu, Hawaii. As is the case with many other iHeartMedia adult contemporary stations, KSSK-AM-FM play all Christmas music beginning each year in mid-November, and return to their regular format on December 26.
KSSK AM and FM are home to the popular "Perry & the Posse" morning show. They are also heard on Oceanic Time Warner Cable digital channel 867 for the entire state of Hawaii, via the DishHD satellite TV service in Taiwan, and also USEN's Sound Planet satellite radio service in Japan.
The stations use the slogan, "Hawaii's Favorite." Nielsen consistently ranks KSSK-AM-FM as Honolulu's most listened-to radio station. KSSK's jingle melody was adapted from that of WPLJ in New York City. KSSK-AM-FM used WPLJ's jingle packages until TM Century created a jingle package for KSSK, known as "Big Time Honolulu."
KSSK was first authorized in December 1929, with the sequentially issued call sign of KGMB, to the Honolulu Broadcasting Company. It was initially licensed for operation with 500 watts on 1320 kHz, and after a short period of testing made its debut broadcast on March 15, 1930. In 1940, KGMB moved to 590 kHz, where it has been ever since.
Prior to the December 7, 1941, attack on Pearl Harbor, KGMB was asked to broadcast music in order to provide long-range guidance to a flight of Boeing B-17 Flying Fortresses on their way to Hawaii from the mainland. Ironically, the Japanese aircraft picked up the same transmissions and used them for guidance while they approached the islands. During the attack, KGMB dispatched reports to CBS Radio, which in turn were cited on-air by John Charles Daly, who anchored the network's coverage of that day's news.
On Valentine's Day February 14, 1980, the call letters were changed to KSSK, for "Kiss Radio". For many years, the station was home to Hal "J. Akuhead Pupule" Lewis, better known as Aku. After his death in 1983, the station moved afternoon personality Michael W. Perry to the morning slot and paired him with morning show substitute (while Aku was ill) Larry Price, a former National Football League player and head coach of the University of Hawaii Rainbow Warriors football team. The duo were known as "Perry & Price".
In 1993, New-Tex Communications bought both KSSK and FM station KXPW for $7.5 million, and changed the FM station's call letters to KSSK-FM. At the time, KSSK was the market's #1 station and the new owners wanted to capitalize on that success, especially as music listening was shifting to FM. KSSK-FM began simulcasting part of the day with KSSK, including the top-rated "Perry & Price" morning show. Eventually, the simulcast was expanded to a 24-hour operation.
In 2000, Clear Channel Communications acquired KSSK-AM-FM. In 2014, the company was renamed iHeartMedia, Inc.
Some notables who have passed through KGMB/KSSK include: