Broadcast areaHonolulu metropolitan area
Frequency590 kHz
BrandingAM 590 & 92-3 KSSK
FormatAdult contemporary
First air date
March 15, 1930; 94 years ago (1930-03-15)
Former call signs
KGMB (1930–1980)
Former frequencies
1320 kHz (1930–1940)
Call sign meaning
Phonetically similar to "kiss"[1]
Technical information[2]
Licensing authority
Facility ID48774
Power7,500 watts unlimited
Transmitter coordinates
21°19′26″N 157°52′32″W / 21.32389°N 157.87556°W / 21.32389; -157.87556 (KSSK)
Repeater(s)92.3 KSSK-FM (Waipahu)
Public license information
WebcastListen Live

KSSK (590 kHz) is a commercial AM radio station licensed to Honolulu, Hawaii, and owned by iHeartMedia, Inc. It simulcasts an adult contemporary radio format with sister station 92.3 KSSK-FM. For much of November and December, the stations switch to Christmas music, including Hawaiian artists' holiday songs. The studios and offices are in the Kalihi neighborhood of Honolulu.

KSSK 590 is powered at 7,500 watts, using a non-directional antenna. The transmitter site is on Dillingham Boulevard near the Kapalama Canal, about a mile from the studios.[3] KSSK serves as Hawaii's primary AM station entry point for the Emergency Alert System, with KRTR-FM providing PEP capabilities on FM.


KSSK-AM-FM use the slogan "Hawaii's Favorite", and Nielsen consistently ranks the pair as Honolulu's most listened-to radio station. The stations are home to the Perry & the Posse" morning show. The 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." Unlike most other Adult Contemporary stations in the mainland US, KSSK adds local artists in addition to the usual format.

KSSK-AM-FM are also heard on Oceanic Spectrum Cable digital channel 867 for the entire state of Hawaii,[4] via the DishHD satellite TV service in Taiwan,[5] and also USEN's Sound Planet satellite radio service in Japan.[6]



The station 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 kilocycles.[7] After a short period of testing, it made its debut broadcast on March 15, 1930.[8] In 1940, KGMB moved to 590 kHz, where it has been ever since.[9]

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. Japanese aircraft used the same transmissions for guidance while approaching the islands to make their bombing runs. 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".[1] 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.[10] 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.

Notable former on-air staff

This list is incomplete; you can help by adding missing items. (August 2008)
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Some notables who have passed through KGMB/KSSK include:


  1. ^ a b "Kiss Radio" (station advertisement), Honolulu Advertiser, February 14, 1980, page A-11.
  2. ^ "Facility Technical Data for KSSK". Licensing and Management System. Federal Communications Commission.
  3. ^ Radio-Locator.com/KSSK-AM
  4. ^ Digital Cable Program Guide / Lineups Archived 2011-02-25 at the Wayback Machine - Oceanic Time Warner Cable (accessed March 20, 2011)
  5. ^ "lyngsat.com's dish hd listing (accessed May 31, 2011)". Archived from the original on April 25, 2011. Retrieved May 31, 2011.
  6. ^ "lyngsat.com's sound planet listing (accessed May 31, 2011)". Archived from the original on August 31, 2011. Retrieved May 31, 2011.
  7. ^ "New Stations", Radio Service Bulletin, December 31, 1929, page 4.
  8. ^ "KGMB Opening Scheduled For 6 P. M. Today", Honolulu Star-Bulletin, March 15, 1930, page 4 (newspapers.com)
  9. ^ "It's 590 For KGMB Beginning At 5 Tonight", Honolulu Star-Bulletin, November 16, 1940, page 7.
  10. ^ "Stations in the U.S: Hawaii: Waipahu", Broadcasting Yearbook (1995 edition), page B-113.
  11. ^ "Hawaii Radio & Television Guide Archive". Archived from the original on 2011-07-11. Retrieved 2011-10-18.
  12. ^ "Honolulu FM radio pioneer dies", March 2, 2009 (starbulletin.com)