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Broadcast areaWestern New York
Frequency98.5 MHz (HD Radio)
BrandingKiss 98.5
FormatTop 40 (CHR)
SubchannelsHD2: WLKK simulcast (Country)
HD3: News/talk (WBEN)
HD4: Sports radio (WGR)
First air date
January 1, 1946; 78 years ago (1946-01-01)
Former call signs
WHLD-FM (1946–80)
WZIR (1980–84)
WRXT (1984–85)
Call sign meaning
KiSE as in Kiss
Technical information[1]
Licensing authority
Facility ID34384
ERP46,000 watts
HAAT128 meters (420 ft)
Transmitter coordinates
43°00′18″N 78°59′35″W / 43.005°N 78.993°W / 43.005; -78.993
Translator(s)HD2: 104.7 W284AP (Buffalo)
Public license information
WebcastListen live (via Audacy)

WKSE (98.5 FM) is a commercial radio station licensed to Niagara Falls, New York, serving the Buffalo metropolitan area and Western New York. It has a Top 40 (CHR) radio format and is owned by Audacy, Inc., with studios on Corporate Parkway in Amherst, New York. It calls itself Kiss 98.5.

WKSE has an effective radiated power (ERP) of 46,000 watts. The transmitter is off Staley Avenue on Grand Island, New York.[2] Its signal extends into the Niagara Region of Ontario as well as Hamilton and Toronto. WKSE broadcasts using HD Radio technology; its HD2 digital subchannel simulcasts country music sister station WLKK, while the HD3 subchannel simulcasts co-owned WBEN news/talk programming, and the HD4 subchannel simulcasts co-owned WGR's sports programming.


Nicholas Picholas DJing at an ASPCA Wine and Wags festival in West Seneca, NY in June 2022.

On January 1, 1946; 78 years ago (1946-01-01), the station signed on as WHLD-FM.[3] It was the FM counterpart to WHLD and largely simulcast the AM station's programming in its early years. In the late 1960s, it switched to a beautiful music format with some classical music programming as well.

The station changed its call sign to WZIR in 1980, WRXT in 1984, and the current call sign in early 1985. The current Top 40/CHR format has been in place since September 1984. Much of its playlist overlapped that of then-sister station Star 102.5 at times. (The two stations' programming eventually fully merged onto WKSE's signal in June 2023 as 102.5 was sold off that month.[4]) WKSE carried the syndicated weekly show The Rockin' America Top 30 Countdown with Scott Shannon throughout the 1980s.

WKSE sold its broadcast tower to Vertical Bridge in March 2019. WKSE continues to use the tower under a leasing arrangement.[5]

Until 2011, WKSE had a significant listenership throughout the Greater Toronto Area and Southern Ontario. After the launch of urban contemporary CKFG-FM that October on the adjacent 98.7 MHz frequency, WKSE lost much of its prominence in the Toronto market and became a bit harder to find on some radio receivers with weaker tuners. In addition, listeners in Canada are not able to use the Audacy app to stream WKSE, as it is restricted to users in the United States.


Janet Snyder has been the station's morning show host since 1989, with her co-host Nicholas Pickolas joining in 1994.


  1. ^ "Facility Technical Data for WKSE". Licensing and Management System. Federal Communications Commission.
  2. ^ "WKSE-FM 98.5 MHz - Niagara Falls, NY".
  3. ^ Broadcasting Yearbook 1974 page B-144, Broadcasting & Cable
  4. ^ Venta, Lance (June 7, 2023). "Audacy Sets Sign-Off Time For FM 100 Memphis; Call Change Set For Buffalo". RadioInsight. Retrieved June 7, 2023.
  5. ^ James Fink (March 7, 2019). "Real estate notes: WKSE-FM tower sells for $1.47 million". Buffalo Business First. Retrieved 2023-02-12. (subscription required)