KIIS-FM (pronounced "Kiss FM") (102.7 FM) – branded 102.7 KIIS FM – is a commercial Top 40 (CHR) radio station licensed to Los Angeles, California. Owned by iHeartMedia, Inc., KIIS-FM is the origin of the KISS-FM brand, and currently serves as the flagship station for On Air with Ryan Seacrest. The KIIS-FM studios are located in Burbank, while the station transmitter resides on Mount Wilson.
Besides a standard analog transmission, KIIS-FM broadcasts over two HD Radio channels including "Evolution" on its HD-2 subchannel, and features an all-dance music format.; streams online via iHeartRadio; and extends its on-air signal by using a single full-power repeater – KVVS (105.5 FM) in Rosamond. The station also simulcasts over channel 11 on Sirius XM satellite radio. KIIS-FM has consistently been rated the #1 radio station in all of the Los Angeles, Orange, and Ventura County markets, averaging nearly 1 million listeners.
102.7 FM started as KLAC-FM, a sister station to KLAC, in 1948. The station was a simulcast of the AM station, until the late 1960s, when the Federal Communications Commission banned continuous AM/FM simulcasts for over half of the broadcast day. The FM started its own programming, which was a middle of the road format, in 1967, and changed call letters to KRHM which it remained for four years before becoming top 40 KKDJ on April 15, 1971.
KKDJ broadcast as an FM top 40 station until 1975, when Combined Communications purchased KKDJ. The station's format was changed to adult contemporary on October 22, 1975 at 6:00 a.m., during Charlie Tuna's morning show when KKDJ began simulcasting with KIIS 1150 AM with an "on-air wedding" which "married" KKDJ to KIIS-AM. At that time, KKDJ's call letters were changed to KIIS-FM. The spelling of "K-I-I-S" instead of KISS, was because it resembled the AM frequency: "1150"="IIS". The new merged station was referred to as, "AM and FM, K-double I-S."
Making the transition from KKDJ to KIIS-FM were popular personalities including Humble Harve, Jay Stevens, John Peters, Danny Martinez and Charlie Tuna, the iconic voice of LA radio, who died in February 2016 and who was both program director and morning show host for KKDJ and KIIS-FM at the transition. Later, in 1977, News Director Gary McKenzie who went on to anchor at RKO Radio Networks and CBS was hired by KIIS-FM. The AM and FM stations did simulcasts during the day while returning to two separate stations in the evening hours.
Unable to draw high ratings with adult contemporary, KIIS-FM began to evolve, first to Top 40 in 1976, then Dance and Disco in 1978, and back to Top 40 in 1980. KIIS-AM would keep its soft rock/adult contemporary format until late 1979. Just prior to this, Gannett Company purchased both KIIS-AM/FM and Combined Communications. In 1981, the format of KIIS-AM was changed to religious talk and the new call letters KPRZ-AM were adopted.
Rick Dees joined the station for mornings in July 1981 after 93 KHJ switched formats to Country. Fill-In personality Dave Sebastian (Williams), working both the AM and FM stations at the time, hosted the vacated FM morning show until the arrival of Dees due to a non-compete clause in his contract. With Dees in mornings, KIIS became a CHR powerhouse in Los Angeles.
In 1985, KIIS-AM returned to a Top 40 format and simulcasted KIIS-FM morning and afternoon shows, while all other day parts had different disc jockeys. The simulcast continued until 1997, when KIIS-AM flipped to Sports Talk as KXTA, simulcasting with XETRA-AM/San Diego until 2005.
In 1996, in a deal in which Gannett acquired WTSP television in the Tampa, Florida market from Jacor, KIIS-AM/FM was acquired by Jacor/Citicasters, which in 1998, merged into Clear Channel Communications. In 1998, Jacor Communications (ex Clear Channel, now iHeartMedia, Inc.) acquired KAVS (now KVVS) and KYHT (now KVGH-FM), abandoning the previous format as "High Desert Modern Rock 97.7 & 105.3", and taking the simulcast as a repeater for KIIS. Another simulcast, 1220 KIIS AM was added in 1999, as well as 101.9 KFMS in Las Vegas, Nevada. The grouping of 102.7 KIIS-FM in Los Angeles, 1220 AM KIIS in Santa Clarita, 97.7 FM KAVS in the Antelope Valley, 105.3 FM KYHT in Barstow/Victor Valley, and 101.9 FM KFMS in Las Vegas created a nearly continuous coverage of KIIS between Los Angeles and Las Vegas. However, it was short lived, as KYHT broke off in 2001 to simulcast KZXY. Resulting from KYHT's flip from the KIIS-FM moniker, KFMS switched to all local programming. KVVS was relocated from 97.7 to 105.5 in December 2007. 1220 KIIS-AM became KHTS in 2003. KIIS has also been simulcast on 850 AM in Thousand Oaks, California in the last year before the towers were demolished.
In February 2004, the decade long General Manager of KIIS-FM, Roy Laughlin, elected not to renew Rick Dees' contract, and replaced him with Ryan Seacrest's On Air show and retained co-host Ellen K to team with Seacrest. Together they created the nationally syndicated On-Air With Ryan Seacrest which airs on many of IHeartMedia's CHR/Top 40 stations.
KIIS was named the 2007 "Station of the Year" in the contemporary hit/radio/top 40 category for market size 1 to 25 at the national Radio & Records convention.
In December 2007, KIIS's Antelope Valley simulcast at 97.7 was moved to 105.5, replacing the previous format as "105.5 The Oasis". The country format at 103.1 in Tehachapi, California was moved to 97.7 FM (now operating under 103.1's former call letters KTPI) and is now branded as 97.7 KTPI. 103.1 KSRY in Tehachapi is now a simulcast of 98.7 FM.
The station was, according to Radio & Records in 2008, the United States' second-highest revenue billing radio station (behind WTOP in Washington, D.C.), with $66.3 million. In 2010, the station was honored by the National Association of Broadcasters with the Marconi award for CHR Station of the Year.
On June 8, 2011, KIIS-FM began rebroadcasting on Sirius XM channel 11. Since the end of 2003, Clear Channel had replaced the KIIS simulcast with an exclusive KISS XM channel. In 2004, all XM music channels went commercial free, and KIIS was replaced with a unique-to-XM KISS-XM channel, retaining the same format. Since then, Clear Channel has regained the right to air commercials on their XM music channels.
Today, KIIS has six competing stations in the Southern California area. Mainstream rival 97-1 AMP Radio, which features Carson Daly in mornings, and Rhythmic rival Power 106. Rival Rhythmic outlets KQIE and 99.1 KGGI, KIIS's sister station in the Riverside–San Bernardino area, competes against KIIS in parts of east L.A. County. Rhythmic rivals 104.7 KCAQ (Q-104.7) and 103.3 KVYB (The Vibe) compete with KIIS in parts of Ventura County and Los Angeles County, in areas near the Los Angeles County–Ventura County line.
KIIS-FM currently ranks at #3 (5.3 share) in the Los Angeles market according to the December 2015 PPM Ratings release.