WKOX (1430 kHz) "Talk 1430" is a commercial AM radio station owned by iHeartMedia. It broadcasts a conservative talk radio format with some hours devoted to sports radio. The station is licensed to Everett, Massachusetts and targets Boston and its suburbs. It broadcasts from radio studios in Medford. The transmitter site is also in Medford at a separate location. The station currently airs all nationally syndicated programming on weekdays, with no locally based shows.
WKOX carries Fox Sports Radio, Glenn Beck Rush Limbaugh, Sean Hannity, Meghan McCain, Mark Levin and Jason Lewis. While conservative talk shows are on the air, national news from Fox News Radio is heard at the beginning of each hour.
The station signed on January 20, 1952 as WHIL, a daytime-only station based in Medford, Massachusetts. After an attempt to program pop music, the station flipped to Country music in the 1960s, and added an FM station, WHIL-FM 107.9, which simulcast the AM during the day and continued with similar programming at night.
In 1972, the FM was changed from WHIL-FM to WWEL-FM, and both stations switched to a format of instrumental versions of pop hits and show tunes known as beautiful music, with the stations simulcast most of the day. A couple of years later, WHIL became WWEL, to match the FM station's call sign.
In early 1979, after the stations were sold, the call letters were changed to WXKS and WXKS-FM, with the KS in the call letters representing the word Kiss. Both stations launched a disco format (mostly, but not completely, simulcast), with the FM ("Kiss 108") soon becoming one of Boston's most popular radio stations, although the AM had very few listeners. The FM side eventually made a very successful transition from disco to mainstream top 40; by that time, however, the AM no longer had the same format as the FM.
From December 1979 until late 2004, WXKS was an adult standards-format station, which at first carried the Music of Your Life format, with the music played by local personalities. For a time in the 1980s, WXKS became quite successful, especially among older listeners, in spite of its daytime status. Later, WXKS went to 24-hours-a-day operation and broadcast programming from both the Music of Your Life and AM Only/America's Best Music satellite networks, along with a local morning show during the early 2000s.
In late 2004, WXKS made a format change to liberal talk, for the most part carrying programming from the Air America radio network. Since the WXKS nighttime signal is very directional, sister station 1200 WKOX in Framingham, Massachusetts also broadcast the same programming.
At noon on December 21, 2006, the stations dropped the progressive talk format in favor of a Spanish tropical format called "Rumba."
On September 4, 2009, WXKS split from the simulcast with WKOX and flipped to Spanish-language Top 40, branded "Mia 1430," using the format from Premium Choice. The two stations then swapped call letters on March 1, 2010, as part of 1200 AM's transition to a conservative talk format.
The conservative talk format that had been on WXKS reappeared on 1430 WKOX in 2015. WXKS had given up the format by this point, and the two stations that had bought the programming that had been on WXKS, 680 WRKO (The Rush Limbaugh Show) and 1510 WMEX (The Sean Hannity Show and the Glenn Beck Radio Program), discontinued the shows in two separate moves in 2015. WKOX confirmed the news on June 25, 2015, with the station opting for the Premiere Networks conservative talk lineup plus a tape-delayed broadcast of Westwood One's The Mark Levin Show also included in the schedule from 9 a.m. to Midnight and Fox Sports Radio from 1 a.m. to 9 a.m. on weekdays.
WKOX is currently broadcasting on HD IBOC Radio.