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KYSR (98.7 FM, “ALT 98.7″) is a commercial alternative rock radio station licensed to Los Angeles, California, serving the Greater Los Angeles Area. Owned by iHeartMedia, Inc., KYSR is the Los Angeles affiliate for Sixx Sense with Nikki Sixx and the home of morning drive program The Woody Show. The KYSR studios are located in Burbank, while the station transmitter resides in Beverly Hills. In addition to a standard analog transmission, KYSR broadcasts over two HD Radio channels, and is available online via iHeartRadio. KYSR also extends its signal by using a single full-power repeater: KSRY (103.1 FM) in Tehachapi.
On May 27, 1948, the Metro-Goldwyn-Meyer motion picture studio put KMGM on the air at 98.7 FM. KMGM went off the air in 1953. On June 30, 1954, after purchasing the KMGM studio and transmitter, Art and Jean Crawford, owners of Crawford’s of Beverly Hills Record & Hi-Fi Store, launched a new station at 98.7 FM with the call letters KCBH.
In October 1970, the station became KJOI “K-Joy.” The station would air a beautiful music format until 1989. KJOI then began playing fewer instrumentals and adding more vocalists to the playlist. The traditional middle-of-the-road vocalists were replaced with more adult contemporary artists. The instrumentals were dropped altogether in 1990. The station became known as “Touch 98.7″, placing itself between smooth jazz KTWV and adult contemporary KOST. The format was now soft adult contemporary. On February 12, 1990, the call letters were changed to KXEZ, “Easy Oldies.”
On September 4, 1992, KXEZ became “Star 98.7″ KYSR. In the beginning, KYSR aired an adult contemporary music format which evolved into a hot adult contemporary music format by 1993. In 1995, most of the rhythmic Top 40 and soft rock tunes were dropped from the playlist and replaced with a lighter modern rock sound, minus the harder approach embraced by KROQ-FM.
Viacom sold the station to Chancellor Media in 1997. AMFM Inc. was formed after Chancellor Media merged with Capstar in 1999, and in 2000, AMFM Inc. merged with current owner, Clear Channel Communications. Coincidentally, around this time Viacom became the owners of KROQ-FM when that station’s parent company, CBS, merged with Viacom.
In 2002, KYSR began to experience a decreased market share noted in its declining ratings, which was also likely contributed to by a decrease in the amount of hit music product in the modern adult contemporary genre at the time. The debut of KCBS-FM in 2005 may also be a factor as KCBS-FM airs an adult hits music format that shared a large proportion of music on the KYSR playlist.
KYSR adjusted their playlist in September 2005 to focus on 1980s and 1990s hot adult contemporary music. The playlist adjustment was directed by KHHT program director Mike Marino. By April 2006, KYSR readopted the modern adult contemporary music format with the tag line of “Today’s Music Alternative”, playing more alternative rock hits. Marino has since relinquished his duties at KYSR to solely focus on KHHT.
All on air personalities including the notable morning show – Jamie, Jack, and Stench – were temporarily pulled off the station. Fans of the Jamie, Jack and Stench show protested this move which included a public protest at the studio. Shortly afterwards, a poll was established on the website asking if they wanted Jamie, Jack and Stench to return. Ninety-seven percent said yes, and a week later, they returned. However, not soon after the return, JJ&S got replaced by the morning team of “Valentine and Lisa Foxx” in 2007.
On September 20, 2007, KYSR repositioned itself as ’98-7.’ The Star name was deemphasised as the station moved in a male friendly direction. While the format claimed itself as Modern AC, its musical lean favored Modern Rock/Alternative hits with an updated library of alternative hits from the 80s, 90s and early 2000s such as Nirvana, Green Day, Red Hot Chili Peppers, Pearl Jam, Third Eye Blind and R.E.M.. In addition, KYSR played more new modern rock hits from bands such as The Killers, Foo Fighters, Incubus and Linkin Park. This repositioning came three days after sister station KBIG added more recent adult hits and dropped the dance/disco hits and became known as “104.3 MyFM.” Effective September 24, 2007, Valentine took over the KBIG morning show, replacing Charlie Tuna, whose last show was September 17.
The station changed from Modern AC to Alternative in 2008 to compete with cross town rival KROQ-FM. Rumors also stated that the change was due to the format change at sister station KBIG to Hot AC and the wariness about KDLD on the airwaves. (KDLD left the airwaves a year after the station flipped to alternative). The station also changed formats to compete better with cross-rival KROQ-FM. The station’s logo consists of the numerals 98 and 7 in Gothic typeface with a metallic star between the numerals. Members of “The List” collect points to use towards online/on-air prizes.
In 2008, both R&R/Nielsen BDS and Mediabase added KYSR as an alternative (modern rock) reporter, in part due to its conversion to a modern rock direction.
KYSR also simulcasts on HD Radio. KYSR-HD2 formerly broadcast an adult alternative format called “eRockster”, a national online music and social networking portal, syndicated FM radio show and HD side channel radio station that offers listeners the unique opportunity to participate in building and programming the radio station. Currently, KYSR-HD2 airs an active rock format via Premium Choice under the brand “Rock Nation”.
On August 9, 2013, the station rebranded as ALT 98.7, with no other change to the format.
On April 21, 2014, “The Woody Show” began airing in mornings on ALT 98.7, reunitingJeff “Woody” Fife, Renay Ravey, Greg Gory and Menace, who had last worked together in 2009 at KITS in San Francisco.
The weekday programming on this station includes The Woody Show in the mornings, Trey Morgan on mid-days, Kade on afternoon drive, and Jordin Silver and ‘Sixx Sense with Nikki Sixx on nights.
The Woody Show – weekdays from 6am-10am; hosted by Woody, Ravey, Greg and Menace.
New Music Show – an hour-long show hosted by Darren Rose hosting new music every Sunday at 7pm.
The Bad Ass at Ocho – listeners vote their favorite songs of the day at 987fm.com and the top 4 picked are played at 8pm with Harms.
The Rewind at Noon – listeners call in or text their requests from the 1990s and 1980s. Hosted by Rose on weekdays.
Sixx Sense with Nikki Sixx – syndicated radio show; weeknights from 11pm-4am.
Side Show Countdown with Nikki Sixx – every Saturday at 6am.
987 Live – Josh Venable hosts a commercial-free full hour of live and acoustic music, much of which is recorded in the 98.7fm studios. Sunday mornings at 9am.
Complete Control Radio – formerly on KDLD, Joe Sib (owner of Side One Dummy Records) hosts the best in new and old school punk rock. Sundays from 10pm-midnight.
Diplo & Friends – hosted by Diplo every Sunday night at 9pm.
Rockaholic of the Day – On four times each weekday, submit the name of the Rockaholic of the Day and win points on 98.7 Rockaholics.
Ryan Seacrest from American Idol was the afternoon DJ from 1995 to 2003…he and sidekick Lisa Foxx remained one of the top rated afternoon drive shows in Los Angeles for 7 years.
MTV VJ Mark Goodman, was a DJ from 1990-1997. No official reason for his departure were given, but his father died shortly before his departure.
Morning personality, Jamie White, was formerly part of the morning team of “Jamie, Frosty & Frank”, until September 15, 1999 when Jamie White was paired with Danny Bonaduce.
Afternoon drive personality Jason Pullman leaves the station in 2004.
Nighttime personality Skip Kelly (2002–2004) exits in May 2004.
Brian Douglas was a swing jock there for five years from 1997 to 2002 before leaving to take the night position over at the now defunct Country 93.9 KZLA.
Jason Griffin was the host of the “Saturday Night Mix Up” and was a weekend/swing deejay from 1998-2005.
On July 1, 2005, Danny Bonaduce departed. The vacancy was filled by board-op Jack Heine and producer Mike “Stench” Roberts.
Lara Scott departed in April 2006 upon expiration of her contract. She found work / was “reborn” on Christian radio “The Fish” KFSH-FM middays.
Richard Blade (ex. KROQ-FM deejay) is hired by Star in 2003 but is later fired and replaced by Summer James.
On January 3, 2007, the “Jamie, Jack and Stench” morning show was pulled and replaced on January 16, 2007 with Sean Valentine and Lisa Foxx. Valentine worked for 10 years at KIIS-FM in Los Angeles, and upon leaving to join KYSR he was rated the most listened to personality in Los Angeles with well over 1 million listeners. (credit: Arbitron 12+ cume FA 2006)
In 2007, Frosty, Frank, and Bonaduce, who are now employed at talk radio KLSX devoted an entire show devoted to uncovering the behind the scenes drama at KYSR, accusing Jamie White of being extremely difficult to work with and scheming behind their backs to get them fired.
On December 27, 2007, Afternoon drive personality Tom Mitchell exits.
On December 27, 2007, Nighttime personality Summer James exits.
Josh Venable, formerly late-nights/music director at KDGE-FM/Dallas, takes over afternoon-drive January 2008.
On June 1, 2008, Marco Collins, formerly afternoon-drive at XTRA-FM/San Diego, is announced as the new midday jock for the new Alternative KYSR.
On June 1, 2008, Justin Kade, formerly nights at KMXB-FM/Las Vegas, is announced as the new night jock for the new Alternative KYSR.
On October 16, 2008, rock band Ozomatli exits as the morning show because of low ratings and conflicts with their concert tour.
On February 28, 2009, Trever Trent, formerly nights at 91X XETRA/San Diego, joins for weekends/fill-ins.
In May, 2009 Lisa Foxx segues to sister station KBIG, 104-3 MY-FM.
On July 6, 2009 Kennedy joined “Music in the Mornings”.
On August 31, 2009 Marco Collins exits mid-days.
On September 1, 2009 Trever Trent takes over mid-days.
KYSR carries the analog simulcast on its HD1 channel, while the HD2 signal carries the Premium Choice active rock national format under the brand “Rock Nation”.