KSSK-FM (92.3 MHz) is an adult contemporary formatted commercialradio station serving the Honolulumedia market. It is owned by iHeartMedia, Inc. and licensed to Waipahu, Hawaii. Studios are located in the Kalihi neighborhood of Honolulu, and the transmitter site is near Akupu, Hawaii.
KSSK-FM’s programming is simulcast with KSSK (AM) in Honolulu, Hawaii. As is the case with many other iHeartMedia adult contemporary stations, KSSK-AM-FM play all Christmas music beginning each year in mid-November, and return to their regular format on December 26. Unlike other stations that broadcast a Christmas format, KSSK also plays Christmas standards featuring local musicians specializing in Hawaiian music. The song Honolulu City Lights by Keola Beamer and his brother Kapono Beamer is a staple on KSSK’s Christmas music playlist.
KSSK AM and FM are home to the popular “Perry & the Posse” morning show. They are also heard on Oceanic Spectrum digital channel 867 for the entire state of Hawaii, via the DishHD satellite TV service in Taiwan, and also USEN’s Sound Planet satellite radio service in Japan.
The stations use the slogan “Hawaii’s Favorite.” Nielsen consistently ranks KSSK-AM-FM as Honolulu’s most listened-to radio station. 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.”
KSSK-FM was originally licensed with the call letters KULA on 92.9 MHz, and made its debut broadcast on December 30, 1976. At the time it was the sister station to KAHU (940 AM, now KKNE). KULA began as an automated station playing Top 40 music provided by TM Programming. Its daily operations were run by one of its only two employees: Kawika Maszak, who programmed the automation computer to play commercial breaks.
In 1979, Heftel Broadcasting purchased KULA, pairing it with KSSK, which Heftel had owned since 1965. The company was owned by Cecil Heftel, a Hawaii businessman and one-time congressman. Heftel moved the station’s studios to Honolulu and ended the automation, hiring a staff of DJs. The format later switched to soft adult contemporary using the slogan “Light Rock, Less Talk.” In the late 1980s, KULA moved back to Top 40, becoming KXPW (“Power 92”), under long time Top 40 programmer Jay Stone. KXPW later re-branded to “92X”, with initially Dean Stevens, and later, Brad Barrett as program director.
In 1993, New-Tex Communications bought both KSSK and KXPW for $7.5 million, and changed KXPW’s call letters to KSSK-FM. At the time, the AM station was the market’s #1 rated station, and the new owners wanted to capitalize on that success, especially as music listening was shifting to FM. The station moved back to an adult contemporary format, and 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.