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WLXC
City of license Columbia, South Carolina
Broadcast area Columbia, South Carolina
Branding 103.1 Kiss FM
Slogan "The Best Variety Of R&B Hits And Classic Soul"
Frequency 103.1 MHz
First air date 1982
Format Urban Adult Contemporary
ERP 6,000 watts
HAAT 94 meters (309 feet)
Class A
Facility ID 54794
Transmitter coordinates 34° 03' 05" N, 81° 00' 07" W
Callsign meaning Lexington (previous city of license)
Former callsigns WPDN (1982-1986), WMMC (1986-1988), WPRH (1988-1989), WOMG (1989-2008)
Owner Citadel Broadcasting
Sister stations WISW, WOMG, WNKT, WTCB
Webcast Listen Live
Website kiss-1031.com

WLXC is an Urban Adult Contemporary station licensed to Columbia, South Carolina and serves the Columbia, South Carolina market. The Citadel Broadcasting outlet is licensed by the FCC to broadcast at 103.1 MHz with an ERP of 6 kW. The station goes by the name 103.1 Kiss FM and its current slogan is "The Best Variety of R&B and Classic Soul."

History

98.5 was allocated in the early 1990s as part of an FCC docket that would allow the Columbia metro area several new radio stations. The license was eventually awarded to Lexington Communications, which applied for the WLXC call letters. Before construction started, Lexington Communications agreed to sell the station to HFS Communications, another group, on the condition that WLXC was operated by the company for a period of one year before completing the transaction.[1] Studios for the station were constructed in the town of Lexington while the transmitting facilities were built near the village of Red Bank.

Originally, WLXC was to be launched on August 26, 1994, but it was postponed due to area storm damage from the remnants of Tropical Storm Beryl (which produced several tornadoes in and near the town of Lexington) as well as problems with the station's phone lines.[2] Finally on August 31, WLXC signed on with a sports radio format known as "98.5 The Ticket".[3]

Local airstaff for WLXC in its first year included station general manager/part-owner Jim Forrest and Tom Hayes for mornings, Gary Pozik for mid-mornings (with a health and fitness show, which was dropped months later), Ken Wall for early afternoons, Matt Hogue for late afternoons and Phil Kornblut for evenings (which was moved after several months of being pre-empted by games to All-News outlet WVOC II).[4] National sports–talk programming, which included "The Fabulous Sports Babe", came from "American Radio Sports Network". Several months after WLXC signed on, "American Sports Radio" was sold to "One-On-One Sports Network".

While the station gained the rights for several national and regional sporting events, it had struggled in landing sporting events from the area's two most-popular teams: The University Of South Carolina and Clemson University, primarily because both teams were already locked up in the Columbia market on other stations.[5] At one point, WLXC came close to acquiring Clemson sporting rights when their radio network was sold to a different syndication group. Attempts by WLXC to acquire the rights were blocked when the area's then-Clemson affiliate, Oldies outlet WOMG, threatened the station with a lawsuit.[6] Arbitron ratings for WLXC were almost non-existent throughout the entire year, scoring as low as 0.3 at one point.[7]

In late 1995, after WLXC's transaction to HFS Communications was completed, the station was sold shortly afterwards for $1.4 million to Baker Broadcasting, headed up by Frank Baker, a former WOMG general manager and a partner in HFS Communications. Baker at the time was the owner of WWBZ in McClellanville and had also recently acquired WNCK in Port Royal. Both stations operated a Charleston-based syndicated Beach music format known as "The Breeze", which Baker partially owned. In December, after weeks of rumors, WLXC announced that the format would be changed to "The Breeze" as well.[7]

Airstaff on "The Breeze" network included veteran brother duo Leo and Woody Windham for mornings (both have been fixtures for many years in the Columbia radio market as well as part-owners of the network), Tanya Roberts (a former WOMG air talent) for middays, Bob Boswell for afternoons, and Eddie Zomerfield for nights.[8] Also, in a strange twist of irony, WLXC was able to acquire Clemson football and baseball rights beginning in the fall of 1996 when an agreement was worked out with WOMG to divide the sports package between both stations.[9]

Despite these changes, WLXC failed to gain traction in the Columbia ratings over the next couple of years, although it had a small but loyal following. In late February 1999, Baker Broadcasting announced that WLXC was sold for $3.2 million to Bloomington Broadcasting Corp. a company that owned local stations WTCB, WOMG, and WISW.[10]

Immediately after the sale closed, WLXC ended "The Breeze" simulcast and took the station off the air following a Clemson men's basketball game on February 28. This move was in preparation for the studios to be relocated from Lexington to the Granby Building in Cayce, where Bloomington's other stations are located.

On March 4, at 3 p.m., WLXC signed back on with its present Urban Adult Contemporary format under the "98.5 Kiss FM" handle.[11] The station ran commercial-free in its first two weeks on the air using a mixture of local and Dallas-based ABC Radio Network "The Touch" Urban AC format air talent, including morning man Carlton Booth.[12] Several week later, Carlton Booth morning show was dropped for the syndicated Tom Joyner Morning Show.

With the addition of Joyner and local afternoon host Kevin Holiday, WLXC's ratings jumped to fourth place in its first book (Summer, 1999), one of the strongest debuts in Columbia radio history for a new station.[13]

In 2005, WLXC achieved success when it went to #1 12+ in the summer Arbitron ratings with a 7.5 share, its highest to date.[14] However, ratings slipped to 11th place in the next book as WWDM reclaimed the top spot.[15]

On April 1, 2008, Citadel moved the urban contemporary format from 98.5 FM to 103.1 FM. The Oldies format then heard on 103.1 FM moved to 98.5 FM, along with the WOMG calls. The WLXC calls were moved to 98.5 FM[16].

The station is owned by Citadel Broadcasting.

References

  1. ^ "Radio Station Doesn't Plan To Change Its Tune", The State newspaper, November 4, 1995
  2. ^ "WIS-TV Presented a 'You Are There' View Of Tornado", The State, August 15, 1994.
  3. ^ "Sports Station Finally On The Air", The State, September 1, 1994.
  4. ^ "Fans Howls Of Protest Flip The Switch On For USC-Clemson", The State newspaper, November 18, 1995
  5. ^ "All-Sports Radio Station Still Seeking Programming Hits", "The State" newspaper, September 30, 1995
  6. ^ "After Flirt with WLXC, Tigers To Stay On WOMG", "The State" newspaper, May 20, 1995
  7. ^ a b "WLXC Sports Radio Beached", The State, December 16, 1995.
  8. ^ "Breeze Puts On No Airs, Personality Drives Shag/Blues Powerhouse", "The State" newspaper, September 8, 1996
  9. ^ "Tigers Feel The Heat, Switch Homes In Midlands Area", The State, June 22, 1996.
  10. ^ "Breeze To Change With Sale Of WLXC", The State, February 26, 1999.
  11. ^ "'Breeze' Now Adult, Urban 'Kiss-FM' WLXC-FM Returns With New Format", "The State" newspaper, March 5, 1999
  12. ^ "New R&B Station Promises Local Urban Flavor", The State, March 19, 1999.
  13. ^ "Rivals Challenge The Big DM, New Radio Stations Specialize In Reaching Segments Of African-American Community", The State, September 9, 1999.
  14. ^ "Ratings Sealed With A Kiss", The State, August 19, 2005.
  15. ^ "A Bigger 'Kiss' For 'The Big DM'", The State, November 4, 2005.
  16. ^ Otis R. Taylor, Jr., "Radio Station Switcheroo," The State, April 1, 2008.

External links

Coordinates: 34°3′5″N 81°0′7″W / 34.05139°N 81.00194°W / 34.05139; -81.00194

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