It's Now Official: Spears Returns to Kiss Mornings

October 2, 2009 by

UTICA-ROME -- The rumors were rampant 4 days ago, but it's now official: former Kiss-FM (WSKS/WSKU) morning host Gary Spears will be back in the air chair Monday morning, reclaiming the show he left back in March.  Not much else in the way of new details beyond our earlier coverage, which follows:

From September 29, 2009:

UTICA-ROME -- The tips keep pouring into and (this sounds like network TV on election night) we've heard from enough people to "project" that Kiss-FM (WSKS/WSKU) will be bringing former morning host Gary "Big Poppa" Spears back to the wake-up shift starting next Monday.  The rumors have run so rampant, the station issued a press release today.  Bad news: they won't confirm or deny anything.  Good news: we won't have to wait until Monday.

Added 9/30: An anonymous source tells Utica Daily News Spears has signed a 3-year contract to return to the station.

Earlier today, PD/middayer Shaun Andrews told he could say "nada" about the rumors concerning Spears, but he promised press releases would follow.  Sure enough, this evening, we received this statement on behalf of Andrews from afternoon driver S-Dot, who recently added APD and Promotions Director to his business card:


On Monday, October 5, 2009, KISS FM is set to launch the best new radio show in Central New York.

Rumors are already swirling around the internet about who it could be…but the only way to find out for sure is to make sure you’re tuned into 97.9/105.5 KISS FM on Friday morning. The official announcement will be made during the 10 o’clock hour with Shaun Andrews.

The show will be locally produced and air live from the KISS FM studios in downtown Utica.

97.9 WSKS and 105.5 WSKU are owned and operated by Roser Communications Network in Utica, NY.  Roser also owns Bug Country 99.7/101.1 WBGK/WBUG and Beautiful Music, WADR/WUTQ 1550/1480.

Those of you keeping score at home may recall Spears exited the station back in March.  While Spears also served as the station's Promotions Director the first time around, one of our sources says that title will remain with S-Dot, and Spears will be focusing exclusively on his airshift.

Again, we repeat, the station is NOT yet confirming Spears to be the new morning host -- that's just the name we've heard from several different sources.  But it does mesh with the "He's Baaaack!" Twitter post from S-Dot we told you about yesterday.  We'll keep you posted as this flurry of changes at the market's lone CHR outlet appears to be coming to a close.

14 comments on “It's Now Official: Spears Returns to Kiss Mornings”

  1. Not trying to be rude, but why all of the attention to KISS-FM all the time? The station sounds and always will sound less than professional. The on-air talent is weak, and it sounds like a bunch of kids trying to sound professional. Good effort, but they just don't cut it. All of this mystery just to give them publicity, which I give them credit for, they are getting. When all is said and done, the on-air sound and morning show won't be any better, but maybe the teenagers will think they sound good, since that is most of their listenership anyway. No offense to any former morning show host in Utica, but unless some super star is going to be hired, which will not happen, your hiring, if it happens will not make any huge difference either.

  2. Why all the attention? Because it's news (regardless of anyone's opinions of the station, the talent, the owner, the music or anything else). It's what's happening in the market right now.

    If something similar was happening elsewhere in the four markets covered by, I'd be giving that news just as much attention. (And probably going crazy in trying to keep up with all of it... my brain hurts just thinking what would happen if we had something like this happening in 2 or 3 markets at the same time!)

    Granted, when there's a "developing" situation, I realize it may be overwhelming to see the same station logo or the same talent "mug shot" on 3, 4, or more of the latest stories on the homepage. While I've usually issued "updates" to existing stories only for minor additions/corrections, this situation has me reconsidering that unwritten policy.

    Perhaps I will instead "bunch" new developments together under the same story. It would keep the homepage a little neater, and you, the reader, may find it more convenient to have everything on one page. (This might also be a plus for those of you sharing links on Facebook, Twitter, etc.)

  3. The answer in a nutshell is it's a slow radio news week, no one else is hiring/firing/being sold/changing formats/whatever, just the usual annoying of the listeners that is so everyday it's not news. As for KISS, I'd laugh if it turned out to be Mark Piersma instead. Let's see, in the same week he quits looking to do his own morning show elsewhere and KISS hires yet another morning host... 2+2 could equal 4, I suppose, guess we'll all find out Friday. Regardless what the rumors are or where they come from, the last time KISS rolled out a new morning guy they stunted a format flip, so I wouldn't necesarily believe it even if I heard it until there was an official announcement.

  4. In response to Adventure and to quote "The station sounds and always will sound less than professional. The on-air talent is weak, and it sounds like a bunch of kids trying to sound professional." I'd just like to know what your standard of a professional sound in a minor market is? I sure hope it's not Keeler.

  5. I agree with Adventure..The station sounds crummy. To answer tremors question about a professional sound, its simple, don't hire announcers that sound like their last gig was on a college radio station. Get some strong voices, hire the services of a liner guy to hold the sound together, and buy some hot, quality jingles, like TM. The rest will fall into place if the people will stay there for longer than a couple of weeks. I also agree with cnyradio, we want to hear the news about whats going on in the business. KISS-FM promotions have been about as poor as their air sound, but we still want to hear about whats going on, then decide whats good or bad. BTW, Anyone know whats going on with the WRUN signal? Its still WAMC simulcast last time I tuned in.

  6. Looks like you got scooped. Where are all your insiders?

    And stop wasting your time with losser stations noone cares about. Utica is barely a market! And you admittedly report on a station with full timers IN HIGH SCHOOL

  7. No, we didn't get scooped. If you checked the dates of this story compared to Utica Daily News, you'd have noticed Gary Spears' name was referenced here a day before it appeared on UDN. Their article only mentioned one source, who also did not want to be named in the article. I had heard from several. For all we know, both websites could be completely wrong.

    See my previous comment regarding opinions about stations. Recapping: news is news, regardless of which station it is, who works there, or which market it's located in. Judging by the number of visitors associated with these articles, I don't consider it a waste of time.

  8. Are we to be impressed that it's official? Gary Spears is back! How many people really care? Put a dozen top notch PD's in a room to listen to him and the morning show and all 12 would never hire him. Just another average person trying or thinking they are superstar status. This radio market, if you want to call it that, has never had a clue of what good radio or a great personality sounds like, except for back in the 60's through late 80's. All down hill since then.

    1. I get e-mail because it took me 2 hours after the announcement to get the story updated. And when I do finally have time to update the story, I get complaints about it. Again, I'll defer to my previous reply, in case you missed it earlier:

      It’s news (regardless of anyone’s opinions of the station, the talent, the owner, the music or anything else). It’s what’s happening in the market right now. If something similar was happening elsewhere in the four markets covered by, I’d be giving that news just as much attention.

      At least I followed through on my promise of simply adding the new info to the top of the last story, rather than creating an entirely new story. And I would expect this is the last of the changes, so can we all just be civil and move on with our lives?

  9. Didn't he sign a three year contract? He can't be fired for at least three years! They wouldn't break the contract would they? LOL. Have you seen the promo spots on WKTV? LOL


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