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Based on considerably high record sales in the Cleveland market, Bowie (in his Ziggy Stardust persona alongside The Spiders from Mars) kicked off his first U. tour in "The Rock Capital" (a term coined by Bass).
In November 1972, WMMS was sold to Malrite Communications, a Michigan-based firm that relocated to Cleveland upon purchase.
Like most early FM stations, WHK-FM mostly simulcast the Top 40 programming of its AM sister station.
In 1966, in an effort to make the medium more commercially viable, the U. Federal Communications Commission (FCC) mandated that FM stations could no longer duplicate the programming of their AM sister stations.
Kemp and Lou "King" Kirby were signed by Metro Media.
The station briefly battled with WNCR of Nationwide Communications, itself filling the void created by the brief absence of WMMS on the rock scene.
The station first turned to adult contemporary, then Top 40, big band and finally the Drake-Chenault automated Hit Parade '69.
Key WNCR personnel (including former WHK-FM/WMMS personalities Martin Perlich and Billy Bass, and station newcomer David Spero) were soon hired by WMMS, taking most of their audience with them.
Under the leadership of station manager Billy Bass and program director Denny Sanders (who came to WMMS from Boston in 1971), WMMS helped break many new rock artists nationally, most notably David Bowie.
The WMMS Coffee Break Concerts were booked by Denny Sanders and hosted by Len "Boom" Goldberg, Debbie Ullman, and later, Matt the Cat.
The concert series continued on well into the 1990s and early 2000s, albeit much less frequently.
The station also serves as the FM flagship for the Cleveland Cavaliers and Cleveland Indians radio networks.