In 1986, Emmis Broadcasting bought WAPP from Doubleday. On August 13, 1986, WAPP began stunting with a classic rock format as "Classic 103." On August 15, 1986, at 6:00 PM, The Rolling Stones' "It's All Over Now" and a bomb noise rang out, marking the end of WAPP. The station then flipped to a CHR/Dance format as "Hot 103" with new call letters WQHT. The first song on "Hot" was "R.S.V.P." by Five Star. At the time it broadcast what it announced as From the Top of the World Trade Center (similar as their former WTC Building before it was destroyed on 9/11/2001) until it was moved the dial number is 97.1 on October 1988.
On September 22, 1988, at 5:30 PM, WQHT would change frequencies, as Emmis acquired NBC's radio stations. Since Federal Communications Commission regulations at the time required that a company could only own one FM radio station in a market, Emmis sold the 103.5 frequency to Westwood One (which, coincidentally, had also acquired the remnants of the NBC Radio Network).
On February 9, 1996 at 6:00 PM, WYNY began stunting with a heartbeat, promoting the launch of a new format coming the following day at Noon. At that time, WKTU was relaunched on 103.5 FM with a dance-based CHR (Rhythmic/Dance) format, WKTU's first song was "Gonna Make You Sweat" by C&C Music Factory.