Friday, October 28, 2011

Houston getting News 92 FM - 24 hour radio news

Radio One is jumping into the 24 hour news radio business for the first time anywhere, right here in Houston. Just announced today, the owner of 97.9 The Box KBXX and Magic 102 KMJQ, is flipping Praise 92.1 KROI to News 92 FM on November 14. This after 740 KTRH abandoned the News Radio slogan and fired longtime morning anchors J.P. Pritchard and Lana Hughes. Well now Pritchard and Hughes will reunite at the new station with a ton of other famous Houston broadcasting names (see below).

I've been alluding to an FM news station coming to Houston over the last few weeks. Rumors were flying, but no one was talking about it until now. Here is the official Radio One release about KROI:

Radio One Regional Vice-President Doug Abernethy announced today that KROI-FM/Houston (92.1 FM) will begin its programming as a full service news station the week of November 14, 2011. Using the on air moniker "News 92 FM," this 24 hour news and information station will be fortified by the world wide resources of ABC News Radio and Associated Press Platinum and will be populated with the voices of some of Houston's most well known and award-winning radio and television personalities.

The morning news will be anchored by Texas Radio Hall of Fame honorees J.P. Pritchard and Lana Hughes, who served the Houston market as a broadcast duo for over 27 years. Additional duties throughout the day will be handled by other local notables including (listed alphabetically) Mike Barajas (formerly of Fox 26 KRIV), Scott Braddock (formerly of 740 KTRH, 1080 KLRD), Carolyn Campbell (KHOU 11), Kevin Charles (Metro Networks,700 KSEV), Brent Clanton (formerly of 650 KIKK, 700 KSEV), Lanny Griffith (formerly of 101 KLOL, 94.5 KTBZ, Fox 26 KRIV), Laurie Kendrick (740 KTRH, 101 KLOL, 97.5 KFNC) , Martha Martinez (101 KLOL), Bonnie Petrie (740 KTRH, 1080 KRLD), Matt Sampsell Fox 26 KRIV, KIAH 39), Pattie Shieh (Fox 26 KRIV), Meteorologist Dr. Joe Sobel, Craig Roberts (KPRC 2, 101 KLOL, 55 KTBU), and Jorge Vargas (KIAH 39).

"Our review of Houston's broadcast landscape told us that those listeners interested in local news as well as national news were being poorly served," says Abernethy, "so we decided to make a commitment to delivering the news in a dependable fashion. People want to hear about news as it happens, and they shouldn't have to wait until their radio station 'catches up'. We'll deliver the news as it unfolds."

Ed Shane, founder and president of the Houston-based Shane Media Services, is serving as Project Manager on the format flip from gospel music to all news and predicts that Houstonians will find much to like about News 92 FM.

"We're going to give people the facts without the biased opinions that dominate so-called news stations," offers Shane. "We've assembled an A-list of broadcast journalists whose mission is to report the news and let people make up their own minds."

Shane says that the programming team, led by veteran news director Denise Bishop, will deliver an appealing blend of local, regional and national news along with topical information and the traffic and weather updates that are essential to Houston listeners.

Barry Mayo, President of the radio division for Radio One agrees. "The change that we announced today is a ground-breaking and necessary addition to the choices available to the residents of the Houston metro area," said Mayo. "The ability to realize a need and then take the appropriate action to satisfy it is what has sustained the popularity of our Houston radio stations."

The station will broadcast from recently expanded studios in the Radio One broadcast center that currently houses market leaders Majic 102 (KMJQ-FM) and 97.9 The Box (KBXX-FM). KROI-FM's current programming, Praise 92.1 will moved to Majic 102's HD channel and will stream online at www.PraiseHouston.com.

Praise 92.1 is home to the syndicated Yolanda Adams Morning Show, but I assume Adams will just keep broadcasting across the nation from the Radio One Houston studios (assuming she still broadcasts the show from here).

RELATED
- 740 KTRH anchors Lana Hughes and J.P. Pritchard being inducted into the Texas Radio Hall of Fame
- Lana Hughes and J.P. Pritchard of 740 KTRH fame together again
- Houston radio changes = change in ratings? Plus news radio? COMMENT: Click to leave your thoughts on this post here