Tuesday, December 31, 2013

93.7 The Beat Houston replaces 93.7 The Arrow KKRW

Classic Rocker 93.7 The Arrow KKRW is dead, The Beat KQBT takes over as Houston's newest urban station

So instead of Led Zeppelin's Houses of the Holy on 93.7, from now on you will probably hear Holy Grail by Jay-Z featuring Justin Timberlake. Just whatever you do, don't let Timberlake get near Reliant Stadium and Janet Jackson again!

That's because after 20 years, 93.7 The Arrow KKRW has flipped to an urban format with Beyonce as the first song. Fitting for Houston. 93.7 The Beat KQBT “H-Town’s Real Hip Hop and R&B” will target a heavy female audience with the likes of Rihanna, Jay Z, Drake, Chris Brown, BeyoncĂ© and Miguel.

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UPDATE
The Breakfast Club takes over 93.7 The Beat KQBT mornings

93.7 The Beat KQBT announced its lineup:
5am-9am The Breakfast Club
9am-2pm: UB Rodriguez
2pm-6pm: Rudy Rush
6pm-10pm: Devi Dev
10pm-2am: Chris Michaels

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And the new station was taking swipes at market leader 97.9 The Box KBXX from the get go.

93.7 The Beat Houston
I was sent this 93.7 The Beat Houston logo
before the change - it appeared on IHeartRadio.
"93.7 The Beat is ready to write a new chapter in Houston radio history. We’re defining what real hip hop and R&B is," said Eddie Martiny, President and Market Manager, Clear Channel Media and Entertainment, Houston. "Many of the biggest stars in this format live in Houston, so to move the station in this direction was a natural choice. In addition, The Beat format will perfectly complement the five other radio stations in our cluster by making us more attractive and diverse to our advertising community."

The process started New Year's Eve day 2013 at 10am. As I blogged earlier, the station started playing a wide variety of music from Miley Cyrus, Eminem to Oingo Boingo with pre-recorded announcements heralding the end of The Arrow and that a new station would arrive at noon (SEE THE LAST THREE SONGS THE ARROW PLAYED).

"Is it just me or do the Led Zeppelin songs on 93.7 sound different today," KKRW program director Steve Fixx asked mikemcguff.com.

This means longtime Houston rock DJs like Colonel St. James and Steve Fixx of KLOL fame won't have a radio home. Same for morning show newcomer JC Corcoran and mid-day jock Kelly Ryan.

"In late July, just four months after I began the new job in Texas, corporate dropped a bomb, telling me they weren't hiring a producer or co-host to build a show here as we'd agreed," JC Corcoran posted on his Facebook page. "In October I began hearing loud rumors. Last night when we returned to Houston from Christmas break I got the call. Today, a classic rock station with a twenty-year heritage is no more. We've all been let go. The station will be "stunting" for the next few days before revealing the new format. I'd just been nominated for "Employee of the Quarter." Seriously. Next week I'll continue on with the ten-to-noon show on 590 The Man in St. Louis while we try and figure out what's next. Good riddance, 2013."

LISTEN TO THE OFFICIAL 12/31/2013 NOON CHANGE BELOW:


"I had a great run at The Arrow," Colonel St. James posted on Facebook the afternoon after the format flip. "I left Clear Channel on very good terms, and I really wouldn't mind going back to work for them, if the opportunity was right. For now, I'm looking for a new adventure, so if you hear of something, please contact me. Oh, and it doesn't necessarily have to be in radio. All I can say is, I wish my friends at Clear Channel the best of luck with their new station. I hope to back on the air soon, and with your continued support and prayers, and if it's His will, I shall be! Thank you all so very much! God bless and Happy New Year!"

RadioInsight reported Sunday that 937TheBeatHouston.com was registered by Clear Channel. But talk of 93.7 The Arrow's demise has been around for much longer.

The rumors all started back in November. All Access reported Houston could be getting a new urban radio station.

Speculation on a now defunct radio board began that classic rocker 93.7 The Arrow KKRW would be the station to flip formats - if the rumors were true. Semantics would be the reason for that. All Access used the word "targeting" which is why people thought "The Arrow" would be the one...talk about a bulls eye [insert rim shot] or a total miss [insert audience gasp].

While several radio sources told me they heard this rumor getting hotter and hotter, a Clear Channel Houston marketing representative told me back then that they were not "aware of" KKRW flipping to an urban format.

According to the newly minted Nielsen Audio's (replacing Arbitron) November 2013 Portable People Meter 12+ numbers, The Arrow ranks 17th with a 2.3 share. That's down from a 3.6 in July (cue radio pros telling me 12+ numbers don't mean anything but that's all I have access to). Classic Rock competitor 106.9/107.5 The Eagle KGLK came in at number 10 with a 3.7 share in November.

"It's a good move for KKRW," Vice President, Market Manager for Cox Media Group Mark Krieschen told mikemcguff.com after the format flip. "It makes sense for that station considering where they are at in the ratings and it is a big day for us (107.5 and 106.9 The Eagle). The strategy for our cluster began when we hired Dean and Rog."

The Cox Media Group later put The Eagle's signal on both 107.5 and 106.9 - killing off 106.9 The Zone - to improve the station's signal all across Houston.

"Lots of people thought we were crazy to make both of those moves and it worked out for us and we are happy about it," Krieschen told me.

Now, for those not in Houston, our market's top three stations usually include Radio One's 97.9 The Box KBXX and Magic 102 KMJQ. Those are two urban stations that seem entrenched in the top of the radio ratings and totally unchallenged.

"I guess it is game on," Radio One Regional Vice President Doug Abernethy told mikemcguff.com after the format change. "This is not the first time that we have had an assault on our company. We have withstood Hot 97, Power, jazz in addition to flank attacks. So we will enter this latest challenge battle tested. We take this as a compliment to our success. It is people that make or break a station and we have an all star line up of talented individuals in every phase of the urban game. Our company was built on a foundation of serving our community and being African American owned we won't lose focus of our solid foundation in which we built well branded urban stations in Houston."

Other companies have tried and failed to compete with Radio One's Houston urban stations. But Clear Channel owns KKRW, so that means you have an entire radio powerhouse behind this new Houston urban station.

People are asking why we need another urban station. If you think about this way, you have two stations at the top of the ratings for a sizable hip-hop loving audience. If Clear Channel pulls away just some of those listeners and gains new ones, then it will probably be doing better than it was with classic rock as the format.

This could be an interesting radio war. Stay tuned.

Official Clear Channel release:

Houston, Texas – December 31, 2013 – Clear Channel Media and Entertainment Houston announced today the launch of a new radio station, 93.7 The Beat, H-Town’s REAL Hip Hop and R&B, effective immediately.

93.7 The Beat will feature music from today's biggest artists including Kanye West, Drake, Chris Brown, J.Cole, Jay-Z, Rihanna, Houston’s own Beyonce and more. The Beat will give Houston listeners one of a kind access to up-close artist experiences, exclusive premieres, world-class on air personalities and opportunities to be part of bigger than life events and promotions.

"93.7 The Beat is ready to write a new chapter in Houston radio history. We’re defining what real hip hop and R&B is," said Eddie Martiny, President and Market Manager, Clear Channel Media and Entertainment, Houston. "Many of the biggest stars in this format live in Houston, so to move the station in this direction was a natural choice. In addition, The Beat format will perfectly complement the five other radio stations in our cluster by making us more attractive and diverse to our advertising community."

Fans can listen to 93.7 The Beat, via the station's website, www.937thebeathouston.com, as well as on iHeartRadio, Clear Channel's all-in-one digital radio service. iHeartRadio delivers everything listeners want in one free, fully-integrated service: instant access to more than 1,500 of the nation's most popular live broadcast and digital-only radio stations from 150 cities, plus user-created custom stations inspired by favorite artists and songs. iHeartRadio also offers listeners a "Perfect For" feature which allows users to choose from thousands of curated stations based on a range of moods and activities. New - iHeartRadio Talk feature offers on-demand listener-created talk content alongside popular news, celebrity and entertainment “audiosodes.” iHeartRadio Talk also features “Daily Pulse,” a customizable Talk channel featuring the most up-to-date news and culture highlights, to which users can add or remove content that is most important to them.

Follow 93.7 the Beat on Facebook: www.facebook.com/937thebeat
Follow 93.7 the Beat on Twitter: @937thebeat
Follow 93.7 the Beat on Instagram: @937thebeat





93.7 Houston call sign history according to Wikipedia.

KBNO - 12/1963 (the 1970 film Brewster McCloud featured an advertisement on a bus billboard)
KRLY - Fall 1974 (Disco 94, Love 94, Y94)
KLTR-FM - 3/20/1984 (Lite Rock 93.7)
KLTR - 3/2/1986 (K-Lite 93.7)
KKRW - 12/20/1993 (Arrow 93.7 70's Rock Hits, 93.7 The Arrow, Classic Rock 93.7 The Arrow, Houston's Classic Rock 93.7 The Arrow, Now With the Most Classic Rock... Guaranteed... 93.7 The Arrow)

*updated with new KQBT calls 1/21//2014


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