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Tuesday, February 18, 2014

Houston radio's winners and losers in crazy January

The usually predictable Houston radio world is now all over the place

Most of the time I post the monthly Houston radio ratings in a link post like I did here, but January 2014 was no ordinary month for radio market #6, so it gets its own post!

In the 12+ publicly available January 2014 Portable People Meter report, we saw lots of changes. Naturally the big story was the arrival of 93.7 The Beat KQBT in its first full month on the air. The new station raised the 93.7FM ratings from a 2.2 Arrow rating to a 3.9. While the venerable 97.9 The Box KBXX remained in the top 3 of all stations as usual, it fell from a 7.7 to a 5.4.

The real winner of the flip was Cox's 106.9/107.5 The Eagle KGLK. Houston's new "only classic rocker" jumped from a 3.3 to a 5.2. That soars The Eagle up to the top 5 in Houston which I don't think has ever happened.

You have to wonder if The Beat flip was an attempted beat down by Clear Channel on Radio One. After all, a few years ago, Radio One flipped gospel programmed 92.1 to News 92FM up against Clear Channel's heritage news/talk 740 KTRH. Then at the end of 2013, Clear Channel flips the misguided Arrow to hip hop/R&B against Radio One's The Box. Payback, an opportunity for more listeners or both?

Speaking of News 92, that station hit 1.0 (from a 0.7) for the first time in a longtime (maybe the first time ever). Looks like the all news station just needed some wild weather to get some listener sampling going. But Clear Channel wouldn't be left behind in this format because KTRH jumped from a 3.7 to a 4.5.

In non-Beat news, I had to look twice to notice that Cox's 93Q KKBQ also shot way up. The country station went from a 5.4 to a 6.6 landing it at number two in the market. Looks like it will be riding the bull all the way to the Houston Livestock Show & Rodeo next month.

Other station ratings jumpers include Clear Channel's 94.5 The Buzz KTBZ from a 3.7 to a 4.1 and Univision's KOVE from 3.1 to 3.9.

See all the ratings here.

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