Wednesday, October 08, 2014

News 92 KROI is dead

Houston's FM news station News92 KROI signs off; becomes all Beyonce Channel B92

UPDATE OCTOBER 13, 2014
Boom 92.1 FM Classic Hip Hop Houston radio


A longtime radio broadcaster once told me that 24 hour news would never work in Houston. When News92 KROI debuted in 2011 I hoped this would prove him wrong.

It did not.

"The whole staff has been FIRED," anchor Lanny Griffith said on Facebook. "We thank you for your support and I will be fine. We are heart broken cause we put everything into this station but it just wasn't meant to be. Thanks to Radio One for all you did for all of us and our families."

This morning was the station's last broadcast. I hear right in the middle of a story, B92, an all Beyonce station, debuted signaling the end of News92.

"We’re proud of the work we did with News92," said Doug Abernethy, Regional Vice President of Radio One. "We hired established and trusted Houstonian journalists from the radio, print and television news industries. We also invested in community relations, infrastructure, marketing, promotions and sales. Unfortunately after three years of a valiant effort, the difficult decision had to be made."

"I'm devastated that Radio One decided to change formats," reporter Adela Uchida told mikemcguff.com. "I'm proud of the work News92FM did in the months I was there. The only way we could have covered this city with such a small staff was with the talent, experience and passion we all brought every day."

News92, which was Radio One's first news station, barely reached above a one rating in its time as a station. It didn't help that the station's signal does not apparently cover the entire market strongly.

"This difficult decision is a result of sustained poor ratings performance and significant financial losses over the past three years despite the substantial financial and human resources we invested," a statement on News92's website read. "Unfortunately, the market hasn’t shown a sustainable appetite for news radio, but each of you motivated us daily to produce a high-quality news program." (SCROLL TO SEE FULL MESSAGE AT BOTTOM)

Radio One hired familiar radio and TV names like former 740 KTRH morning team J.P. Pritchard and Lana Hughes, Dennis Spellman (formerly of KIAH 39), 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).

The station later spent $900,000 on an expansion project that added a brand new studio, newsroom, offices, green room and more. Five new news vehicles were also purchased.

In a cynical view, one thing that did not happen while News92 was on the air - a hurricane/tropical storm. Radio pundits will tell you that could have driven a lot of listeners to the station to hear it and hopefully stick around.

So now 47 people are out of work as a result of the station going off the air. And now, Houston has a 24 hour all Beyonce radio station called B92 in place of News92 (at least for now, this sounds like a stunt to me).

"We take the loss of employees seriously," said Chris Wegmann, President of the Radio Division. "We are working to ensure all of our impacted employees are transitioned with the dignity and respect they deserve."

As News 92 goes away, Houston still has radio news sources 88.7 KUHF and 740 KTRH.

"We always respected the work of our friends and colleagues at News 92 and truly wish them the best," KUHF news director Jack Williams told mikemcguff.com. "Houston Public Media News 88-7 believes there is still a strong desire for in-depth, multi-media journalism in Houston.”

b921fm.com
On Twitter @B921Houston.


UPDATE OCTOBER 13, 2014
Boom 92.1 FM Classic Hip Hop Houston radio

ORIGINAL POST:

Got a report this morning the News92 staff was going into a meeting. Then heard Beyonce was playing on the station 15 minutes later. The station has been rebranded B92, an all Beyonce radio station (for now at least I would imagine, sounds like a stunt).

I checked the News92 homepage and found this:

News92, Houston’s first FM all-news radio station aired its last broadcast Wednesday, October 8, 2014.
We’d like to thank the News92 staff for their outstanding service, our advertisers and each of you our listeners and web visitors for your support. This difficult decision is a result of sustained poor ratings performance and significant financial losses over the past three years despite the substantial financial and human resources we invested. Unfortunately, the market hasn’t shown a sustainable appetite for news radio, but each of you motivated us daily to produce a high-quality news program. Together, we made history.

Lanny Griffith posted on Facebook: "News92FM is GONE, off the air. The whole staff has been FIRED. We thank you for your support and I will be fine. We are heart broken cause we put everything into this station but it just wasn't meant to be. Thanks to Radio One for all you did for all of us and our families. Anyone need to hire me for some media work?"

Craig Roberts says on Facebook that 47 people are now out of work from the format change.

Stay tuned...

RELATED
- News 92 FM KROI is on the air (1st hour local audio included)
- Lana Hughes and J.P. Pritchard talk News 92 KROI with Mike McGuff
- News 92 FM KROI expands and rises
- Adela Uchida joins News 92 FM KROI
- 740 KTRH issues statement on its heritage and News 92FM KROI

UPDATE OCTOBER 13, 2014
Boom 92.1 FM Classic Hip Hop Houston radio


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