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Monday, November 27, 2017

HarD Rock 96-5 HD2 returns heavy rock to Houston radio

When Entercom merged with CBS Radio stations across the country a few weeks ago, the company began making high profile format changes.

First, alternative was brought back to New York on Howard Stern's old station and in Dallas on KVIL which was AMP 103.7.

I didn't think that would happen in Houston since 94.5 The Buzz KTBZ has been serving Houston a healthy dose of alternative hits for more than two decades now. The Buzz keeps on buzzing along in the ratings too.

However, one thing Houston hasn't had since the Z-Rock 106.9 KKZR days is hard rock. Rock 101 KLOL played some hard rock, but it was really a mix of classic rock and slower songs too (although the fan run does get heavy).

Entercom has changed that with HarD Rock 96-5 HD2. (UPDATE: Based on reader questions, I will add this is on the HD 2 channel of KHMX. Mix 96.5 is still on the air where it always has been on HD 1.)

The station's newly created Twitter account says:

We don't even have a freakin logo yet. But at 3pm on 11/20/17 Houston's HarD Rock 96.5 HD2 was on the air with Rage Against The Machine. #GetHarD

"We are only a few days into the launch and the response has been great," KHMX program director Chase Murphy told "Gen X, Xennials and many rock consuming Gen Y members of the Houston radio audience were not being served, so we built a rock radio station just for them!"

Murphy tells me HarD Rock 96-5 HD2 is the only station that can go from Metallica to the Red Hot Chili Peppers to the Deftones to Pearl Jam to AC/DC and then Avenged Sevenfold.

SportsRadio 610 KILT program director Ryan McCredden has guided the musical direction for the new rock station. He started his radio career at a rock station in Madison, WI.

"It’s great to be able to work with Chase on this project," added McCredden. "He knows music stations and formats, I just know this kind of music! And mostly I’m looking forward to having all sorts of fun with it. Going to concerts and of course giving Houston rock fans a place to rock!"

If you read this blog with any regularity over the years, then you know I am a hard rock/alternative fan.

I've been listening to 96-5 HD2 for the past few days and have really enjoyed what I'm hearing. It's been DJ and commercial free so far.

The mix has been great. I've heard everything from Disturbed, Queens of the Stone Age, Soundgarden and Guns N' Roses. And get this, they aren't just playing the normal singles either which as a music aficionado I'm digging.

So how do you hear it if you don't have an HD radio?

Murphy assures me the stream will be up very soon. That will be the app I'm told.

Earlier this year, 96.5 HD 2 was NASA's Third Rock Radio. However in the last few months, the signal has been without programming.

Let me know what you think of the new station.

HarD Rock 96.5 HD2 on Twitter / Facebook / Instagram | #GetHarD

*this post has been updated with more information and quotes

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