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Houston Cox radio stations bought by Urban One; what are the ramifications ?


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Mike McGuff of mikemcguff.com reported that Urban One announced they're signing a definitive asset purchasing agreement with Cox Media Group in purchasing its Houston radio cluster. Under the agreement, Urban One will acquire the following radio stations: 93Q Country KKBQ-FM, classic rock station The Eagle 106.9 & 107.5 KHPT-FM & KGLK-FM including Country Legends 97.1 KTHT-FM.

https://mikemcguff.blogspot.com/2023/04/houston-cox-radio-stations-bought-by.html

 

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Hard to say what the ramifications are, but if history is any guide, it won't be good.

I worked for the first of the modern-day giant soul-eating national radio companies when it was just starting to devour the airwaves, and I could see the writing on the wall then.  Centralizing and cost-cutting gutted terrestrial radio.  One important lesson I learned, that is still true today, was that the farther away the signal is from corporate headquarters, the lower the quality of the local content.  If there is any.

There were three things that came together at around the same time to make terrestrial radio awful:

  1. The raising of ownership caps, including LMAs and JSAs.
  2. Communications companies becoming beholden to Wall Street, starting with Capital Cities buying ABC.
  3. Cheap computers and the ability to control them remotely.

I'm not even sure which Houston radio stations are still locally-owned. 

I guess you could argue that KUHF is still locally owned, but the vast majority of its programming is from other cities.  Its classical subchannel is from Saint Paul.  Its alternative subchannel is from Philadelphia.  Its main channel has just one hour of local content each weekday.  Sad.

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On 4/12/2023 at 7:30 AM, editor said:

Hard to say what the ramifications are, but if history is any guide, it won't be good.

I worked for the first of the modern-day giant soul-eating national radio companies when it was just starting to devour the airwaves, and I could see the writing on the wall then.  Centralizing and cost-cutting gutted terrestrial radio.  One important lesson I learned, that is still true today, was that the farther away the signal is from corporate headquarters, the lower the quality of the local content.  If there is any.

There were three things that came together at around the same time to make terrestrial radio awful:

  1. The raising of ownership caps, including LMAs and JSAs.
  2. Communications companies becoming beholden to Wall Street, starting with Capital Cities buying ABC.
  3. Cheap computers and the ability to control them remotely.

I'm not even sure which Houston radio stations are still locally-owned. 

I guess you could argue that KUHF is still locally owned, but the vast majority of its programming is from other cities.  Its classical subchannel is from Saint Paul.  Its alternative subchannel is from Philadelphia.  Its main channel has just one hour of local content each weekday.  Sad.

You're betting this will NOT end well ?

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  • 3 weeks later...
On 4/20/2023 at 1:49 PM, editor said:

Does it ever?

Now that 92.1 Gospel station will be changing into a Spanish language radio station. Wonder which radio station will have 24/7 Gospel music 🤔 ?

 

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34 minutes ago, Blue Dogs said:

Now that 92.1 Gospel station will be changing into a Spanish language radio station. Wonder which radio station will have 24/7 Gospel music 🤔 ?

 

Hopefully, one on AM. 

It may sound strange, but in my experience, Gospel music sounds best on AM. 

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On 5/8/2023 at 5:52 PM, editor said:

Hopefully, one on AM. 

It may sound strange, but in my experience, Gospel music sounds best on AM. 

I know they had some Gospel stations on FM too back in the day.

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On 5/10/2023 at 9:06 AM, Blue Dogs said:

I know they had some Gospel stations on FM too back in the day.

I once lived in a city with a full-time AM gospel station, and an FM that played it on weekends.  The AM just sounded better, I presume because that's how the music was engineered.

It's like how one of those flimsy mass-produced pop records from the 1960's sounds better on a crappy old 1960's turntable than it does on current-year high-end gear. 

Dean Martin's music (for example) was recorded and mixed with AM radio in mind.  FM makes it sound flat.  Digital makes it sound sterile.

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  • 2 months later...
On 5/12/2023 at 7:45 AM, editor said:

I once lived in a city with a full-time AM gospel station, and an FM that played it on weekends.  The AM just sounded better, I presume because that's how the music was engineered.

It's like how one of those flimsy mass-produced pop records from the 1960's sounds better on a crappy old 1960's turntable than it does on current-year high-end gear. 

Dean Martin's music (for example) was recorded and mixed with AM radio in mind.  FM makes it sound flat.  Digital makes it sound sterile.

Now I'm hearing some of the radio stations being bought have dumped Smooth Jazz UGH. 

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On 7/31/2023 at 9:00 AM, Blue Dogs said:

Now I'm hearing some of the radio stations being bought have dumped Smooth Jazz UGH. 

I'd just be happy if Houston had a classical station.  An actual classical station, not an internet feed from Minnesota on an HD2 channel.

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54 minutes ago, editor said:

I'd just be happy if Houston had a classical station.  An actual classical station, not an internet feed from Minnesota on an HD2 channel.

I still miss KRTS when it was on 92.1. Can't believe the station's been gone for almost 20 years now.

In addition to the music, I appreciated the news roundup they had - specifically with the late JoAnn Vallie Rush.  She seemed to transition naturally from TV (she anchored the morning news on KPRC for years w/ Dan O'Rourke and was on KNWS for a while as well) into the field and had a perfect voice for the format. 

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