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Goodbye, Radio Disney 1590.


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More true today than it was in 1999 when Radio Disney took over 1590 from KYOK. I personally hate to see it go; not so much that I really ever listened much to it, but the fact that it resembled some vestige of how Top 40 radio used to sound on AM in this City.

My beef with the move is that likely 1590 is going to be preaching in Spanish, and begging for money in return for prayers. It's about all that's left that will make any profit for an AM facility.

Regardless, the now over 60 year long English language station at 1590 is likely seeing its last days. 1590 goes off the air September 26th, and will not return until the new owners assume the license...whoever that may be.

If we get to September 26, 2015 without a new owner and KMIC is still dark, then we lose the entire license as mandated by law. Then the allocation goes up for auction, and we'll all likely be old(er) and gray(er) before Houston hears a sound, other than static, at 1590 kilocycles. Now, I sincerely doubt that would be allowed to transpire, but as stated above, would anyone besides us hardcore radio nerds even notice 1590 off the air?

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Besides picking up their severance package? No, everyone locally is out of a job come September 26th, unfortunately.

Rest assured, the license itself won't be lost. Even if Disney doesn't find a buyer for KMIC quickly, they have the option of turning 1590 back on for one (1) day, air a legal ID of "KMIC-Houston" once an hour, for a 24 hour period, and return it to silence once that's completed. That resets the clock for KMIC, giving it another year before the license would be deleted.

It's safe to say, someone is going to snatch up 1590, sooner rather than later. This is the 6th largest radio market in the country, and a license here is not going to sit dormant for very long.

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It'd be nice, but extremely unlikely. There you have KCOH playing Urban Oldies throughout the week, interspersed with community talk and programming. It barely squeaks out a tenth to 3/10s of a share per monthly measurement. That's not much at all.

The difference is that KCOH has a following, a long and established core audience that recognizes it as the voice of Black Houston, and rightfully so. KCOH has been in the forefront of community involvement for over 60 years, whether at its longtime home of 1430, or now at 1230. That brand loyalty is what saved KCOH. The Black community stood up and did something when news of the impending death of KCOH made the news. The same was not repeated up in Dallas, where equally established "Soul 73" KKDA was lost to Korean programming.

Could a start up Oldies station do any better than one with an entire community backing it? The unfortunate answer is no, and it's quite the shame. KLDE was on FM, and a Houston signal at that. In 2000 it was swapped to Lake Jackson's 107-5, a downgrade from 94-5. A couple of years later it adjusted to "107-5 KLDE" and dropped the 50's. Then came K-Hits, which dropped the pre-Beatles music. Then it became "107-5 The Eagle" and dropped most of the rest of the 60's, except for the Skynyrds and Steppenwolfs of the world. Then we lost "The Arrow", and The Eagle dropped the rest. Now, what once was KLDE, is basically now KLOL or KKRW. If Oldies couldn't continue on its path on the FM, there's no way the format would be able to keep from losing money by the truckload on a 5 kilowatt AM facility like 1590.

The ONLY hope for any type of Oldies to end up on 1590 is for Jesse Dunn to purchase it from Disney, conclude the contract with Liberman for the airtime on 1230, and move KCOH programming to 1590.

Now THAT, would be some historical irony. KCOH on 1590, almost sounds inconceivable to someone in my generation that well remembers the long Urban war between then KCOH 1430 and KYOK 1590.

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  • 2 months later...

Bumping to inform that 1590 KMIC has been sold to Daij Media for $3.2 mil. For those unfamiliar with Daij, they are the operators of several stations here in the market already, including 88-1, 95-1, 880, 980, and 1380 AM. Likely 1590 will either become Spanish language religious or Arab programming. No announcement on when Daij will take control of KMIC's signal, as of yet.

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