Overview of the Houston Radio Stations
Houston, Texas, has some impressive FM radio stations that cater to almost everyone’s music tastes like contemporary, pop, hip hop, and RnB. In this article, we will give you an overview of the Houston radio stations that you can tune into when you’re driving, cooking, or just lying around in your room.
Sunny 99.1 or KODA – Sunny 99.1 is owned by iHeartMedia and has an adult contemporary format. The station first went on air on Christmas Eve of 1946, and back then, they were known as KPRC FM, the FM radio station for the Houston Post. It was on 99.7 MHz until 1947 when they moved to 102.9 MHz. in 1958, the radio station was sold, and they changed their call letters to KHGM-FM and also changed to their current frequency a year later. In 1961, the radio station changed its call letters to KODA-FM immediately before an AM station was established. Since the late ‘70s and early ‘80s, the station was simply identified as KODA. In 1991, it was relabeled as the All-New SUNNY 99.1. Its format evolved from being a jazz hybrid-soft vocal to being a mainstream adult contemporary format.
94.5 The Buzz or KBTZ – 94.5 The Buzz is a commercial FM radio station owned by iHeartMedia. It has an active rock/alternative rock radio format. The station first signed on the air in October 1960 as KARO, but it later switched to classical music format and changed its call letters to KLEF. It became Houston’s number one classical radio for over 22 years. However, interest in classical music declined during the mid-1980s, that is why the radio station decided to reformat. It then became KJYY or Joy 95 in March 1986, and it has a soft adult contemporary format. In 1988, the radio station was once again rebranded, and it became KLDE or Oldies 94.5.
Because of the merger that happened in 2000, KLDE’s intellectual property was sold to Cox Radio for the 107.5 frequency, which aired an alternative rock format and known as The Buzz KTBZ. It was initially announced that KLDE’s format would stay the same despite the ownership change and frequency move. However, radio DJs continually announced that The Buzz would stop its operations at 107.5 frequency. They also started the “Save the Buzz” campaign, which sent Buzz listeners looking for information regarding the station’s impending reformat. They eventually discovered that the “Save the Buzz” campaign was just another marketing ploy. KLDE and KTBZ made the switch in July 2000.
97.9 The Box or KBXX – 97.9 The Box or KBXX is broadcasted over the Greater Houston area. It has a new rhythmic contemporary format. The station first went on air in 1958, and back then, it has an accessible music format, known as KFMK. However, it later migrated to a classical music format. In 1967, KFMK was rebranded into a Top 40 form, which competes against KRBE. A year later, KFMK once again transitioned and became Houston’s first progressive rock station called Mother Radio. In 1969, the radio station abruptly changed to a Christian format but later reverted to the Top 40 format in the late-1970s. In the ‘80s, the radio station changed its format and tined into a contemporary radio station.
After a period of changing their formats, KFMK decided to finally switch to a new rhythmic contemporary format, changed its name to “The Box,” and its call sign from KFMK to KBXX.
104.1 KRBE – 104.1 KRBE is an adult-oriented Top 40 radio station that broadcasts in the Greater Houston area. The radio station first went on air in November 1959 as a classical music station. It continued to be as such until the late 1960s when it became a top 40 radio station. During the mid-1970s, KRBE developed a “Rock 40” format, and in 1979, it was named the Station of the Year by Bobby Poe magazine. Today, the radio station evolved into an adult-oriented Top 40 format. It has several hit radio shows and segments that the people of Houston love to listen to.
90.1 KPFT – 90.1 KPFT is a listener-sponsored community radio station that broadcasts in the Greater Houston area. The radio station first aired on the 90.1 FM frequency in March 1970, and they first played the Beatles song, “Here Comes the Sun.” Today, KPFT has 20 programs that are being aired 24/7. 90.1 KPFT is one of three radio stations in the US to have Al Jazeera English.
KKHH 95.7 – KKHH 95.7 is an adult hits radio station that broadcasts in the Greater Houston area. The radio station first signed on the air as KHUL with an easy listening format and a crisp and refreshing branding. It was also the first FM radio station in Houston to operate 24 hours a day. When the station was bought by Leroy J. Glogger in 1966, KHUL got a reformat, and it changed its call letters to KIKK-FM and also transitioned into a country format. In 2002, KIKK-FM decided to break away from its long-running country format, transitioned to a smooth jazz format, and adopt the name 95.7 The Wave and the call letters KHJZ. Six years later, the station once again started running format change and renamed the station as BRIT 95.7, where they began playing pop music all day. Froom 2016 until today, the station is known as KKHH or 95.7 The Spot, and it airs adult hits.
92.1 Radio Now or KROI – 92.1 Radio Now is a Top 40 radio station that first went on air in September 1983. They claimed to be the first station to play CDs and the first to be an all-digital station. In 1984, the radio station went on a reformat and became a beautiful music format with the KYND callsign. Two years later, it flipped to classical music format with the callsign KRTS. They filled the void that KLEF left when it became an adult contemporary station. In 2011, Radio One said that KROI would have an all-news format, which eventually had poor results. During the three years that KROI was an all-news radio station, its ratings plummeted down. According to Neilsen Audio ratings, KROI only had 0.9 percent of audience share back then. That is why in 2014, KROI ended its all-news format and switched it into a classic hip hop format called Boom 92. Three years later, the radio station adopted the original format it had when it launched in 1983.