KKBQ-FM

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KKBQ-FM
KKBQ.png
City of license Pasadena, Texas
Broadcast area Greater Houston
Branding The New 93Q
Frequency 92.9 MHz (also on HD Radio)
92.9 HD-2 - Texas Country
92.9 HD-3 - simulcast of KTHT
First air date 1962 (as KLVL on 92.5)
Format Country
ERP 93,700 watts
HAAT 585 meters
Class C
Facility ID 23083
Transmitter coordinates 29°34′34″N 95°30′36″W / 29.57611°N 95.51000°W / 29.57611; -95.51000
Callsign meaning The Q in KKBQ is used in 93Q branding
Former callsigns KLVL (1962-1969)
KFMY (?-1969)
KYED (?-1969)
KYND (1969-2/02/82)
Former frequencies 92.5 MHz (1962-1982)
Owner Cox Media Group
Sister stations KGLK, KHPT, KTHT
Webcast Listen Live
Website thenew93q.com

KKBQ-FM, "The New 93Q", is a Houston-based Radio station with a country music format. The station is owned by Cox Radio and is part of the Houston Radio cluster including KGLK, KHPT & KTHT. KKBQ has been nominated twice for Country Music Association awards for Best Radio Station in a Large Market, winning once. It was honored with a NAB Marconi award in 2013 for Country Station of the Year and again in 2014 as Major Market Station of the Year. The station has also won the Billboard/Airplay Monitor Radio Awards award for Best Country Station three times. It is headquartered out of Suite 2300 at 3 Post Oak Central in the Uptown district in Houston, Texas, United States[1][2] and the transmitter site is near Missouri City.

History[edit]

Origination[edit]

The station signed on at 92.5 FM in August 1962 as KLVL-FM, Houston's first Spanish language FM station, "La Voz Latina".

In 1969, the station was sold and call letters were changed to KFMY, with transmitter facilities located on the top of the Pasadena State Bank building at only a few hundred watt signal. Due to complaints from KFMK, the calls were changed to KYED (on air moniker was "Keyed"), playing a mix of oldies and big band music. The station sold again in 1969 and changed its format to carry the syndicated Beautiful Music format of Stereo Radio Productions as KYND, "KIND 92". KYND's signal was boosted to 100,000 watts to cover the Houston market. Late summer of 1982, KYND moved from 92.5 MHz to 92.9 MHz to accommodate the incoming 92.1 FM in Seabrook, Texas.[3]

On July 2, 1982, The New 79Q was launched on 790 AM KULF with a Top 40 format. The morning show was composed of John Lander and the Q-Morning Zoo, and proved to be an instant success. The station acquired the KKBQ callsign on August 13, 1982.

The station's owners decided to move the format to KYND (92.9 FM). The beautiful music format on 92.9 was beginning to flounder as many baby boomers who were eventually being phased into the workforce could not tolerate "elevator music" while they worked.

On December 29, 1982, at 6:00 A.M. CST, "Houston's Stereo Combination" (a term coined by morning host John Lander since 790 AM was in AM stereo, originally the Kahn ISB and later the Motorola C-QUAM format) was born as KYND became The New 93KBQ, simulcasting on KKBQ-AM. The first song played was "Eye of the Tiger" by Survivor. The same song was used for the launch of WHTZ in New York on August 2, 1983.

The FM acquired the KKBQ-FM call letters two months later in February 1983.

Later on, the station rebranded, first as "93FM", and then to the more famous "93Q."

For a time, the AM station ran the morning show live from the FM. The rest of the dayparts ran the same playlist, but slightly delayed, and ran identical IDs, promos, and jock announcements customized for the AM. This continued until the late 1980s, when it became a full-time simulcast.

Growth[edit]

The Q Morning Zoo gained increased exposure in 1985. The show incorporated comedy bits with a Top-40 playlist.[4] On October 5, 1985, John Lander and the Morning Zoo began broadcasting a syndicated weekend show on 100 radio stations around the country.[5] The show was also selected as one of Continental Airlines's inflight music channels.[4] In fall 1985, the Arbitron ratings listed KKBQ as the number two station in the Houston market.[6]

The following year, radio personality John Carrillo (known on-air as John Rio), left the Q Morning Zoo and moved to Houston station KSRR. KKBQ sued Carrillo to prevent him from using his character, Mr. Leonard. Carrillo countersued the station, and the lawsuit ended in a settlement allowing Carrillo to use the character on air, and allowing KKBQ deejays to also use the character.[7]

In 1987, KKBQ won the Houston Association of Radio Broadcasters' Award for Local/Retail Station Promotion. [8]

Rivalry with KRBE[edit]

In mid-1985, 104.1 KRBE dropped its Adult Contemporary format and flipped back to top 40/CHR as "Hottest Hits 104 KRBE"; then, soon after, morphed to "Power 104" and went head to head with KKBQ throughout the remainder of the 1980s.

In mid-1987, KRBE-FM took a lean towards dance and began weekend mixshows called "The Friday and Saturday Night Power Mix". To counter, KKBQ began its own weekend mixshow, Club 93Q. In January 1988, KRBE retaliated by going on location with The Saturday Night Power Mix to a nightclub with the house DJ mixing live on the air. KKBQ scrambled for the next five months to find a club to host a live mixshow. On May 29, 1988, KKBQ launched its first ever weekly live broadcast. It was called 93Q Live On the Cutting Edge from Club 6400." The music skewed towards an 18+ crowd and eschewed Top 40 hits; true to the show's name, it was a mix of industrial, EBM, new wave, gothic rock, synthpop and Hi-NRG dance. Ironically, a good amount of the music on 93Q Live On The Cutting Edge had actually been heard previously on KRBE's Saturday Night Power Mix.

KKBQ beat KRBE at its own game, and the Club 6400 shows set the standard for future mixshows on radio stations throughout Houston. The Club 6400 shows became so popular among Houston's youthful set that the term "6400 music" became a collective reference for the types of music played at the club and the reference, to this day, is still understood by many Houstonians in their late 20's to early 40's.

Country music[edit]

By the winter of 1990, Arbitron ratings showed that KKBQ had lost market share in Houston, falling to ninth (from second in fall 1988). The drop continued, as in spring 1991, the station was 13th in the Arbitron ratings. In an attempt to stem the ratings drop, the station declined to renew John Lander's contract as lead morning show personality.[9] On March 11, 1991, KKBQ introduced its new Morning Zoo, starring veteran deejay Cleveland Wheeler, who had pioneered the Zoo format while working for WRBQ-FM in Tampa Bay, Florida. Along with his cohosts Nancy Alexander and T.R. Benker, Wheeler planned to introduce a more positive and energetic show, focusing on local comedy routines rather than nationally syndicated comedy, and he vowed to stop playing rap music.[10] The Morning Zoo was cancelled on August 17, 1991. At the same time, KKBQ quietly dropped its nine-year old format and replaced it with a "rock hits" playlist. Featuring music by artists such as Depeche Mode, .38 Special, Tom Petty and Bryan Adams, the new format was designed to appeal to older listeners.[9][11]

By this time, country music had become the most popular radio format in the United States, reaching almost 40% of the US adult population each week. Between 1990 and 1992, country record and concert revenues had doubled.[12] To take advantage of the rising genre, at Midnight on September 19, 1991, after playing "Wind of Change" by The Scorpions, KKBQ began stunting with ocean wave sounds. At 6 AM that day, KKBQ flipped to a new "easy country" format. The "easy country" format was a country music version of adult contemporary, aimed at an older audience. The first song played in its entirety on this new version of the station was George Strait's "You Look So Good in Love".[13] With the exception of Danny Garcia, all of the other deejays were let go, as the station thought they were more "young, contemporary-hit type jocks".[11]

The format change did not help their ratings, as KKBQ sank to 17th in the Houston market in 1992.[12] In September of that year, the station moved away from the easy country format to target a younger audience.[14] Now known as "93Q Country", the station became "surprisingly successful playing youthful country acts and adopting an on-air personality that is up-tempo and more like Top 40 radio". [15] Despite the new format, 93Q recycled some of the jingles, laser sound effects, stingers, and music beds from the CHR days. The new morning show team was Dave E. Crockett (Steven Craig, formerly of WYTZ/Chicago) and Nancy Alexander, a hold-over from the CHR days. Harley Colt handled middays, while afternoon drive time was taken over by Jackson "Cactus Jack" Tally (better known as Jack Da Wack of Z100/New York). "Shotgun" Charlie Walker handled nights.

By 1994, the station had become the number one country station in Houston in the coveted 18–34 age group and was the number two station overall in the area.[14] Later that year, they were named the Country Music Radio Station of the Year by Billboard Magazine and Airplay Monitor.[16] In spring 1995, KKBQ pulled ahead of local rival KILT-FM in the Arbitron ratings for the first time. That year, they were again named Country Station of the Year by Billboard Magazine, and their program director Dene Hallam was named program director of the year. The following year, the station was named Major Market Radio Station of the Year by the Country Music Association, beating out KILT.[17] They repeated their win as Best Station of the Year at the Billboard/Airplay Monitor Radio Awards in 1997, again beating local rival KILT.[18]

In 2006, KKBQ was nominated for a Country Music Association Award for Station of the Year – Major Market.[19]

In 2013, KKBQ won the NAB's Marconi Award for Country Station of the Year. [20] In 2014, the station picked up another Marconi from the NAB, being named Major Market Station of the Year. [21]

Ownership changes[edit]

Evergreen Media Corporation purchased KKBQ from the Pacific and Southern Company (a subsidiary of Gannett Corporation) in 1997, as Gannett was divesting itself of all of its radio stations. At that time, Arbitron ranked KKBQ as the seventh most popular station in Houston. It was estimated that KKBQ was priced around $100 million, making it the single highest-priced radio station sold in Houston to that point. Shortly after the acquisition, Evergreen merged with Chancellor Broadcasting to become Chancellor Media Corporation.[22] In 1999, Clear Channel Communications purchased Chancellor (then known as AMFM, Inc.), thus gaining control of KKBQ.[23] As part of a required divestiture to meet federal ownership regulations, Clear Channel sold KKBQ to Cox Radio. Cox vowed to have KKBQ run fewer advertisements.[24]

Moniker history[edit]

  • The New 93KBQ (1982–1983)
  • 93FM KKBQ FM (1983–1985)
  • Hot Hits 93Q (1985–1987)
  • Hot 93Q (1987–1988)
  • 93Q (1988–1991)
  • Houston's Rock Hits 93Q (stunt) (August 1991-September 1991)
  • 92.9 Easy Country (September 1991-September 1992)
  • 93Q Country (September 1992 – 2000) Fresh Country Hits
  • The New 93Q (2000–present) 52 Minutes of Q-Country Every Hour

References[edit]

  1. ^ "Contact Us." KKBQ. Retrieved on April 24, 2009.
  2. ^ "Uptown District Map." Uptown Houston District. Retrieved on January 30, 2009.
  3. ^ http://houstonradiohistory.blogspot.com/search?q=kynd
  4. ^ a b Grace, Bob (June 22, 1985), Lander, Q-Zoo aiming for live national show, Houston Chronicle: Section 4, p. 1., retrieved 2007-11-19 
  5. ^ Grace, Bob (September 7, 1985), Short Notes, Houston Chronicle: Section 4, p. 7., retrieved 2007-11-19 
  6. ^ Grace, Bob (January 11, 1986), Magic 102 stays on top of radio ratings; KODA moves up, Houston Chronicle: Section 4, p. 1., retrieved 2007-11-19 
  7. ^ Byars, Carlos (May 25, 1986), Is Houston radio ready for two Mr. Leonards?, Houston Chronicle: Section 3, p. 8., retrieved 2007-11-19 
  8. ^ Radio advertising awards presented, Houston Chronicle, June 11, 1987: Business, p. 2., retrieved 2007-11-19 
  9. ^ a b Laird, Cheryl (August 20, 1991), KKBQ drops its "Zoo": Sliding ratings prompt change at radio station, Houston Chronicle: Houston section, p. 1., retrieved 2007-11-19 
  10. ^ Laird, Cheryl (March 12, 1991), Animal house: KKBQ's morning Zoo crew is out to rattle some cages, Houston Chronicle: Houston section, p. 1., retrieved 2007-11-19 
  11. ^ a b Westbrook, Bruce (September 19, 1991), Another switch for KKBQ: Former king of Top 40 hunts upscale audience with country format, Houston Chronicle: Houston section, p. 3., retrieved 2007-11-19 
  12. ^ a b Mitchell, Rick (February 13, 1994), Country Crossroads: Nashville has arrived, but it's got to keep on moving, Houston Chronicle: Zest, p. 8., retrieved 2007-11-19 
  13. ^ Westbrook, Bruce (September 20, 1991), KKBQ starts country format, Houston Chronicle: Houston section, p. 9., retrieved 2007-11-19 
  14. ^ a b Parks, Louis B. (January 22, 1994), Q Country draws closer to the top gun, Houston Chronicle: Houston section, p. 1., retrieved 2007-11-19 
  15. ^ Hassell, Greg (December 4, 1994), Making Waves/New station-ownership rules are sending ripples through the radio industry, Houston Chronicle: Business, p. 1., retrieved 2007-11-19 
  16. ^ Snippets, Houston Chronicle, September 23, 1994: Section Houston, p. 2.<, retrieved 2007-11-19 
  17. ^ Mitchell, Rick (August 31, 1996), CMA names KKBQ radio as major market station of year, Houston Chronicle: Houston section, p. 5., retrieved 2007-11-19 
  18. ^ Parks, Louis B. (July 17, 1997), KRBE's Sam Malone nominated for local air personality of the year, Houston Chronicle: Houston section, p. 5., retrieved 2007-11-19 
  19. ^ Texas broadcasters up for CMA Broadcast Awards, TABulletin (Texas Association of Broadcasters), September 2006, retrieved 2007-11-19 
  20. ^ http://www.nab.org/documents/newsRoom/RadioShow2013/Marconi/091913_Marconi_Country_Station.htm
  21. ^ http://www.nab.org/documents/newsRoom/RadioShow2014/Marconi/091114_Marconi_MajorMarket_Station.htm
  22. ^ Hassell, Greg (April 11, 1997), Evergreen Media acquiring KKBQ-FM, AM, Houston Chronicle: Business, p. 2., retrieved 2007-11-19 
  23. ^ Hassel, Greg (October 5, 1999), If radio's on, it's likely you're hearing them: Clear Channel–AMFM plan megachain, Houston Chronicle: Business, p. 3., retrieved 2007-11-19 
  24. ^ Hassell, Greg (March 7, 2000), Eight local radio stations will be sold: Cox, El Dorado to cash in on Clear Channel, AMFM merger sales, Houston Chronicle: Business, p. 2., retrieved 2007-11-19 

External links[edit]