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KNTE 101.7 station logo.png
City Houston
Broadcast area Greater Houston
Branding La Ranchera 850 AM y 101.7 FM"
Frequency 850 kHz
Repeater(s) KNTE (FM) Bay City
First air date 1974 (44 years ago) (1974)
Format Regional Mexican
Language(s) Spanish
Power 10,000 watts (day)
185 watts (night)
Class D
Facility ID 2911
Transmitter coordinates 29°39′19″N 95°40′19″W / 29.65528°N 95.67194°W / 29.65528; -95.67194
Callsign meaning The KEY to Houston (original branding)
Affiliations Houston Astros Radio Network (Spanish-language)
Owner Liberman Broadcasting
(Liberman Broadcasting of Houston License LLC)
Sister stations Radio: KJOJ-FM, KNTE, KQQK, KTJM

KEYH (850 kHz "La Ranchera 850 AM y 101.7 FM") is a commercial AM radio station in Houston, Texas. It is owned by Liberman Broadcasting and airs a Regional Mexican radio format. Programming is simulcast on 101.7 KNTE, an FM radio station in Bay City, Texas, about 75 miles southwest of Houston. KEYH and KNTE serve as the Spanish-language flagship stations for the Houston Astros Radio Network and the Houston Rockets.[1]

By day, KEYH broadcasts at 10,000 watts. But because AM 850 is a clear-channel frequency reserved for 50,000 watt Class A KOA in Denver, Colorado, KEYH must reduce power at night to 185 watts. The transmitter is off Denver Miller Road in Sugar Land, Texas.[2]


In 1974, KEYH first signed on as a daytimer, required to be off the air between sunset and sunrise.[3] It was owned by Artlite Broadcasting and aired an all-news format, affiliated with the Mutual Broadcasting System and the Associated Press. The all-news format did not generate many listeners so talk shows were added.

KEYH's slogan was "The Key to Houston" and featured a long key with the station's 850 dial setting and call sign featured in its logo. KEYH struggled to gain footing in the market and began airing Mexican music on weekends, while continuing the news/talk format weekdays. With Houston's growing Mexican-American population, the Spanish-language music featured on the weekends proved popular. By the end of the 1970s, KEYH went full-time Regional Mexican, and became direct competition to the original Spanish-language station in Houston, AM 1480 KLVL.

KEYH has gone through several owners and variations of formats since then, including the current incarnation of "La Ranchera" which marks the third time KEYH has used the name (both in conjunction with 101.7 KNTE Bay City and as a standalone). In 2003, Liberman Broadcasting, based in Burbank, California, purchased KEYH for $5.7 million.[4]


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