KILT (610 AM, "Sports Radio 610") is a Sports/Talk formatted radio station in the Houston, Texas, metropolitan area. The station is currently owned by CBS Radio. KILT shares its call letters with its sister station 100.3 FM, which airs a country music format. KILT was the legendary Top 40 outlet in Houston as the "Big 610" until 1981 when it dropped the longtime format and moniker to simulcast KILT-FM "FM 100", which had recently flipped formats from Album Rock to Country itself. After 13 years of running country music on 610, it moved to sports talk in 1994. KILT is the flagship station of the NFL's Houston Texans and the Texans Radio Network. It has aired every Texans game since the team's inception into the league in 2002. Its studios are located in the Greenway Plaza district, and its transmitter is located near the Greenspoint district of northwest Houston. KILT's most popular show is " In The Loop" hosted by John Lopez and critically acclaimed national and local host Nick Wright (@getnickwright on Twitter). In the loop, Monday through Friday from 6am to 10am dominates Houston local and streaming airwaves almost by two fold over all other morning talk shows. Since Mr. Nick Wright has joined CBS Sports Radio 610 KILT in Houston ratings and viewership ranks among the top 40 radio stations in the country during that respective time. Nick Wright's "Barrel Fire Hot Takes" is just the one of many new segments that set him apart from competition down the dial.
The station was, for 24 years, the leading Top 40 station in Houston, simply named the "Big 610 KILT". It was owned by Gordon McLendon, and used PAMS jingles that featured the call letters being sung out over the air. In January 1981, sister station KILT-FM dropped album rock for country during the "Urban Cowboy" craze that swept through Houston. Having competition from 104 KRBE on the FM dial and losing ratings dramatically, six months later 610 dropped its famed Top 40 format for a simulcast of their FM sister station in June 1981. Ironically, it would be KILT AM competitor 79 KULF that would, just over a year later, relaunch itself as Top 40 "79Q" KKBQ and soar to the top of the radio ratings in July 1982, spawning the legendary "AM & FM Stereo Combo" that topped Houston ratings throughout the next decade after KILT threw in the towel and flipped to country. The current sports-talk format has been in place since 1994. KILT has been the top-rated sports-talk format since its inception, with only a few brief exceptions. KILT's main competition is, as it has historically been, 790 (now KBME) AM which also runs Sports Talk programming since 2004. Before KBME moved from Adult Standards, KILT was the only sports station in the City and was the radio home for the Houston Rockets, Texans, Comets franchises. In recent years, KILT lost the rights to air Houston Rockets basketball games to Sports Talk 790, and the WNBA Comets folded, however KILT still outperforms KBME in most dayparts and in overall demographic ratings.
In 2007, a lawsuit was filed by then morning show co-host John Granato against CBS. This ultimately led to Granato leaving 610 and starting a new station: 1560 The Game. Shortly thereafter, his co-host Lance Zierlein joined him.