KILT (AM)

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KILT
KILT AM.png
CityHouston, Texas
Broadcast areaGreater Houston
Frequency610 kHz
BrandingSports Radio 610
Programming
Language(s)English
FormatSports
AffiliationsCBS Sports Radio
Houston Texans
Houston Dynamo
Ownership
OwnerEntercom
(Entercom License, LLC)
KHMX, KIKK, KILT-FM, KKHH, KLOL
History
First air date
January 31, 1948 (72 years ago) (1948-01-31)
Former call signs
KLEE (1948–1952)
KLBS (1952–1957)
Call sign meaning
Nickname/ethnicity of former owner, Gordon "Old Scotchman" McLendon
Technical information
Facility ID25440
ClassB
Power5,000 watts
Transmitter coordinates
29°55′4″N 95°25′33″W / 29.91778°N 95.42583°W / 29.91778; -95.42583Coordinates: 29°55′4″N 95°25′33″W / 29.91778°N 95.42583°W / 29.91778; -95.42583
Repeater(s)100.3 KILT-FM-HD2
Links
WebcastListen Live
WebsiteSportsRadio610.com

KILT (610 kHz, "SportsRadio 610") is a commercial AM radio station in Houston, Texas. The station is owned by Entercom and carries a sports radio format. KILT shares its call sign with its sister station KILT-FM 100.3 FM, which airs a country music radio format. Its studios are located in the Greenway Plaza district.

KILT is powered at 5,000 watts. It uses a directional antenna at all times. The transmitter is on West Road at Ella Boulevard in North Houston.[1] Programming is also heard on an HD Radio subchannel on co-owned 100.3 KILT-FM-HD2.

Programming[edit]

On weekdays, KILT has local hosts from morning drive time through the evening, with CBS Sports Radio syndicated national programming heard late nights and weekends. KILT is the flagship station of the NFL's Houston Texans and the MLS' Houston Dynamo. It has aired every Texans game since the team's inception into the league in 2002.

History[edit]

KLEE[edit]

610 AM signed on the air on January 31, 1948.[2] It was owned by W. Albert Lee. The station chose the call sign KLEE to reflect the owner's name. The studios were in the Milby Hotel, which Lee owned.

The following year, Lee added a television station, Channel 2 KLEE-TV. It was Houston's first television station and the second one in Texas. Lee sold Channel 2 to the Hobby Family in 1950, owners of the Houston Post daily newspaper, but he kept his radio station since the Post already owned AM 950 KPRC

Gordon McLendon Ownership[edit]

In 1952, KLEE was sold to Gordon McLendon, who initially changed the call letters to KLBS, to represent his network, the "Liberty Broadcasting System." McLendon had great success programming Top 40 hits on KLIF 1190 in Dallas. That prompted McLendon to turn other stations in his chain into Top 40 outlets, including AM 610 in Houston, in 1957.

The station took the call letters KILT as a nod to McLendon, who often called himself "The Old Scotsman" on the air. (Scottish men are known for wearing kilts instead of pants.) For 24 years, KILT was the leading Top 40 station in Houston, called "The Big 610 KILT". It used PAMS jingles that featured the call letters being sung out over the air. Notable personalities in the 1960s and 70s included Steve Lundy, Sheila Mayhew, Beau Weaver, Jay West, K.O. Bailey, Barry Kaye, Captain Jack and others.

Flip to Country[edit]

On February 16, 1981, sister station KILT-FM dropped album rock for country during the "Urban Cowboy" craze that swept through Houston, and the United States in general.[3] The AM station continued with its adult Top 40 sound. But in the 1980s, young listeners were increasingly tuning in FM stations to hear their favorite hits. Competition from KRBE 104.1 FM and KRLY 93.7 FM prompted KILT to end its Top 40 format.

On June 1, 1981, KILT AM 610 switched to country music, partially simulcasting KILT-FM, then known as "FM 100". Over time, KILT AM played more classic country titles among current and recent hits, while KILT-FM concentrated on current country music. KILT AM included more news and features while KILT-FM stressed its more-music approach. But the same morning show was heard on both stations.

In 1989, KILT-AM-FM were acquired by Westinghouse Broadcasting.[4] Westinghouse kept KILT as an AM country station for another five years. But as AM radio declined as a source for music, management decided to make a change.

SportsRadio 610[edit]

The current sports-talk format debuted in September 1994.[5][6] The moniker for the new format was "Star 610 SportsRadio KILT." The initial hosts were Mike Edmonds & Ed Fowler in the afternoon from 4-7 p.m. and the Bob Stevenson Outdoors Show, airing Tuesday-Friday mornings 4am-5am and Saturdays & Sundays from 4am-7am. Prime Sports Radio, based in Dallas, aired for all other hours.

In 1995, Edmonds & Fowler moved to the mornings 6am-9am and Rich Lord & Kenny Hand were paired together for "Section 610" from 4pm-7pm. Lord and Hand also alternated hosting the locally produced Astros 10th Inning Shows on 610 from 1995–97. KILT's main competition is 790 AM KBME which switched to Sports Talk programming in 2004. A rimshot FM station, 97.5 KFNC, licensed to Mont Belvieu, Texas, halfway between Houston and Beaumont, switched to ESPN Radio in 2007. Before KBME moved from Adult Standards, KILT was the only sports station in the Houston market and was the radio home for the Houston Rockets, Houston Texans, and Houston Comets franchises. In recent years, KILT lost the rights to air Houston Rockets basketball games to KBME, and the WNBA Comets folded.

Entercom ownership[edit]

On February 2, 2017, CBS Radio announced it would merge with Entercom.[7] The merger was approved on November 9, 2017, and was consummated on the 17th.[8][9]

KILT has remained Houston's top rated sports station for most of its history. Co-owned 650 KIKK carries the CBS Sports Radio Network in the daytime, while 610 KILT runs local sports shows. Late nights and weekends, KILT carries CBS Sports Radio programming.

Controversy[edit]

In 2007, a lawsuit was filed by then morning show co-host John Granato against CBS.[10][11] This ultimately led to Granato leaving 610 and starting a new station: KGOW "1560 The Game." Shortly thereafter, his co-host Lance Zierlein joined him at KGOW. In 2017 KGOW switched from Sports to Vietnamese language programming.

Past Personalities[edit]

Shaun Bijani (left) and Paul Gallant airing live from a sports collectors show in Houston.
  • Seth Payne, host
  • Ted Johnson, host
  • Wade Smith, host,
  • Booker T, host
  • Clint Stoerner, current afternoon host
  • Mike Meltser, host
  • Sean Pendergast, host
  • Rich Lord, host
  • John Lopez, host
  • Paul Gallant, host
  • Fred Davis, host
  • Landry Locker, producer
  • Chris Jones, producer
  • Brian McDonald, producer
  • Laura Reynolds, traffic & assistant program director
  • Ryan McCredden, program director
  • Shaun Bijani, host
  • Derek Fogel, host
  • Patrick McLellan, host
  • Jeremy Brahnam - Houston Dynamo play-by-play
  • Garret Heinrich - Houston Dynamo color analyst
  • Brad Wright - digital supervisor

References[edit]

  1. ^ Radio-Locator.com/KILT-AM
  2. ^ [1]
  3. ^ "Urban cowboy article" (PDF). Americanradiohistory.com. Retrieved 15 October 2018.
  4. ^ Broadcasting & Cable Yearbook 1993 page B-350
  5. ^ Terry Blount, "'KILT to become city's first all-sports station", The Houston Chronicle, September 8, 1994.
  6. ^ SportsRadio 610's 20th Anniversary Page, CBS Radio (September 10, 2014)
  7. ^ "CBS Radio To Merge With Entercom - RadioInsight". Radioinsight.com. 2 February 2017. Retrieved 15 October 2018.
  8. ^ "Entercom Receives FCC Approval for Merger with CBS Radio". Entercom. November 9, 2017. Retrieved November 17, 2017.
  9. ^ Venta, Lance (November 17, 2017). "Entercom Completes CBS Radio Merger". Radioinsight.com. Retrieved November 17, 2017.
  10. ^ "Archived copy". Archived from the original on 2009-10-13. Retrieved 2009-04-17.CS1 maint: archived copy as title (link)
  11. ^ "John Granato leaving?". Blogs.chron.com. Retrieved 15 October 2018.

External links[edit]