Just days after adding a Praise (Christian Inspirational/Gospel) format in Detroit, Radio One is taking one down to launch an all-News format in Houston. So, KROI-FM (Praise 92.1) will flip to “News 92 FM” the week of 11/14. The 24-hour news and information station will include ABC News Radio and Associated Press Platinum. The Gospel format will move to sister station, Urban Majic 102’s HD-2 channel and stream online.
The programming team, led by veteran news director Denise Bishop, will deliver local, regional and national news along with topical information and the traffic and weather updates. The morning news block will be anchored by Texas Radio Hall of Fame honorees J.P. Pritchard and Lana Hughes, who served the Houston market as a broadcast duo for over 27 years. Additional duties throughout the day will be handled by other local talent including Mike Barajas, Scott Braddock, Carolyn Campbell, Kevin Charles, Brent Clanton, Lanny Griffith, Laurie Kendrick, Martha Martinez, Bonnie Petrie, Matt Sampsell, Pattie Shieh, Meteorologist Dr. Joe Sobel, Craig Roberts, and Jorge Vargas.
Says Radio One RVP Doug Abernethy: “Our review of Houston’s broadcast landscape told us that those listeners interested in local news as well as national news were being poorly served, so we decided to make a commitment to delivering the news in a dependable fashion. People want to hear about news as it happens, and they shouldn’t have to wait until their radio station ‘catches up’. We’ll deliver the news as it unfolds.”
Ed Shane, founder of the Houston-based Shane Media Services, is serving as Project Manager on the format flip: “We’re going to give people the facts without the biased opinions that dominate so-called news stations. We’ve assembled an A-list of broadcast journalists whose mission is to report the news and let people make up their own minds.”
RBR-TVBR observation: Indeed, there’s a hole for all-News on the FM dial in that market and it was only a matter of time before one of the AMs there added an FM–as has been so common. Looks like Radio One will beat them to the punch. This is a big endeavor and includes a capital-intensive payroll, as it looks like the station will not be relying on syndicated Talk programming. But Houston is a big market and could certainly absorb an all-News FM of the WTOP-FM DC variety.