If you weren’t aware by now, KROI-FM - Houston (92.1 FM) will begin its programming as a full service news station the week of November 14, 2011, and will now be News 92 FM, a 24-hour news and information station supported by news information from ABC News Radio and Associated Press Platinum.
Here is the kicker though. Although Radio One is a black-owned radio enterprise, the new morning voices won’t be black at all, but the morning news will be anchored by J.P. Pritchard and Lana Hughes, who were recently replaced at KTRH (740 AM) and have been a broadcast duo in the Houston market for over 27 years.
This has everything to do with money and less to do with serving the black community. Black gospel radio stations have long been treated as the stepchild in the radio marketplace, especially as it relates to advertising. While gospel serves to enrich the faith-based community, it historically has not driven the most advertising dollars to sustain and grow it.
Radio One hired Ed Shane, founder and president of the Houston-based Shane Media Services, to serve as the Project Manager for the format flip from gospel music to the all news station.The new station will broadcast from recently expanded studios in the Radio One broadcast center that currently houses market leaders Majic 102 (KMJQ-FM) and 97.9 The Box (KBXX-FM). KROI-FM’s current programming. The stepchild of the group, Praise 92.1, will be moved to Majic 102’s HD channel and will stream online at www.PraiseHouston.com.
It is difficult to see more black people lose their jobs in such a difficult and tough economy.
Leads you to wonder if that entire “Reality Radio” campaign generated by Radio One against U.S. Representative Sheila Jackson Lee and the other black elected officials over a year ago, was really a smokescreen to deter black people in Houston and other Radio One markets from the predetermined decision to make this move and possibly other future moves, due to the challenging economy and the desire for Radio One to make money. Maybe Radio One came to the conclusion that while the gospel may save their listeners souls, it doesn’t help their balance sheet and income statement.