Update 12/31: After a couple of hours of stunting, KKRW flipped to Urban “93.7 The Beat” at 12pm today.
Following Journey’s “Don’t Stop Believing” the station kicked off the new format with Beyonce & Jay-Z’s “Drunk In Love”, Destiny’s Child “Soldier”, and French Montana “Ain’t Worried About Nothin'”.
MikeMcGuff.com tracked the beginning of the stunting at 10am.
The press release announcing the launch of the Beat follows:
Clear Channel Media and Entertainment Houston announced today the launch of a new radio station, 93.7 The Beat, H-Town’s REAL Hip Hop and R&B, effective immediately.
93.7 The Beat will feature music from today’s biggest artists including Kanye West, Drake, Chris Brown, J.Cole, Jay-Z, Rihanna, Houston’s own Beyonce and more. The Beat will give Houston listeners one of a kind access to up-close artist experiences, exclusive premieres, world-class on air personalities and opportunities to be part of bigger than life events and promotions.
“93.7 The Beat is ready to write a new chapter in Houston radio history. We’re defining what real hip hop and R&B is,” said Eddie Martiny, President and Market Manager, Clear Channel Media and Entertainment, Houston. “Many of the biggest stars in this format live in Houston, so to move the station in this direction was a natural choice. In addition, The Beat format will perfectly complement the five other radio stations in our cluster by making us more attractive and diverse to our advertising community.”
Fans can listen to 93.7 The Beat, via the station’s website, www.937thebeathouston.com, as well as on iHeartRadio, Clear Channel’s all-in-one digital radio service. iHeartRadio delivers everything listeners want in one free, fully-integrated service: instant access to more than 1,500 of the nation’s most popular live broadcast and digital-only radio stations from 150 cities, plus user-created custom stations inspired by favorite artists and songs. iHeartRadio also offers listeners a “Perfect For” feature which allows users to choose from thousands of curated stations based on a range of moods and activities. New – iHeartRadio Talk feature offers on-demand listener-created talk content alongside popular news, celebrity and entertainment “audiosodes.” iHeartRadio Talk also features “Daily Pulse,” a customizable Talk channel featuring the most up-to-date news and culture highlights, to which users can add or remove content that is most important to them.
Original Report 12/29: With rumors surrounding the launch of a new Urban station in Houston for a few months now, it appears that the change is coming sooner rather than later.
937TheBeatHouston.com was registered by Clear Channel’s registrar on Thursday, December 26. That would mean the death of Classic Rock “93.7 The Arrow” KKRW. KKRW has spent 2013 celebrating its 20th anniversary as a Classic Rocker, while it won’t make it more than a few days into 2014.
Word in the market is the flip is likely to take place by Monday, January 6. KKRW is promoting a “Top 93.7 Classic Rock Party Songs of All Time” countdown for New Years Eve and then going All-Request at midnight. Could the requests lead into the new format?
A move to Urban for KKRW makes lots of sense. Radio-One’s “97.9 The Box” KBXX is #1 in the market outside of when Clear Channel’s “Sunny 99.1” KODA rises from second during Christmas music season. A new head-on competitor to KBXX could allow KODA to take the lead the other 11 ratings periods of the year. Meanwhile, the existing “Arrow” format has trailed Cox’ “106.9/107.5 The Eagle” KHPT Conroe/KGLK Lake Jackson. In the December monthly, KKRW narrowed the station’s deficit to a 3.4 to 2.4 share difference.