Historic Local Station KCOH Sold to Catholic Radio Network

Categories: Radio Houstoned

Courtesy KCOHradio.com
Ralph Cooper
Radio is generally in a constant state of upheaval. Witness the line-up changes throughout sports radio and the rise of News92 FM from the ashes of formerly all news KTRH. There are two FM music stations playing the exact same stuff every day because one was sold and not reformatted. The plug was pulled on an FM adult contemporary station after a short "experiment." KTRU was sold to KUHF and turned into the classical arm of the NPR affiliate.

But, for more than half a century, one stalwart of the Houston radio scene has remained, that is until now. KCOH (1430 AM) has been providing programming predominantly to the African American community in Houston since 1953, a decade before the heart of the civil rights movement. This week, it was announced they had been sold to the Guadalupe Radio Network, a Catholic station which states as part of its mission on its website to, "serve the Church and we endeavor to lead souls back to Jesus Christ through His holy Catholic Church, through the use of the powerful medium of radio."

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Ranking the Local Sports Radio Shows from Worst to First

I've been listening to sports radio in the city of Houston a very long time. Too long, probably. While I don't remember much about Edmonds and Martini, I do remember when the only sports radio show in Houston was Sports Beat, which ran evenings on KTRH. Amazing to think that we've gone from one four-hour show to four sports radio stations in 20 years.

My job allows me to listen to shows all hours of the day and I flip around to all the stations. There is a pretty wide range of programming out there, but there is no doubt that the sheer number of slots to fill does tend to stretch the talent pool thin, even in a city as large as Houston. Last week, I started thinking it might be interesting to rank the local shows, particularly now that Jim Rome is gone from our market.

Before I get too deep into this, I decided to exclude Sean Pendergast and John Granato's show from this list. Sean is a Press writer, making it a conflict of interest. And when I got right down to it, I realized that, with the impending sale of 97.5 FM, it made the most sense to stick with 790 KBME and 610 KILT, the two giants in the marketplace, both of which put most of their eggs in the local basket, something 1560 AM just doesn't.

Here we go.

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5 Replacements for The Jim Rome Show

Jim Rome = Not Burning in Houston.
Jim Rome is done in the Houston sports-talk radio market after KILT-AM 610 dropped the popular The Jim Rome Show last week.

Rome's show had become more than a little tedious in recent years, so replacing it should be easy; here are five replacements that would make for riveting programming in Rome's vacated three-hour hole.

5. 106: A Pitch-by-Pitch Breakdown of the Astros' 2011 Season
Can't recall how, during Houston's shutout loss to the Milwaukee Brewers on April 29, Carlos Lee took Shaun Marcum's first pitch for a strike in the bottom of the fourth? You will now.

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Jim Rome

Changing Stations: KGOW's Creative Team Packs Up, Pendergast Goes National

KGOW's now former creative team of Frank Bullington (left) and Chance McClain (right)
If you have listened at all to KGOW 1560 the Game over the last month or two, you may have noticed some changes taking place that represent a distinct shift in the overall vibe of the station. Gone are the oddball promos and borderline inappropriate interludes (what some might argue are integral to the station's personality), replaced with a more traditional, bombastic sports radio tone.

These changes coincide with the recent demotion of former program director Chance McClain, who was replaced with Sporting News Radio PD Craig Larson in May. McClain opted to resign not long after his demotion and will now be followed by his creative partner, production director Frank Bullington, who will officially leave the station at the end of the week.

Neither was able to comment on the situation, but Bullington said in his exit e-mail, "As the station and network move in a new direction, I felt it was time for me to do the same."

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John Nova Lomax: I'm on the Next Episode of This American Life

John Nova Lomax: Unlike the NPR segment being taped in this photo, his This American Life piece will air.
It was one of those things in life you just can't quite believe. A few weeks back, I received an e-mail from Robyn Semien telling me that This American Life was interested in a story I had submitted, and asking if I would be interested in being interviewed by Ira Glass for possible inclusion on their show.

I read it once, twice, three times. I even had a little trouble remembering that I had submitted a story to them at all -- I had done so way back in October or November of last year and forgot all about it after a month or so. But there was that e-mail, still there in my inbox.

And then I talked to Semien and set the date with Glass. Maybe it was real after all. Later that day, I did double-check and, yes, the e-mail was still there. Maybe it wasn't a dream, acid flashback or practical joke after all.

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Changes at 1560: Is KGOW Losing Its KAPOW?

richcover 3_31.jpg
Our April 6 cover on KGOW.
In April, our cover story featured the irreverent, independent nature of local sports radio station KGOW 1560 The Game. It appears both of those characteristics may be on their way out as changes at the station inch them closer to the mainstream.

Longtime program director Chance McClain -- one of the creative minds behind the station's alternative approach to sports talk -- was recently replaced with Craig Larson, the PD at Sporting News Radio, the network purchased by KGOW investors last year.

"Craig is one of the top program directors in the country," station president David Gow told Hair Balls via e-mail. "In this move, we are trying to deploy our team in areas/assignments where we can achieve the best possible total impact." According to Gow, McClain has been put in charge of new media initiatives they believe "will be big winners for us and that leverage his [McClain's] creativity well."

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Radio Houstoned: Timothy Eric and The Sty of the Blind Pig

Categories: Radio Houstoned
Olivia Flores Alvarez
Timothy Eric plays Blind Jordan in the current production of The Sty of the Blind Pig at the Ensemble Theatre. Blind Jordan is searching for a woman from his past when he knocks on the door of Alberta’s apartment. When Alberta decides to help Blind Jordan search for the woman he’s looking for, her domineering and manipulative mother starts scheming and plotting ways to stop the two from forming any kind of relationship.

Timothy Eric, a veteran Houston actor, stopped by the Houston Press offices to discuss The Sty of the Blind Pig with Night & Day Editor Olivia Flores Alvarez. To hear a Radio Houstoned podcast with Timothy Eric and Olivia Flores Alvarez, click the button below:

The Sty of the Blind Pig is performed 7:30 p.m. Thursdays; 8 p.m. Fridays; 2 p.m. and 8 p.m. Saturdays; and 3 p.m. Sundays. Through April 13. 3535 Main. For tickets and information, call 713-520-0055 or visit www.ensemblehouston.com. $15 to $35.

Click here for a Houston Press review of The Sty of the Blind Pig. -- Olivia Flores Alvarez

Radio Houstoned: Nevada Barr and Winter Study

Click the button below to listen to Nevada Barr reading from her latest work, followed by an interview with Night & Day Editor Olivia Flores Alvarez...

Nevada Barr fans have been anxiously awaiting the 14th installment of the Anna Pigeon series of mysteries and Winter Study does not disappoint. Set on Isle Royal in Lake Superior, where temperatures are around zero 24 hours a day, Winter Study follows Pigeon as she joins a wolf study team. As if being stuck in an icy camp out in the middle of nowhere with a bunch of brainiac, self-absorbed scientists isn’t bad enough, Pigeon has to contend with a couple of Homeland Security bureaucrats and giant wolf right off Dr. Moreau’s island.

Catch Nevada Barr as she reads from Winter Study at 6:30 p.m. today. Murder by the Book, 2342 Bissonnet. For information, call 713-524-8597 or visit www.murderbooks.com. Free. – Olivia Flores Alvarez

Radio Houstoned: Kristine Mills at Wade Wilson Art’s Second Anniversary Party

Houston vocalist Kristine Mills was at a cocktail party when she bumped into artist/curator Wade Wilson. In between chitchat and mixed drinks, the two came up with Wade Wilson Art’s Second Anniversary Party, a combo art exhibit/jazz concert benefiting Texas Children’s Hospital and Houston Center for Photography. Joining Mills will be members of the famed Duke Ellington Orchestra. It’s a little pricey, but hey, cough it up – it’s for a good cause. 7 p.m. Today. 4411 Montrose. For information, call 713-521-2977 or visit www.wadewilsonart.com. $100 to $500. -- Olivia Flores Alvarez

To listen to an interview with Kristine Mills and Houston Press Night & Day Editor Olivia Flores Alvarez , click the button below.

And here are a few more tunes from Kristine’s newest album.

Radio Houstoned: African Children’s Choir on a Journey of Hope

Categories: Radio Houstoned
Click the LISTEN button below for a preview...

Angelina Jolie can’t save all the orphans in Africa, can she? Thankfully, the orphans of the African Children’s Choir are saving themselves. The choir, started 23 years ago, takes orphaned or abandoned African children with amazing musical talent on a worldwide tour to raise awareness of the plight of Africa’s youngest citizens, including children from Darfur, Sudan, Chad and Kenya. You can see them perform today at 8 p.m. Wortham Center, 500 Texas Avenue. For information, call 713-227-2787 or visit www.houstonballet.org. $17 to $47. — Francisca Ortega