Beyoncé fans might be ecstatic over Radio One’s decision to drop its boldly formatted but low-rated all-news Houston radio station, but others are challenging the black-controlled network’s assertion that Houstonians just weren’t ready for so much journalism.
For the moment, at least, the station is all Beyoncé all the time.
“It’s not Houston’s fault that News 92 FM failed,” read a headline in the Houston Chronicle Wednesday over a column by Ken Hoffman.
“On its website, Radio One blamed poor ratings,” Hoffman wrote. “It went on to say, ‘Unfortunately, the market (Houston) hasn’t shown a sustainable appetite for news radio.’
“I’m not sure that’s accurate. We don’t know if Houston has an appetite for news radio. We just know it didn’t eat up News 92 FM. . . .”
Hoffman noted that all-news radio stations score big ratings in other cities and added, “Station insiders acknowledged that story repetition and selection was always an issue with listeners. ‘There were too few stories, repeated too often,'” one told me. ‘We were a good station. We would have had to be great to beat KTRH.’
“With Houston’s slow-moving traffic, a news station here needs a lot of stories and constant updates to hold listeners. News 92 FM listeners could hear the same story two or three times on a single business call to Katy or The Woodlands. It wasn’t compelling radio. . . .”