From TBGB correspondent Joseph Middleton:
Houston, Texas now has its own all-gospel FM radio station: KROI 92.1 FM.
On July 17 at 6:45PM CST, KROI, 92.1 FM changed its format from Spanish radio to gospel. The first song they played was Kirk Franklin & The Family’s “Why We Sing”. It’s a Radio One Station. I found it particularly interesting because I don’t think there are many other all-gospel FM stations in the US. I know Atlanta, Raleigh, and Columbus, OH have them; there may be more.
Houston’s primary all-gospel station for the time was an AM radio station. Reception was horrible since it was based about 30 miles from town. I could hardly pick it up while in the car. The only time I could pick up gospel on FM was on Sundays when Texas Southern University’s radio station would play gospel all day long, Sunday mornings until 1PM on the local R&B station, and on Wednesdays on the same R&B station during its “15 mins. of Praise Show”, though they would play only a few gospel songs, or if you were lucky, they would extend it to a special “hour-long presentation”. They would sometimes toss gospel songs into the regular secular rotation during the week, most often Kirk Franklin songs.
Then for the past few weeks, I’ve been wondering why there wasn’t an all-gospel FM station in Houston, because I know there is a market here for it. On the 17th, while eating at a restaurant after church, I “accidentally” overheard a conversation a man was having on his cell phone with someone. He mentioned some announcers and said that a station was changing formats. I leaned over to my mom and said, “I overheard something about a station changing formats, I wonder if it’ll be to gospel?”
So as we were leaving, we struck up a conversation with him, and soon found out that he is a gospel music producer, and that the station was indeed changing its format to gospel, since the Spanish format was having trouble attracting listeners. I found that to be a little odd because of Houston’s high Latino population. Well, I have a new station to add to my preset buttons on the car radio.