October 15, 2005
Malone's move to KHMX

Here's the Chron story about Sam Malone replacing Roula and Ryan on Mix 96.5, which as you can see from the comments here is generating a lot of complaints from R&R fans. I'll admit that you won't get rich betting against Ken Charles' programming acumen in Houston, but I'm still a little skeptical of this:

"What Sam Malone brings to the table is 12 years of experience, a huge audience and passion," says Ken Charles, regional vice president of programming for Clear Channel Houston. "Listeners who started with him many years ago still listen to him. What this does is put Sam in a position to talk to our entire audience."

After nearly three years the Roula & Ryan Show, whose ratings in July fell out of the top five in the key demographic of women between the ages of 25-44, will have to find another place on the dial.

"There is nothing bad to say about the job Roula and Ryan did. They worked hard and we wish them well," says Charles. "Sometimes these decisions are easier. This was one of the hardest I've ever had to make."

No radio station ever makes a change without pissing off some loyal fans, so take all the spleen-venting with some salt, since it's not exactly a representative sample of the local radion audience. I do wonder, though, if Malone will prove to be as popular without his longtime sidekick from KRBE, Maria Todd. He may have been the headliner of that act, but a partner with whom he had chemistry is not something to dismiss out of hand. I don't know, and I can't say I really care - I enjoyed R&R the times I listened to them, but my radio stays on KACC these days, so this doesn't really affect me. I'm just wondering is all.

By the way, given some earlier comments Malone once made, it's interesting to see him on a Clear Channel station.

When KRBE's Sam Malone and Maria Todd first went on the air in 1993, most radio stations in Houston had a flashy, larger-than-life morning show. Now they're among the dwindling number of megawatt morning personalities.

Malone and Todd consider themselves lucky to work for a relatively small company -- Susquehanna Radio Corp. -- that runs its 29 stations the old-fashioned way, with on-air personalities around the clock and a full-time production, marketing and promotion staff that concentrates on only one station and touts its program at every opportunity.

"The tables have turned in 10 years," Malone said. "(Back then) people were saying, 'Don't go to KRBE in Houston, because they're a mom-and-pop operation.' Now everybody wants to work for a mom-and-pop operation."

"Instead of an evil empire," Todd added.

Welcome to the Dark Side, Sam Malone. Hope it's what you wanted.

UPDATE: Apparently, Metroblogging Houston has also been inundated with comments on an older blog entry. They have some constructive suggestions for those who whish to let Clear Channel know about their displeasure at this move, which I daresay none of the people currently leaving those comments will ever read. Don't let that stop you, though.

Posted by Charles Kuffner on October 15, 2005 to Music | TrackBack