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Rock revived

Rock music is back in Houston, and it’s even a little ahead of schedule.

In a not-so-subtle jab at KLOL, which for 35 years billed itself as “The Texas Rock ‘n’ Roll Authority” before switching to a Spanish hip-hop/reggaeton music format aimed at a young Latino audience two months ago, the new station’s call letters are KIOL.

At noon Thursday, Cumulus Media flipped the former KRWP-FM Power 97.5 urban contemporary station to Rock 97.5. The first song played was AC/DC’s For Those About to Rock (We Salute You).

The station is led by radio veteran Pat Fant, who managed KLOL in its heyday from 1983 until 1995, when he introduced the Buzz alternative music format at KTBZ-FM (94.5).

“This town is too big, too fast, too fantastic not to have a real rock station,” Fant told an excited crowd at a launch party at the Fox Sports Grill.

Former KLOL personalities Jim Pruett and Dayna Steele Justiz were among those in the audience. Pruett said he is negotiating with the new station to helm a midday show.

Rumors were flying that the station hopes to sign former KLOL disc jockeys Outlaw Dave and the morning duo of Walton & Johnson when their non-compete clauses expire in the next few months.

Fant said no contact has taken place with the former KLOL DJs, but “when this talent is free to negotiate, my phone is always open, and I’m eager to talk.”

I listened to 97.5 on the way in. So far, so good. I’m hoping they’re a little less metal and (at least) a little more innovative than KLOL was, but this leads me to believe I’ll be disappointed. Oh, well. I won’t tune in to Walton and Johnson, but for now their DJ-free style is just fine.

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  1. William Hughes says:

    “”This town is too big, too fast, too fantastic not to have a real rock station,” Fant told an excited crowd at a launch party at the Fox Sports Grill.”

    Meanwhile, New York radio still sucks every which way possible.

  2. Chris says:

    This is great althoughyou can keep Walton and Johnson. Outlaw Dave was fairly funny on occassion.

  3. Ellen says:

    A. Dayna Steele got married??? I remember being a kid and listening to her groan about waking up in the parking lot at Cooters and not knowing how she got there. Times change.
    B. Ok, if Pruett was there, where was Stevens? Have they split up?

    I leave town and everything changes. But I’m so glad there will be a 101-esque station when I come home to visit.

  4. Jim D says:

    I’m having a hell of a time trying to tune into this station. Too much signal-overload/interference from KBXX 97.9 and the the 97.1 country station.

    I’m getting a strong signal, but the even stronger signals +/- 400kHz are making it hard for even my good FM receivers (Grundig shortwave and Alinco VHF/UHF ham radio) to get a clean signal. (About half-quarters quieting at S8 with the “local” switch turned on and the antenna collapsed). I can’t even hear the station at all on my portable CD player… too much interference.

    This happens a lot here on campus. We’re drowning in signal down here. It sucks. All the good signals are swamped in RFI.

  5. Dayna Steele isn’t just married, she did a Demi Moore-esque pregnant-and-nekkid pose on the cover of some obscure local magazine a few years back.

    Mark Stevens was cohosting a show on the now-defunct KRTS (yes! one half of Stevens and Pruett on a classical radio station!), and he’s now doing that gig on the AM dial.

  6. Rick S. says:

    The signal is weak, and as glad as I am to have an AOR format station in the market, sadly it’s still Houston radio. I’ve heard plenty of songs that also play on the classic rock station, enough “pop” that I also hear on several other Top 40 stations- programming’s still an issue. Stale, predictable, shallow, & thin. I’m wondering what station will now get stuck doing the “mandatory metallica” segment… Any true rocker that travels with any regularity finds rock programming in other markets far superior to Houston’s bland selection of songs and bands. As for the possibility of Walton and Johnson? Maybe someone will tell them the weak signal won’t make it to Baton Rouge. Louisana is close enough for me to drive for myself in the event I care what’s going on there! Although there is a better rock station… Pat Fant’s earned his “props” for being a lifelong fan of the genre- but it’s been longer than forever since the station was decently programmed. Let’s hold our breath…

  7. Danny Klein says:

    This new station is not what it advertised the first day or so. Just a few days ago I heard a commercial saying this was the new home for metallica among other hard rock or metal bands. Everytime I tune in I hear what I can hear on 93.7. It is time for Houston radio to grow some balls like the rest of the world and play some music with edge. We have 94.5 for the younger rock crowd, 93.7 for the older rock crowd. What is being skipped over is us in our late 20s to early 40’s. 80s and early 90s metal or so called “arena rock”. Metallica, GnR, Motley Crue, ACDC, Ozzy, I can go on and on and on with bands no station in Houston will ever play during daylight hours….why?

  8. SG says:

    Thanks for the news about W&J. Had no idea they had a no-compete clause, and knowing this helps the stretch of not having them around. Hope they demanded huge money in return for such…especially on the heels of losing KLOL format.
    All the best.

  9. Bill Barty says:

    Backtalk needs to lose ‘the boner’ and add Chuck Savage as a regular.

  10. Gregor says:

    Kill that awful Dream “Doctor” and run Phil Hendry live!