KPRC
KPRC LOGO 9-3-2019.jpg
Broadcast areaGreater Houston
Frequency950 kHz
BrandingKPRC 950 AM
Programming
FormatTalk radio
NetworkFox News Radio
Affiliations
Ownership
Owner
KBME, KODA, KQBT, KTBZ-FM, KTRH, KXYZ
History
First air date
May 9, 1925;
97 years ago
 (1925-05-09)
Call sign meaning
Technical information
Facility ID9644
ClassB
Power5,000 watts
Transmitter coordinates
29°48′19″N 95°16′43″W / 29.80528°N 95.27861°W / 29.80528; -95.27861
Repeater(s)94.5 KTBZ-HD3 (Houston)
Links
WebcastListen live (via iHeartRadio)
Websitekprcradio.iheart.com

KPRC (950 kHz) is a broadcast radio station in the United States. Licensed to Houston, Texas, KPRC has a talk radio format and is owned by iHeartMedia. A Fox News Radio affiliate, KPRC broadcasts mostly conservative talk radio shows and originates Walton & Johnson and The Jesse Kelly Show. Additionally, KPRC broadcasts University of Houston sports.

KPRC first signed on in 1925 as the radio station of the Houston Post-Dispatch. For much of its history, KPRC was a full service station featuring news, music, sports and entertainment. After decades of being a MOR music station for much of the 1970s, KPRC became a full-time news and talk station in 1977. The station was owned by the family of Houston Post-Dispatch founder William P. Hobby before being sold to Sunbelt Broadcasting, a company partially owned by Dan Patrick, in 1992. Sunbelt then sold KPRC to Clear Channel Communications (now iHeartMedia) in 1995.

History

Early history (1923–1941)

In 1923, Houston Post-Dispatch owner Ross S. Sterling met Alfred P. Daniel, a radio instructor at a Houston YMCA whose students included Sterling's son Ross Sterling Jr. The elder Sterling and Daniel discussed starting a new radio station affiliated with the Post-Dispatch. William P. Hobby, president and publisher of the Post-Dispatch, asked Sterling to launch the radio station.[1]

Before a 500 watt Westinghouse Electric transmitter arrived in Houston, Sterling Jr. died. In 1925, when the World Advertising Convention was to be held in Houston featuring U.S. Commerce Secretary Herbert Hoover, Daniel again talked to Sterling Sr. about the radio station idea. Sterling agreed, and the radio station was created in three weeks.[2] On May 9, 1925, their radio station KPRC signed on at 1010 kHz and 500 watts of power, with Daniel as the station's first announcer and program director. Guests on the opening broadcast included William P. Hobby, Texas poet laureate Judd Mortimer Lewis, and the First Garrison Band of Mexico.[2] The call signs stood for "Kotton Port Rail Center", a reference to the cotton trade.[1]

Broadcasting from the "Skyline Studios" at the 22-story Houston Post-Dispatch building in downtown Houston, KPRC featured daily live music and a daily children's storytelling show hosted by Lewis, Uncle Judd's Kiddies' Hour.[3][4]

In 1927, it interrupted its scheduled programming to give out dispatches for the Houston Police Department.[5] That year, KPRC moved from 1010 to 920 kHz.[6]: 3 [7] Tex Ritter had a Saturday show on KPRC in the late 1920s singing original country ballads.[8]

KPRC co-founded the Texas Quality Network (TQN) in 1934 with three of the other top radio stations in Texas: WBAP in Fort Worth, WFAA in Dallas, and WOAI in San Antonio.[9][10] Connecting the four stations by telephone line, TQN enabled them to make simultaneous broadcasts of the same program. The four stations also provided over 100 kW of power combined at night.[9] TQN featured sports and music programs sponsored by various local businesses, for instance football games sponsored by Humble Oil and The Light Crust Doughboys, a country music show.[11] By 1935, KPRC became a member of the NBC Radio Network.[12]

KPRC increased its power tenfold to 5 kW in 1936. Then in 1937, KPRC and KTRH co-installed what was the second transmitter in the world that could send waves from two stations at the same time.[9]

Move to 950 kHz, additions of FM and TV stations (1941–1958)

KPRC moved to its current frequency of 950 kHz on May 22, 1941, under the terms of the North American Regional Broadcasting Agreement (NARBA).[6]: 9  The Houston Post later expanded into FM radio and television, starting with founding KPRC-FM in 1946.[13][14] In 1950, the Houston Post purchased KLEE-TV and renamed it KPRC-TV.[15]

Construction began in 1952 for a new $400,000 facility for operating the KPRC AM, FM, and TV stations.[16]

Sale of FM station, MOR format (1958–1977)

The Houston Post sold KPRC-FM in 1958.[17]

In the 1960s and much of the 1970s, KPRC had an middle of the road (MOR) music format.[18][19] A 1966 advertisement claimed that the station had the largest news staff of any Houston radio station and 20 billboards that had lights connected by telephone lines to its newsroom. The billboard lights shined when KPRC had news broadcasts.[18]

During Hurricane Carla in September 1961, KPRC AM and TV broadcast live coverage for 113 straight hours, starting three days before the hurricane reached land; KPRC AM was the flagship station among nearly 40 affiliates of the Gulf Coast Hurricane Warning Network.[20]

In 1962, KPRC broadcast the inaugural season of the Houston Colt .45s, a new Major League Baseball team.[21] When the Colt .45s became the Houston Astros in 1965, KPRC continued broadcasting the games, with Gene Elston and Loel Passe hired as announcers.[22] Other sports programming in the 1960s included University of Houston basketball, Rice University basketball, and Southwest Conference football.[23][24]

Billboard magazine's Radio Response Ratings survey in April 1965 found that KPRC had the highest ratings among stations that played pop standards albums, in all time slots from morning to late evening.[23] The strong ratings continued into 1966, when KPRC began adding comedy shows and jazz music.[24]

The KPRC TV and AM stations moved to a new $3.2 million, 86,000 square foot facility on March 22, 1972. Former U.S. President Lyndon B. Johnson visited the dedication ceremony that day.[25]

In the spring 1976 Arbitron survey, KPRC ranked tenth in the Houston/Galveston market with an average 15,100 listeners per week.[26] Having reduced music programming in recent years, KPRC changed its programming in 1976 to have talk shows during the day and music in evenings.[27]

Change from music to talk, final years under Hobby ownership (1977–1992)

Beginning in 1977, KPRC dropped music and changed to a news/talk station. KPRC showed improvement in the spring 1977 Arbitron ratings from a year ago, this time averaging 17,200 listeners per week and ranking eighth in Houston/Galveston.[28]

In 1979, KPRC hired Anita Martini as sports director. She was reportedly the first woman to become a radio sports director in a major media market.[29]

KPRC's final season broadcasting Houston Astros games was in 1980.[30] The Astros broadcasting rights moved to KENR in 1981.[31]

In 1983, the Hobby family corporation was renamed H&C Communications, and it sold the Houston Post to the Toronto Sun Publishing Corporation.[32][33][34]

After decades of being affiliated with NBC, KPRC changed to the CBS Radio network in February 1988.[35]

Ten years after the last game broadcast on KPRC, the Houston Astros signed a new contract with KPRC in November 1990 following a mutual agreement with previous station KTRH to end their contract one year early.[36]

Further sales, shift to conservative talk (1992–present)

KPRC and sister station KSEV were branded together as "SuperTalk" for much of the 1990s.
KPRC and sister station KSEV were branded together as "SuperTalk" for much of the 1990s.

In October 1992, H&C Communications announced the sale of KPRC AM to Sunbelt Broadcasting Company for $3.5 million, with the sale being finalized in February 1993.[37][38] With that acquisition, former KHOU sports director Dan Patrick became general manager and part-owner of both KPRC and sister station KSEV.[37][39] He had his own talk show on KPRC until 2000.[39][40]

KPRC had been declining in the ratings leading up to the purchase by Sunbelt, ranked 16th in the Houston/Galveston market in fall 1992. Following the sale closing, in an effort to make the two stations more competitive against KTRH, Patrick announced changes to the KPRC and KSEV schedules to focus on conservative talk radio effective April 5, 1993. Branded as "Supertalk Radio", both stations would simulcast The Rush Limbaugh Show; KPRC also added commentary segments by Paul Harvey and Jim Hightower and a sports talk show co-hosted by Houston Chronicle columnist Ed Fowler and play-by-play announcer John O'Reilly, Sports Page.[41][42]

Then in March 1994, Patrick hired former Houston mayor Kathy Whitmire, a Democrat, to host a nightly show. Patrick commented: "Whitmire will lend some balance. She's a liberal-to-moderate Democrat, and I think to have a female liberal Democrat on the air will be neat."[43] That show would be short lived. In July, Whitmire accepted an offer to become president and CEO of Junior Achievement effective September 6.[44]

Sunbelt, in turn, sold KPRC and KSEV to Clear Channel Communications in 1995 for a combined $26.8 million, ending nearly 70 years of local ownership for KPRC.[45][46]

Beginning around December 1998, KPRC hired former Apollo 7 astronaut Walter Cunningham to host a nightly 8 p.m. show, Liftoff to Logic.[47][48]

On August 29, 2000, Patrick resigned from KPRC after seven years as general manager and talk show host.[49] KPRC subsequently added The Dr. Laura Program.[50]

KPRC was branded "Talk Radio 950 KPRC" from 2001 to 2007.
KPRC was branded "Talk Radio 950 KPRC" from 2001 to 2007.

In March 2001, KPRC re-branded as "Talk Radio 950 KPRC".[51] That month, Chris Baker joined as a new afternoon drive host.[52] In another programming change, Ian Punnett replaced Cunningham as 8 p.m. host around February 2001.[53]

Baker moved to sister station KTRH effective November 15, 2004.[54]

Logo of KPRC's previous "The 9-5-0 Radio Mojo" brand used from 2007 to 2013.
Logo of KPRC's previous "The 9-5-0 Radio Mojo" brand used from 2007 to 2013.

On July 30, 2007, KPRC became the new flagship station for the Walton & Johnson morning show, which moved from Cumulus Media's Houston rock station KIOL.[55][56] Beginning August 2007, KPRC rebranded as "The 9-5-0 Radio Mojo", with Chris Baker returning to supplement his other show on KTRH and nationally syndicated shows including The Dave Ramsey Show, Mancow, and The Phil Hendrie Show.[57][55]

Previous KPRC logo from 2013 to 2019.
Previous KPRC logo from 2013 to 2019.

On March 17, 2013, KPRC dropped the Radio Mojo brand and became known as "KPRC AM 950, Houston's More Stimulating Talk Radio".[58]

On July 28, 2014, KPRC signed a contract to broadcast University of Houston football and men's basketball.[59] KPRC and the University of Houston renewed their contract in August 2020.[60]

Programming and operations

Most hours begin with national news from Fox News Radio.[61] On weekdays, KPRC broadcasts locally and nationally produced talk shows. KPRC is the originating station for two nationally syndicated shows, Walton & Johnson and The Jesse Kelly Show[56][62][63]s National programming on weekdays includes the Glenn Beck Radio Program and Coast to Coast AM.[62] On weekends, KPRC has mostly brokered time programs purchased by local businesses.[64] KPRC also broadcasts local sports, specifically Houston Cougars football and Houston Cougars men's basketball games from the University of Houston.[60]

The station's studios are located near the West Loop Freeway in Uptown Houston.[65]

KPRC transmits with 5,000 watts. At night, to protect other stations on 950 AM, it uses a directional antenna. The transmitter site is located off the North Interstate 610 Loop and Liberty Road in the Settegast neighborhood on the northeast side.[66]

References

Works cited
Notes
  1. ^ a b Schroeder 1998, p. 39.
  2. ^ a b Schroeder 1998, pp. 39–40.
  3. ^ Schroeder 1998, p. 40.
  4. ^ "Kotton Port Rail Center [advertisement circa 1925]" (PDF). KPRC Radio. Retrieved December 24, 2022 – via National Radio Club.
  5. ^ Johnson, Thomas A. "A History of the Houston Police Department" (PDF). Houston Police Department. p. 4. Retrieved December 24, 2022 – via U.S. Department of Education.
  6. ^ a b "KPRC (AM) history cards". FCC. Retrieved December 24, 2022.
  7. ^ Schroeder 1998, p. 61.
  8. ^ "Law's Loss Is Country's Gain". Billboard. Vol. 80, no. 49. December 7, 1968. p. 43. Retrieved December 25, 2022 – via Google Books.
  9. ^ a b c "Radio". Handbook of Texas. Texas State Historical Association. December 10, 2016. Retrieved December 24, 2022.
  10. ^ Schroeder 1998, pp. 95–100.
  11. ^ Schroeder 1998, pp. 96–99.
  12. ^ Broadcasting 1935 Yearbook (PDF). Washington: Broadcasting Publications. p. 58. Retrieved December 25, 2022 – via World Radio History.
  13. ^ "142 FM Stations Operating in 33 States" (PDF). Broadcasting-Telecasting. Vol. 32, no. 3. January 20, 1947. p. 42. Retrieved December 24, 2022 – via World Radio History.
  14. ^ "FCC Actions" (PDF). Broadcasting-Telecasting. Vol. 31, no. 18. November 4, 1946. p. 76. Retrieved December 24, 2022 – via World Radio History.
  15. ^ Schroeder 1998, p. 172.
  16. ^ "KPRC Center Will Cost $400,000" (PDF). Broadcasting-Telecasting. Vol. 42, no. 18. May 5, 1952. p. 56. Retrieved December 24, 2022 – via World Radio History.
  17. ^ "Three Sales Filed at FCC" (PDF). Broadcasting. Vol. 55, no. 14. October 6, 1958. p. 10. Retrieved December 24, 2022 – via World Radio History.
  18. ^ a b 1966 Broadcasting Yearbook (PDF). Washington: Broadcasting Publications. 1966. p. B-149 – via World Radio History.
  19. ^ 1976 Broadcasting Yearbook (PDF). Washington: Broadcasting Publications. p. C-195. Retrieved December 24, 2022 – via World Radio History.
  20. ^ "Radio-tv keeps date with Hurricane Carla" (PDF). Broadcasting. Vol. 61, no. 12. September 18, 1961. pp. 60–61. Retrieved December 25, 2022 – via World Radio History.
  21. ^ "Baseball broadcast billings $83 million" (PDF). Broadcasting. Vol. 62, no. 10. March 5, 1962. p. 42. Retrieved December 25, 2022 – via World Radio History.
  22. ^ "Majors get $25 million for '65 rights" (PDF). Broadcasting. Vol. 68, no. 9. March 1, 1965. p. 49. Retrieved December 25, 2022 – via World Radio History.
  23. ^ a b "Radio Response Rating". Billboard. Vol. 77, no. 17. April 24, 1965. p. 24. Retrieved December 25, 2022 – via Google Books.
  24. ^ a b "Laughing It Up Programming Makes KPRC Tops in Pop sLP's". Billboard. Vol. 78, no. 10. March 5, 1966. pp. 20, 24, 26. Retrieved December 25, 2022 – via Google Books.
  25. ^ "Johnson lauds KPRC-TV, television in general" (PDF). Broadcasting. Vol. 82, no. 13. March 27, 1972. p. 40. Retrieved December 24, 2022 – via World Radio History.
  26. ^ "The top 25 formats in radio" (PDF). Broadcasting. Vol. 91, no. 13. September 27, 1976. pp. 45–46. Retrieved December 24, 2022 – via World Radio History.
  27. ^ "Mediatrix Market Profile: Houston" (PDF). 1987. Retrieved December 25, 2022 – via World Radio History.
  28. ^ "The Many Worlds of Radio 1977" (PDF). Broadcasting. Vol. 93, no. 4. July 25, 1977. pp. 64–66. Retrieved December 24, 2022 – via World Radio History.
  29. ^ "Getting Better Ratings At News/Talk Stations" (PDF). Radio & Records. November 23, 1979. p. 6. Retrieved December 25, 2022 – via World Radio History.
  30. ^ "Baseball! Rights go out of the park" (PDF). Broadcasting. Vol. 98, no. 10. March 10, 1980. p. 36. Retrieved December 25, 2022 – via World Radio History.
  31. ^ "Baseball 1981" (PDF). Broadcasting. Vol. 100, no. 9. March 2, 1981. p. 50. Retrieved December 25, 2022 – via World Radio History.
  32. ^ Hamilton, Martha M. (July 20, 1983). "Houston Post Put Up for Sale". The Washington Post. Retrieved December 25, 2022.
  33. ^ "Toronto Sun will acquire Houston Post Co". UPI. October 17, 1983. Retrieved December 25, 2022.
  34. ^ "KPRC Radio Promotional Film (1958)". Texas Archive. Retrieved December 25, 2022. Under "More Information" section: "Following the sale of the Houston Post in 1983, the family reorganized their broadcast holdings as H&C Communications."
  35. ^ "CBS signing" (PDF). Broadcasting. Vol. 114, no. 7. February 15, 1988. p. 126. Retrieved December 25, 2022 – via World Radio History.
  36. ^ Blount, Terry (November 27, 1990). "Radio contracts resolve Astros-Rockets conflict". Houston Chronicle. Retrieved December 25, 2022 – via Newslibrary.
  37. ^ a b Parks, Louis B. (October 23, 1992). "KSEV owner buys KPRC". Houston Chronicle. Retrieved December 25, 2022 – via Newslibrary.
  38. ^ "Station Trading" (PDF). Broadcasting. Vol. 123, no. 6. February 8, 1993. p. 47. Retrieved December 25, 2022 – via World Radio History.
  39. ^ a b "Dan Patrick". SuperTalk 950 KPRC. Archived from the original on January 8, 2001. Retrieved December 25, 2022.
  40. ^ "Program Schedule". SuperTalk KPRC and KSEV. Archived from the original on August 15, 2000. Retrieved December 26, 2022.
  41. ^ Parks, Louis B. (February 26, 1993). "KSEV, KPRC take conservative route". Houston Chronicle. Retrieved December 25, 2022 – via Newslibrary.
  42. ^ Blount, Terry (August 11, 1993). "Fowler talk show switching to KPRC". Houston Chronicle. Retrieved December 25, 2022 – via Newslibrary.
  43. ^ "A new career move/Former mayor Whitmire to host radio talk show". Houston Chronicle. March 11, 1994. Retrieved December 25, 2022 – via Newslibrary.
  44. ^ "Whitmire to Leave RIPA for Junior Achievement Presidency". Rice University. July 27, 1994. Retrieved December 26, 2022.
  45. ^ "Station Trading" (PDF). Broadcasting. Vol. 125, no. 9. February 27, 1995. p. 44. Retrieved December 25, 2022 – via World Radio History.
  46. ^ Hassell, Greg (October 19, 1994). "Radio stations KPRC, KSEV sold". Houston Chronicle. Retrieved December 25, 2022 – via Newslibrary.
  47. ^ "Programming Line-Up". December 8, 1998. Archived from the original on January 17, 1999. Retrieved December 26, 2022.
  48. ^ "Walt Cunningham". KPRC. Archived from the original on August 16, 2000. Retrieved December 26, 2022.
  49. ^ McDaniel, Mike (August 31, 2000). "Dan Patrick makes 'a clean break' with radio station". Houston Chronicle. Retrieved December 26, 2022.
  50. ^ "Program Schedule". KPRC. Archived from the original on October 11, 2000. Retrieved December 26, 2022.
  51. ^ "TALKRADIO 950 KPRC". Talkradio 950 KPRC. Archived from the original on March 2, 2001. Retrieved December 26, 2022.
  52. ^ Connelly, Richard (March 29, 2001). "Right-Wing Revolt". Houston Press. Archived from the original on August 19, 2004. Retrieved December 26, 2022.
  53. ^ "Program Schedule". KPRC. Archived from the original on February 3, 2001. Retrieved December 26, 2022.
  54. ^ Pugh, Clifford (November 10, 2004). "Baker, Duncan head to KTRH in lineup change". Houston Chronicle. Archived from the original on November 13, 2004. Retrieved December 26, 2022.
  55. ^ a b "Walton & Johnson Make New Home at 'Radio Mojo' KPRC". All Access. July 23, 2007. Retrieved December 28, 2021.
  56. ^ a b Guy, Andrew Jr. (August 1, 2007). "KIOL's Walton, Johnson swap stations". Houston Chronicle. Retrieved December 28, 2021.
  57. ^ "Broadcast Schedule". The 9-5-0 Radio Mojo. Archived from the original on August 4, 2007. Retrieved December 28, 2021.
  58. ^ Venta, Lance (March 18, 2013). "KPRC Houston Rebrands". Radio Insight. Retrieved December 28, 2021.
  59. ^ "KPRC To Air University Of Houston Football, Men's Basketball". All Access. July 29, 2014. Retrieved December 28, 2021.
  60. ^ a b "KPRC/Houston Extends Deal To Air U. Of Houston Cougars Football, Men's Basketball". All Access. August 6, 2020. Retrieved December 28, 2021.
  61. ^ "Station Finder". Fox News Radio. Retrieved December 25, 2022. Select Texas under "State" and "5 Minute News" under "Show" in drop-down menus.
  62. ^ a b "On-Air Schedule [Tuesday]". KPRC AM 950. Retrieved December 25, 2022.
  63. ^ "Key Networks Launches Jesse Kelly Into Syndication". All Access. February 20, 2020. Retrieved December 25, 2022.
  64. ^ "On Air Schedule [Saturday]". KPRC AM 950. Retrieved December 25, 2022.
  65. ^ "Contact". KPRC AM 950. Retrieved December 25, 2022.
  66. ^ Radio-Locator.com/KPRC