January 17, 2017

Classic Old School Hip Hop Radio is Dead, Houston Has a Problem!

Over the past few months Classic Hip Hop format has been killed off in Houston and St. Louis. In Philadelphia it has been tweaked to play very little Classic Hip Hop. So what happened? Back in 2014, Houston's BOOM 92.1 garnered historic ratings (it tripled its ratings) and kicked off the BOOM format changed in many cities. Large media companies (Radio One, iHeart, and others) soon initiated copycat formats across the country. In Atlanta, the BOOM station met direct competition with a station called OG 97.9. In New York, Radio 103.9, goes Boom Box format on the weekends. It's the reason Reach Media developed The Ed Lover Morning Show with Monie Love into syndication. However like Jammin' Oldies from years ago, Classic Hip Hop just doesn't seem to have the legs to sustain itself in the long run. The success enjoyed in Houston has not been duplicated in any other market. In that city the previous unsuccessful formats at 92.1 FM were Gospel, then All-News, and finally Sports Radio.

Perhaps there are several reasons the novelty, the "WOW" factor, soon lost its appeal to many listeners. (The ratings for Boom 92 were dismal at the time of the format change. That along with the lost of the Hot AC format at another Houston radio station triggered the change.) Playing the right songs at the right time on any type of classic or oldies radio station takes a talented programmer who needs to know the market not just an algorithm. Listeners were no longer buying in and grabbing hold of the format.
Maybe that upload to the computer that was responsible for more than a few repeats ("I can't believe they are playing that song again") often plagued the format and wore on listeners. What plays in Houston doesn't necessarily play well in St. Louis. After listening to some of the BOOM stations, the Throwback Hip Hop music the stations were playing, were songs that never really were mega hits when they were first released in the 90's. Many times listeners must have been saying' "What's this song?"

One other factor is this new "Throwbacks" imaging that many Urban and Urban AC stations are using. Every city that has an Urban and Urban AC station is using it. So for listeners, they can hear their throwbacks on the weekend, or during the 5 o'clock traffic mix, or sprinkled in somewhere during the day. So there is no need to turn to a station that just plays Classic Hip Hop.

Now that brings us to Houston. The city that spawned the resurgent popularity of Old School/Classic Hip Hop. For some the replacement station Radio Now 92.1 has disappointed many...

Houston mourns the lost of it's BELOVED BOOM 92.1 in not one, but two posts below.

The story of Boom 92′s introduction to Houston has become something of a radio legend: The week the new “classic hip-hop” format replaced the old News 92 format on KROI, it played nothing but Beyoncé songs for seven days straight. That was early October 2014.

Today, a few days into 2017, Boom 92′s short life has come to an ignominious end, replaced with little fanfare this evening at 6 p.m. by Radio Now, the type of bog-standard Top 40 format Houston [listen] has half-heartedly listened to in oil change waiting rooms for years. At the time of this writing, a Zayn Malik song featuring Taylor Swift is playing on the dial at 92.1 FM, one of the city’s few radio stations that had been Swift-free for the past two years.

The novel format of playing classic hip-hop tunes was pioneered here in Houston by Radio One, which operates 54 other stations across 16 markets. Boom 92 was so well-received, even past its original week-of-Beyoncé stunt, that KROI’s once-low Nielsen ratings tripled. Soon, an eager Radio One introduced the classic hip-hop format to its affiliates in Dallas, Atlanta and Philadelphia while other stations around the country noticed and quickly followed suit. [Read more...] from Houstonia Mag article Boom 92.1 Is Dead, Replaced by Radio Now

The nation’s very first classic hip-hop format, better known to local music lovers as Boom 92, departed Houston’s airwaves on January 6, 2017, at the tender age of two years old. I was out making a Target run the evening it happened. When I returned to the car a few minutes after 6 p.m. and turned on the radio, a newer song—definitely not classic or hip-hop—was blasting out from my car stereo. Was I listening to the right station? I asked myself. I hadn’t changed the dial before I’d gone into Target. I even went as far as to look up the song on the Genius app to see what year it had been released.

Coming up short on answers as to why this Calvin Harris (feat. Rihanna) song was on Boom 92, I did some Googling, and to my great dismay, I came across the news that was quickly spreading across the Internet: Boom 92 was no more and classic hip-hop was no longer welcome in the city of Houston, even though many Houston classics were played on this very station. [Read more...] from Houstonia Mag article Boom 92.1: A Eulogy

1 comment:

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