New Year’s Eve is a suspiciously fertile time for radio stations to switch formats. Houstonians were reminded of this again in 2013, when Clear Channel flipped its 93.7 FM frequency from the classic-rock “Arrow” to a hip-hop “Beat.” Earlier this afternoon, CBS Radio pulled the plug on its rhythmic Top 40 outlet at 95.7 FM, known as “Hot 95.7,” and introduced “The Spot.” According to a CBS press release, the new Spot plans to program several decades of pop and rock hits that, not surprisingly, result from extensive market research.
“The station is designed for listeners who need a break from the everyday stresses of life and features the most popular artists of the time, including Michael Jackson, Aerosmith, Bon Jovi, Madonna, U2, Prince and many others,” the press release said.
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Added 95.7 Senior Vice President and Market Manager Sarah Frazier, “"We worked exhaustively to understand what Houston listeners were missing in the market from their local radio stations. Listeners told us they wanted their own spot to hear their favorite music hits, a spot to relax and energize at work and a spot to feel comfy and complete.”
Truthfully, this market is missing a lot more than another place to hear hit music from decades past – a quality modern-rock station, for one, or someone brave enough to go all in on Texas country/Americana – but the switch is at least consistent with the play-it-safe mentality that prevails on modern FM radio. And it's tough to be too mad at any station that wants to play more Prince, Michael Jackson and Duran Duran.