Locally hosted overnight shows on KUHF will soon be a thing of the past, and don't go looking for them on KUHA, the phoenix rising from KTRU's ashes, either, confirms Richard Bonnin, executive director of media relations at UH's Office of University Communication.
Bonnin tells Hair Balls that KUHA, the new classical station that is set to replace Rice radio, will be automated from midnight to six a.m.
KUHF News 88.7 will be automated from midnight until four a.m.
The format flips for the two frequencies will go into effect on final closing of KTRU's contract of sale.
So not only will our airwaves be deprived of dozy, possibly drunk, Rice undergrads mumbling out who played what 45 minutes ago, we are also about to lose those velvet-voiced classical DJs taking your request for that lifegiving jolt of Stravinsky at 3 a.m.
In the wee hours, they will be just another couple of robot stations on the dial.
As if we didn't have enough of those already...
Six years ago, we checked in to the Elvis Presley Suite in Grant's Palm Court Inn on South Main armed with a jambox, a stack of Antone's po' boys, a fifth of vodka and some Red Bull, and listened to Houston radio for 24 hours straight, changing the station every three minutes. It was Inauguration Day for Dubya's second term.
As the wee hours rolled past, we noted how precious few real, local humans were on the dial. Save for KCOH, overnight AM was "a wasteland of preselected music and syndicated yakkers of the sports, conservative and, in George Noory's case, raving-monster-loony varieties."
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The situation was little better on FM. KPFT carried on through to morning, and KTSU had a local Caribbean show. At around 1 a.m., KTRU flipped from Scott Walcott's local music show to syndicated international news programming. (As I recall, on other nights, they carried on around the clock with music.) I didn't mention it in the article, but KUHF did have a local DJ spinning the classical hits and taking requests.
A lot has changed since then. Grant's Palm Court (and the Elvis Suite) has been razed and replaced by a strip mall. The South Main Antone's is gone and real-deal po'boys are harder to find than ever. KCOH now signs off at midnight, and KTRU is now a memory, too. And I don't know what I was thinking with that vodka and Red Bull. What a douche.
Oh well. At least it was Dubya's last inaugural. And that Antone's became a Frenchy's.
And now only KTSU and KPFT will be local around the clock. As I put it in the linked story, "Outside my window, a heavy fog envelops South Main, much like the one in my head."