Nocturnal Classical Fans: No More Requests Or Local Hosts For You

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Looking for a refreshing jolt of Rimsky-Korsakov to get you through that wee-hours cram session?

If you've been getting your fix through KUHF's overnight classical DJs, you are going to have to look elsewhere after the dust settles on the purchase of KTRU and KUHF's upcoming flip to NPR news and talk.

Richard Bonnin, executive director of media relations at UH's Office of University Communication, tells Rocks Off that locally-hosted overnight shows on KUHF will be a thing of the past.

Don't go looking for them KUHA, the phoenix rising from KTRU's ashes, either.

Bonnin says that KUHA - not KUHC, as it had originally been named - the new classical station that is set to replace Rice radio, will be automated from midnight to 6 a.m. (In case you're wondering, KUHA stands for University of Houston Arts.)

KUHF News 88.7 will be automated from midnight until 4 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 fielding our requests.

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."

The situation was little better on FM. KPFT carried on through to morning, and KTSU had a local Caribbean show. At around one 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) have 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 an FM memory, too. And I don't what I was thinking with that vodka and Red Bull. What a douche.

Oh well. At least it was Dubya's last inaugural.

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."

Follow Rocks Off on Facebook and on Twitter at @HPRocksOff.

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