It is all Beyoncé songs 24/7 for one radio station in Houston where the singer is proving once and for all who rules radio. Fans of the diva pop star will find no shortage of head-bopping tunes from their favorite solo artist when they tune to News 92 FM. The radio station, which was Houston’s first all-news station to hit the airways, closed Wednesday morning after conducting their last traffic report. The report ended and News 92 was officially over and immediately transitioned right into Beyoncé’s Flawless album, shutting down the radio station.
The all-news station launched back in 2011 as an experiment in listener popularity and although it was able to build a solid following of fans as well as a seasoned staff of journalists, they felt they were not in a successful position with the business and decided to pull the plug. In doing so, the station had to lay off 47 people. They made a statement announcing to employees and listeners on local television news channel ABC 13 citing as the reason for the decision low ratings and “significant financial losses.” Though no information is given regarding why the station chose to rebrand their playlist solely with Beyoncé tunes, Yashima Azilove, a representative for Radio One said that after the decision to shut down the station was made, they decided to stick to what they knew. Azilove stated that the company is well-versed in “urban radio” so they felt the idea would work better for them than an all-news format.
The fact that Beyoncé’s hometown is Houston supports the idea of selecting her as the main attraction for their new radio format. The station is breaking radio rules by shuffling songs from all five albums and even though they do not fill 24 hours of airtime, fans will most likely not feel the need to complain about hearing their favorite artist on repeat. For some reason, it was decided that only the singer’s solo songs would be played on air at this time, leaving out original fan base members who may have been partial to her days as lead singer of Destiny’s Child. In addition to opting to solely play Beyoncé songs, they are doing so without the support of radio advertising. This may lead them to someday gain recognition from the star herself plus, if marketed effectively, the station could consider making their new sound more modernly inclusive by blending in the use social media and streaming live broadcasts or updates from the artist herself.
In the announcement released by the station, they thanked the staff and previous advertisers for their time and service. The brief yet informative statement conveyed the remorse of the station for having to close but focused on the positive aspects of the life of the station during its three-year term. The statement closed with a positive note saying that, together “we made history.” Though there may be sadness about the end of the radio station’s era, there is bound to be rejoicing over its new format decision. It is likely, however, that the shift will be a temporary transition into a new radio format but, in the meantime, creativity rules their potential to boost their position in the local radio market with its new 24/7 Beyoncé marathon.
by Bridgette Bryant
Photo by Hot Gossip Italia – Flickr License