Thursday, January 08, 2009

Maybe the same source?

Shooter, on KIKK's death:

KIKK was the right vehicle at the right time for Texas Country. A whole slew of events and a large cast of characters played a part in its demise. I'd have to say that Darren Davis (former Program Director) had a lot to do with it. I get that info from a couple of reliable sources.

I've a feeling I know who at least one of those reliable sources is. Said source dropped by this blog once when I was writing about KIKK before and left a comment about Mr. Davis to the very same effect. As for KIKK being the right vehicle, I'm not so sure about that. Hadn't the station already augered in long before they decided to make it the test bed for the Texas country format? Again, I'm just going what I've seen in Houston media, but from that it seemed to me that the killer for KIKK was when Westinghouse came in and blew everything up with firing all the deejays and flipping to the Young Country format. And yeah, I remember that one real well. "Young Country 95.7, All the hot young country without all the tired old stuff." And that pissed me smooth off every time I heard it, I kid you not. (It's worth asking if people like Bryan White or Neal McCoy really made any worthwhile contributions to the genre as opposed to being part of a passing fad...and regular readers probably know my answer to that already.) I wouldn't be surprised if that very thing destroyed KIKK's credibility in the eyes of many who vowed never to listen to KIKK again. Another thing that pissed me off, now that I think about it, is that it seems that Davis just tried that Texas-centric format as a last-ditch effort to keep the station from having to flip formats completely. Both the station and the music deserved better than that, especially in the state's largest radio market. I know that there's little if any chance of Houston ever getting a bad-ass radio station like what 99.5 the Wolf in Dallas was once upon a time. One never knows on down the road, but I don't know that KILT either needs or could survive such a rebranding of the station at this point that the Wolf took ten years ago, as it's still the top country station in the market and such a move would be pretty stupid. Still, though, I think it would have made for a much better vehicle for Texas music, even with the different approach that would be required with the realities of the Houston market. Texas and Nashville co-existed on 99.5 the Wolf in Dallas (and KSCS too, for that matter), and I don't see why they couldn't do the same on KILT. I think the suits are letting the experience with KIKK teach them the wrong lesson vis-a-vis to what extent Texas-alt country is viable on free terrestrial radio, but then I have been wrong before.