Thursday, June 30, 2011

Clear Channel Rebrands KTRH Houston

Lana Hughes and J.P. Pritchard Out In AM Drive

From station website

Lana Hughes and J.P. Pritchard are out of 740 AM KTRH after 27 years. And now the station drops the news front and goes with the talk moniker.
Hughes, Pritchard

Hughes and Pritchard, who have worked together at the station for 27 years and are members of the Texas Radio Hall of Fame, were informed of the changes after their morning shifts. Thursday was their last day on the air, and Houston‘s Morning News with Matt Patrick will debut Tuesday at 5 a.m. Former Denver talk show host Lois Melkonian will be the show’s news reader.

Pritchard, 63, said his departure from KTRH and the change in the morning newscast reflects the changing nature of radio.

“Lana and I both understood this was going to take place at some point,” he told David Barron at The Houston Chronicle. “It’s a trend. It’s not personal. It’s the way radio goes. Clear Channel has been very good to both of us. It’s the market forces, the way of the world.”

With a change in the morning show comes a change in direction for KTRH. No more NewsRadio 740 KTRH branding. Now the station is called NewsTalk 740. That's because the days of this station being a news station have been fading quickly over the last years, reports blogger Mike McGuff.    Clearly it is a conservative talk station now with no apologies.

"The move will reflect a new direction for the morning news, combining the informative news coverage KTRH listeners have grown accustomed to along with Patrick’s keen insight and commentary," Clear Channel said in a statement. "

Critical information and timely updates on traffic and weather will still be staples of the new show. The station lineup will remain the same after the morning show, with talk show hosts Glenn Beck, Rush Limbaugh, Sean Hannity, Michael Berry, and Mark Levin, followed by the overnight Coast to Coast. KTRH will continue to serve as the flagship of the Houston Astros."

"This is an exciting time for our station," said AM Operations Manager Bryan Erickson. "Like other forms of media, we have to continue to adapt. We have to serve our listeners by being informative and entertaining. Lana & JP are an institution in Houston, they are true professionals, and we, along with our listeners, will miss hearing their comforting voices every morning. We know our new show has big shoes to fill."

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