When Nationwide Communications acquired 96.5 KNRJ Houston from Emmis Broadcasting in late 1989, it knew it had its work cut out. Energy 96.5 was at the bottom of the ratings pack as the third CHR behind heavyweights 93Q and KRBE. Nationwide put Guy Zapolean, its corporate programming head to oversee the construction of a new format for the station. While conducting the market research, KNRJ flipped to a smokescreen Alternative Rock format in April 1990.
Finally on July 20, 1990, the finished product, KHMX “Mix 96.5” was launched. While nowadays a station debuting a Hot AC named “Mix” would draw a ho-hum response, KHMX was the prototype. The first AC station to focus on a rock based pop variety of songs from the 70’s and 80’s along with currents, “Mix 96.5” was the blueprint that every Hot AC follows to this day.
Aircheck courtesy of John Fernandez
Logos courtesy of RadioEmporium.net