Written by: Craig Shelton
Let me begin this article by stating the obvious, THE GRAMMY AWARDS LAST NIGHT WERE IN A WORD "HORRIBLE"! Fortunately in Houston we have a platform to interact with each other and voice our thoughts from last night in a fimilar place, The Madd Hatta Morninhg Show on KBXX 979 The Box.
As Houston's urban leader in the hip hop and R&B, KBXX 97 9 The Box, continues to set the pace in the market. Therefore, I wanted to give some analysis into why 97 9 The Box continues to excel.
One component that has always stood out to me when I began studying @979TheBox and its approach to the imaging and marketing of their brand, is the manner and timeliness of how they react to community events and concerns. Rather it be inclement weather baring down on the city in the form of a winter freeze or the controversial behavior by local law enforcement, The Box is always with it's "ear to the streets" in a relevant manner.
@979TheBox has manifested its brand over the years into a credible information source for the community. Just as important, they've also become a critical platform for community leaders to get important information out to the community at large. Hidden behind the energy and humor on display with the Madd Hatta Morning Show and its diverse cast of players, is a collective social awareness that's built into the very fabric of the show. Its a crucial element that's appreciated by The Box listening base I can assure you.
FOLLOW THE LEADER?
|THE MADD HATTA MORNING SHOW CREW|
|CRAZY ASS JIMBO|
Jimbo is legendary for his comedic bits and in my opinion is only rivaled by Nephew Tommy of the Steve Harvey radio show, when it comes to prank phone calls. Jimbo's drunk ass, early morning preacher bits are in a word "hilarious" as I'm certain the "serpent tongued Nnete" will agree?
Sports talk radio listeners, try to imagine an infusion of "comedic blackness" into into the Sports Talk 790 morning show with Matt Jackson and Adam Wexler? Or perhaps a beautiful sister mixed into the Vandmereer & Lopez morning show on Sports Radio 610? It's clearly working with Jimbo at 97.9 The Box, meaning the inclusion of a non-core demo racial component cast member to a prime time show. It works folks, as 97.9 TheBox has provided the blueprint to success.
There's a popular saying in the hood: "A hard head, makes for a soft ass". Well, it's clear that Houston's sports talk radio program directors and GM's all seem to have "hard heads"? Judging from the collective ratings of all four of Houston's sports talk stations, they all have "soft asses" as well.
As of December 2010, accounting for ages 12 and older, 97 9 The Box recorded a 7.5 market share. By comparison Houston's sports talk stations recorded a 2.1 "combined" market share. In other words, if they were in direct competion with @979TheBox, they'd be run out of town by now.
TOO MANY JURASSIC THINKING "SHOT CALLERS" LOCALLY HAVE BEEN GETTING A FREE PASS. WELL, THAT'S OVER
|NOT ONLY ARE SPORTS TALK RADIO'S IMAGING & MARKETING RESUMES STUCK IN THE PAST, SO ARE THEIR HIRING PRACTICES AS WELL.|
|WOMEN & MINORITIES NEED NOT APPLY IN SPORTS TALK RADIO IN HOUSTON OR NATIONALY FOR THAT MATTER |
WE (HMW) HAVE THE NUMBERS
TO PROVE IT.
GET TO KNOW THE BLACK VOICE IN SPORTS TALK IN HOUSTON
|FORMER NY JET & HOUSTON TEXAN DB |
SPORTS BLOGGER. MARCUS IS AS A SPORTS TALK RADIO PERSONALITY OF A SOON TO BE ANNOUNCED NEW SHOW!
|JEROME SOLOMON / SPORTS WRITER-HOUSTON CHRONICLE|
|SPORTS EDITOR |
THE HOUSTON DEFENDER
HOUSTON MEDIA WATCH.COM
"I'M NOT A LOCAL 'LEGEND' LIKE BARRY WARNER, I'M JUST A LOCAL LESBIAN".
|FORMER HOUSTON TEXAN DL ND KALU |
(SPORTS RADIO 610)
ALL OF THESE GUYS ARE GREAT IN THEIR OWN FASHION, BUT THERE'S ONE SMALL PROBLEM?
There's only ONE full time African-American sport talk host on a sports talk station in Houston, Carl Dukes.
Carl Dukes is the drive time host on ESPN 97. 5 THE TICKET on the FM dial.
The legendary Ralph "The Godfather" Cooper (Coop) host Sports Rap on KCOH 1430AM. Coop has over 30 years of experience in radio and TV.
KCOH is a variety station, so it doesn't fall into the exclusive sports talk station brand.
If you were to combine the overall ratings from all four sports talk stations in Houston collectively, they do not make up half the rating's numbers of 97.9 The Box.
(the box - 7.5 / all four sports stations combined - 2.1) Not even half folks.
RECOMMENDATIONS TO SPORTS TALK FORMAT PROGRAM DIRECTORS & GMs
If I were Gavin Spittle (Sports Radio 610), John Granato (1560 The Game), Dave Tepper (ESPN 97.5), and Bryan Erickson (Sports Talk 790), I would do a careful case study of 97.9TheBox and see what learnings may be applicable to their interest with their station formats.
KBXX 97.9 The Box didn't just wake up one morning as an entrenched member of the local landscape. They worked hard over time to cultivate their relationship with the local community. 97.9 The Box is a household name in Houston in homes from Dead End (South Park for the hood-challenged) to the Woodlands i.e., "Burbs to tha Hood".
|"from tha burbs 2 tha hood"|
Most white 16-year old teens that are fans of the Texans or Rockets, all know of 97.9 The Box. Those same white teenage Texan and Rocket fans, likely couldn't tell you where to find Sports Radio 610, Sports Talk 790, or 1560 The Game on the AM dial.
I would bet that most 16 year old Texan or Rocket fans wouldn't believe a sports talk station (97. 5 ESPN The Ticket) was a couple of doors down the FM dial from their favorite hip hop & r&b station 97.9 The Box. Ask yourselves, why is this?
LEARNING FROM THE ENEMY?
While sports talk radio formats continue to fight over crumbs, KBXX 97.9 The Box continues to have growing success. The Box's increasing interactive activity with their listeners separates them even further apart from other music formats, not excluding the seemingly near dead sports talk radio format.
THE MARRAIGE OF MUSIC & SPORTS
|ON DISPLAY @ A BOX SPONSORED CAR SHOW|
Blacks respect Jimbo (a white man) and Nnete (a black woman), just as they respect Madd Hatta, JMac, and Rob G.
So tell me Mr. Sports Talk Radio GM/PD guy, do you respect the intelligence of your core demo of white males 25-54? I'm pretty certain they've all come in contact with black men and women at some point in they're lives, and I'm pretty sure that they all lived to tell about it, right?
WILL SOMEONE STEP UP TO THE PLATE & BE A LEAD OFF HITTER?
C'mon fellas, hire some damned black folks & women and let's move beyond this silly embarrassing "state of affairs" in our city. Surely one of you local PDs or GMs will be smart enough to take the lead; in fact I'll make a prediction:
Gavin seems to always outmaneuver the competition. I guess we'll see how this one plays out?
IN RECENT WEEKS I WAS CONTACTED BY A LOCAL NEWS STATION WHERE I WOULD HAVE HAD AN OPPORTUNITY TO ADDRESS THIS ISSUE.
I DID NOT RESPOND.
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