From October 15, 1986, the station changed call letters to KKHT, and the hard rock-oriented format was replaced by a contemporary hit radio format known as Hit 96.5. By mid-1987, heavy competition from top 40 powerhouses KKBQ and KRBE prompted the station to morph to Adult Contemporary. The station rebranded as 96.5 KKHT
From 1989, the station changed call letters to KNRJ, modifying its format to feature a heavier variety of "high-energy" dance music. This format, branded Energy 96.5, was a competitive response to two other local stations, 93Q KKBQ and Power 104 KRBE, whose Top 40 formats reflected the increasing presence of dance club-oriented tracks (catering to a then-lucrative target audience drawn to the flourishing night club scenes along Richmond Ave., and inner Westheimer Road.). These competitors featured late-night, weekend live-to-air from local dance clubs (e.g., Club 6400, The Ocean Club), where in-house DJs drew heavily from libraries of imported and small-label, extended-length modern tracks (which otherwise were seldom, if ever, heard on most commercial stations); by early 1990, KNRJ had partnered with the Tower Theater's Decadance to host its own weekend, late-night live broadcast.
In early June 1990, during a morning talk show segment, the host personalities announced that Energy 96.5 would switch to an Alternative Rock format. The Alternative 96.5 re-brand was a transitional format, lasting roughly six weeks, and was promoted while a forthcoming format -- under a strategic decision by the station's owner, Nationwide Communications, Inc. -- was under preparation. A weekly play list, under an Alternative 96.5 makeshift letterhead, was distributed to local retail and media outlets, culminating on July 17, 1990.
At 07:00 CDT, July 20, the countdown concluded, and a "roll call" by a fictitious "teacher" called out the names of program directors from other Houston radio stations. This "teacher" asked the class to start their tape recorders and take notes as this "lecture" was to begin. The show hosts premiered KHMX-FM's call letters with the "Mix 96.5" air check. Mix 96.5's first song, Steve Winwood's "Roll with It", was followed by Taylor Dayne's "I'll Be Your Shelter". Both tracks confirmed the sharp departure from preceding station formats.
KHMX was broadcast nationwide on XM Satellite Radio from 2001 to the end of 2003, as a radio superstation similar to television satellite superstations such as Superstation WGN. In 2004, all XM music channels went commercial free, and KHMX was replaced with a unique-to-XM Mix channel, retaining the same format. Since then, Clear Channel has regained the right to air commercials on their XM music channels. Mix now carries commercials, but is still exclusive to XM. It has also since changed formats to adult hits.
CBS RADIO to Swap Five Mid-Size Market Stations for Two Large Market Stations With Clear Channel Communications.
Dec 30, 2008; CBS RADIO announced it has signed a definitive agreement with Clear Channel Communications, Inc. to swap five mid-size market...