Although it has changed addresses on the radio dial a few times over the past several years, there is no denying that there has only ever been one true and authentic KCOH radio station in the city of Houston that people have embraced.
he historic and iconic radio station, that once called 5011 Almeda home for over 50 years, officially went off the airwaves in Houston back in 2015, after some tumultuous ownership challenges and a lack of financial support drove the legendary station off the air for good.
Since that time, faithful KCOH listeners have had to find other sources for their news and their radio fix, until now. After nearly a four year drought of being off the radio dial in Houston, a new owner has emerged to give the community back the voice it had longed for all this time.
Introducing to some and re-introducing to others: 1230 KCOH AM – “The Source.”
Now, although the iconic station is back on the airwaves under new ownership and has an entirely new physical address, they are still featuring many of the same legendary cast of characters that Houston has grown to love and appreciate over the past several decades.
The station boasts two inductees into the Texas Radio Hall of Fame: Don Samuel (2018) and Michael Harris (2019), as well as legendary sports broadcaster Ralph Cooper; Paris Eley and Amber Shaw.
And as Jake so eloquently stated, along with Elwood, in The Blues Brothers, they successfully got “the band back together” again at 1230 KCOH-“The Source” and these radio industry veterans are doing exactly what they have always done for the people of Houston – deliver quality content, talk and music that the community has grown to love and appreciate for decades.
“We are extremely grateful to our loyal listeners for their enthusiastic response to our return on the radio dial as 1230 KCOH AM – “The Source” and online at www.1230kcoh.com,” said program director and radio personality Paris Eley. “The lineage of KCOH disc jockeys is long and notable, which is why the unsolicited expressions of listeners’ hopes that we would return to the airwaves, makes this opportunity special. Now that it’s a reality, we hear from people daily, who tell us how happy they are to have the KCOH tradition restored for them and their families to fill a void that they have missed for the past several years.”
From a historical context, it is extremely important that everyone knows how we got here, as there has been a lot of confusion in the community about what happened to KCOH, and if KCOH actually still existed prior to the recent re-emergence of 1230 KCOH AM – “The Source.”
KCOH Radio originally had its home on 1430 AM, and they broadcasted from the Looking Glass Studios at 5011 Almeda, as well as on that same radio dial since launching in 1953.
Fast forward to 2013, it was a solemn day in the city of Houston after the community, radio personalities and staff were informed that they were being uprooted from the radio station. Tom Petrizzo announced that La Promesa Foundation had acquired the station from the estate of his dad, Michael Petrizzo. The station, 1430 KCOH Radio, was going away forever and despite several individuals, elected officials and entities maneuvering and protesting the sale of the station, there was nothing that could be done to prevent it from being sold.
After a failed attempt to acquire 1430 KCOH several years prior, it was announced that local businessman and minister, Dr. Jesse Dunn, had found a creative way to continue the format of the station by entering into a Lease Purchase Option agreement with Liberman Broadcasting, allowing him to keep the KCOH call letters and effectively move KCOH Radio to another radio dial at 1230 AM. Dr. Dunn announced that he had officially entered into an agreement to transfer the KCOH format over to the other station signal and would be able to continue delivering a new and improved listening experience to those same dedicated and loyal fans of KCOH. Dunn made several key internal business changes, but one of the critical decisions he made was retaining all of the original KCOH Radio heavyweights who made the station as popular as it was, such as Ralph Cooper, Don Sam and Michael Harris.
During his tenure as the owner, Dunn experienced many challenges, both financially and operationally, forcing him to have to sell his interest in the station in 2014 to local businessman and attorney Ben Hall, with the hopes that the move would help grow, strengthen and provide long-term sustainability to KCOH Radio on traditional radio. That did not happen, however.
Hall took over the Lease Purchase Option from Dunn, but never officially purchased the 1230 AM radio station from Liberman Broadcasting. Liberman Broadcasting eventually discontinued their contractual lease agreement with KCOH Radio to broadcast on their radio dial, and they took KCOH Radio off traditional radio for good. Hall converted the station to an FM HD radio format, but the traditional radio format was what KCOH Radio listeners had grown accustomed to. Now, after nearly four years, KCOH Radio is back and better than ever.
KCOH Radio has been a crown jewel within the community since 1953 and has been a source of information and inspiration to its listeners for over 60 years. The significance of KCOH Radio goes beyond its years of existence. The letters KCOH have been synonymous with reliable and candid radio talk, as well as enjoyable music listening for the entire community.
With veteran hosts such as Michael Harris, Don Sam, Ralph Cooper, Paris Eley and Amber Shaw, the insatiable appetite of devoted KCOH listeners have been satisfied and their thirst has been quenched. Through all of the changes and challenges, KCOH remains a strong brand in the community and appears positioned for even greater growth with the support of the community and the advertisers.
It will truly take the community to make sure KCOH is around for decades to come.