Editor’s note: This article was originally published July 30, 2013
It’s time to get your groove on, Austin.
A new radio station, RnB 96.3, signed on the air this week, delivering round-the-clock R&B tunes.
It replaces a simulcast of talk radio station 1370 KJCE-AM that previously aired on 96.3 FM, a low-power frequency that, even after a recent power boost, reaches much – but not all – of the Austin area.
Entercom, the station’s owner, launched the station to fill a gap executives believe exists on Austin’s radio dial, according to Alan Kirshbom, vice president and market manager for the company’s Austin stations.
“We’re launching 96.3 RnB to compete and win,” he said. “For years, the African American community has been underserved by radio in this market, and 96.3 RnB will super serve this vital and growing community.”
In addition to 96.3 FM and 1370 AM, Pennsylvania-based Entercom also owns 94.7 KAMX-FM and 95.5 KKMJ-FM.
The station’s lineup features nationally syndicated host Steve Harvey from 5 to 9 a.m. weekdays. Afternoons feature DJ Snoop Daniel, who has previously been heard on other Austin stations, including the now-defunct Beat 104.9 FM.
“Steve Harvey in the morning immediately gives our station credibility with listeners,” Kirshbom said. “His mass appeal will resonate not only with the African American community, but also bring in a wider audience over time.”
Harvey, a standup comic who hosts “Family Feud” and a daytime TV talk show, is heard each week by more than 20 million radio listeners nationwide, according to Entercom.
In addition to losing its FM simulcast, Talk Radio 1370 AM has undergone several other changes, as well.
“Walton & Johnson,” a syndicated morning show, has been dropped in favor of “America’s Morning News,” a national news broadcast, airing from 5 a.m. to 8 a.m.
It will be followed by conservative hosts Laura Ingraham from 8 a.m. to 11 a.m. and Dennis Miller from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m.
The station’s afternoon lineup, featuring Dave Ramsey and Sean Hannity, remains unchanged.