Editor’s note: This article was originally published December 26, 2013
Some of Austin’s best-known radio stations underwent dramatic changes in 2013.
Those tweaks, in many cases, left listeners scratching their heads, but, hey, that’s how the broadcasting business works sometimes.
Here’s a look at some of the year’s biggest local radio stories:
Morning show shakeups
Bobby Bones, the city’s top-rated morning host, left Austin — and pop-friendly 96.7 Kiss FM, his longtime home — in February, moving to Nashville to helm a new syndicated wake-up show that airs on country stations nationwide.
Even though he’s no longer based here, Bones is still heard locally on KASE 101, where he remains No. 1. To make room for "The Bobby Bones Show," KASE morning hosts Bama Brown, Rob Mason and Heather White slid over to the same time slot on 98.1 KVET.
Meanwhile, KVET’s morning team moved to KASE, with Anne Hudson now handling middays and Chris Mosser, her former co-host, helming the afternoon shift.
And what about Bones’ old spot on Kiss FM? He was replaced by Elvis Duran, a nationally syndicated host based in New York. Earlier in his career, Duran briefly worked in Austin at now-defunct station B-93.
Kiss, KASE and KVET are all owned by San Antonio-based Clear Channel Media and Entertainment.
Kiss FM’s long, long winning streak in the Nielsen (formerly Arbitron) ratings race came to an end this year.
The station lost the top spot soon after Bones moved to KASE and, according to the most recent numbers available, had dropped to a previously unthinkable sixth place.
The new frontrunner is 103.5 BOB-FM, which plays an eclectic mix of music from the 1960s to the present.
New R&B station
Austin R&B fans finally got a radio station of their very own in 2013.
RnB 96.3 launched in July, with a primary goal of serving members of the area’s African-American community, listeners who have traditionally been underserved by local broadcasters, station managers said.
Nationally syndicated host Steve Harvey is heard weekday mornings, with Snoop Daniel, who has worked at several other local stations, holding down the afternoon shift.
A simulcast of Talk Radio 1370 AM was previously heard on the 96.3 FM frequency.
No more JB and Sandy
After almost 18 years on the air, "The JB and Sandy Morning Show" came to a very abrupt end last month.
Sandy McIlree was left with the unpleasant task of informing listeners that friend and co-host JB Hager’s contract hadn’t been renewed by Mix 94.7 management. Then, days later, McIlree disappeared from the air as well.
The two sides, station managers said, were "unable to come to terms."
Hager and McIlree will be replaced beginning Jan. 6 by host Brad Booker, who most recently worked for a station in Phoenix. His prior career stops have included Dallas, Houston, Las Vegas, New Orleans and St. Louis.
Booker will be joined by Sara Osburn and Alex Franco, holdovers from Hager and McIlree’s show.
There’s no official word yet on what’s next for Hager and McIlree.
KUTX makes its debut
University of Texas-owned 98.9 KUTX-FM, sister station to local NPR affiliate 90.5 KUT-FM, hit the air Jan. 2.
KUTX plays the music programming formerly heard on KUT, clearing the way for that station to take on an all-day news/talk format.
Hosts on KUTX include a number of well-known Austin broadcasters, including Susan Castle, John Aielli, Jay Trachtenberg, Matt Reilly, Jody Denberg and Laurie Gallardo.
A first birthday celebration featuring Neko Case, Iron and Wine, and Thao & the Get Down Stay Down is set for 7:30 p.m. Jan. 25 at UT’s Bass Concert Hall.
Tickets starting at $39.50 are now available at kutx.org.