Editor’s note: This article was originally published May 2, 2013
Just weeks after making his debut on pop-friendly 96.7 KHFI-FM, New York-based Elvis Duran is already Austin’s No. 2-rated morning host among listeners ages 18-49, one of several advertiser-coveted demographics.
Who’s first? Bobby Bones, of course. Bones shifted from KHFI (better known as Kiss FM) to 100.7 KASE-FM earlier this year. Now based in Nashville, his show is heard on dozens of country stations nationwide.
It’s a gamble that appears to have paid off for both Kiss FM and KASE. The two stations are owned by San Antonio-based Clear Channel Media and Entertainment.
"I’m surprised at how fast we’re catching on here," Duran told me during a visit to Austin this week. "It’s a frightening thing when you take the place of someone as beloved as Bobby."
While many of Bones’ longtime listeners made the move to KASE, Arbitron ratings show that "Elvis Duran and the Morning Show" has wasted little time creating its own fan base.
"The two shows are very similar," said Jay Shannon, vice president of programming for Clear Channel’s Austin radio stations. "They both move very quickly, are very entertaining and very funny. I expect it to be a toss-up between Bobby and Elvis for first place each month."
Duran’s show is also a ratings hit in a number of other cities, including Dayton, Ohio; Des Moines, Iowa; Miami; and Philadelphia.
While New York is home now, Duran has Texas roots. He grew up in the Dallas area and, early in his career, spent "a hot second" hosting the morning show on now-defunct Austin radio station B-93.
"I was an awful morning guy … and we were an awful failure," he says with a laugh. "To be back in Austin is a real treat."