Nonstop Christmas tunes annoy the heck out of many folks, but there’s clearly a sizable chunk of people out there who don’t mind hearing them all day, every day.
Austin radio station 95.5 KKMJ-FM featured a Santa-centric playlist for most of December, helping it rocket up the ratings chart, according to the latest figures from Arbitron. In fact, Majic 95.5 had almost twice as many listeners as it did in November, tying perennial frontrunner 96.7 KHFI-FM.
Two other stations also featured Christmas music this year: contemporary Christian broadcaster 105.9 KFMK-FM and 98.9 KXBT-FM following its acquisition by the University of Texas. Spirit 105.9 also saw a bump in listenership, jumping from 14th to 10th place. But KXBT-FM, newly rechristened as KUTX-FM, took a tumble, losing nearly two-thirds of its audience.
Average quarter-hour ratings as of Jan. 2, courtesy of allaccess.com (numbers in parentheses indicate rank as of Dec. 5):
1. (tie) 96.7 KHFI-FM (1)
1. (tie) 95.5 KKMJ-FM (4)
2.) 103.5 KBPA-FM (3)
3.) 100.7 KASE-FM (2)
4.) 590 KLBJ-AM (6)
5.) 102.3 KPEZ-FM (5)
6.) 94.7 KAMX-FM (12)
7.) 93.7 KLBJ-FM (9)
8.) 107.1 KLZT-FM (8)
9.) 90.5 KUT-FM (10)
10.) 105.9 KFMK-FM (14)
New gig for Fox 7 reporter
KTBC reporter Nancy Zambrano is about to hit the highway, bound for Houston.
She’s landed a job at KRIV, the Bayou City’s Fox station.
Zambrano, who spent five years at Fox 7, starts her new gig Feb. 11. A graduate of the University of Florida, she arrived in Austin after spending time working for a station in Midland.
"I consider myself an adopted Texan," Zambrano said. "I have been here since 2005 and it’s home now. I’ve spent five great years at KTBC Fox 7 in Austin. It’s a place with amazing people that will always be close to my heart, but I’m excited about moving to Houston.
"I’ve heard so many wonderful things about this city, and I’m thrilled to get to experience them for myself. I look forward to joining the KRIV Fox 26 team and can’t wait to hit the ground running."
Both KTBC and KRIV are owned by Fox Television Stations.
Movies! channel on the way
Speaking of KTBC, the station soon will be adding a digital subchannel.
Fox 7 is one of 17 Fox-owned stations nationwide that will roll out the new Movies! network this spring.
The channel, as you might expect, will be all movies, all the time. "Inappropriate language and images" will be edited out, Fox says.
Movies! will be available over the air on Channel 7.2 and will likely find its way onto at least some of the area’s cable lineups.
Several other digital networks are still looking for homes in Austin. They include Antenna TV, Cozi, Me-TV, Retro TV and This TV – all of which air classic movies and TV shows such as "Bewitched," "Highway to Heaven," "M*A*S*H" and, more recently, "Three’s Company."
Fox-owned MundoFox, which airs Spanish-language programming, also isn’t on the air in Central Texas. There are several others, too.
Let’s hope that changes soon.
UMC-Brackenridge featured on KLRU
What was once an eyesore at Austin’s University Medical Center Brackenridge has been transformed into a gorgeous tranquility garden — a project that’ll be featured on an upcoming episode of "Central Texas Gardener."
Tune to KLRU Channel 18 at noon Feb. 9 to see a 10-minute segment detailing the amazing transformation. Repeats are set for 4 p.m. Feb. 9, 9 a.m. Feb. 10 and 5:30 a.m. Feb. 11.
"We’ve created a space where you can step outside the rhythm and noise of a trauma center," Kate Henderson, the hospital’s vice president and chief operating officer, told me. "It’s here to be enjoyed by everyone who comes to our campus."
Volunteers played a key role in the makeover, Henderson says. Even some patients are helping out, raising money for the project and performing tasks such as pulling weeds.
"It’s already had a significant impact," she says. "It a place that helps reassure people that they’re going to be well."
In addition to airing in Austin, "Central Texas Gardener" can also be seen on nine other PBS stations.
Around the dial …
There’s a new addition to the lineup on 93.7 KLBJ-FM. The station has picked up the "L.A. Lloyd Rock Countdown," a nationally syndicated show hosted by its very own – you guessed it – L.A. Lloyd. Listen for Lloyd, who helmed the American-Statesman’s Austin360 Radio, at 10 p.m. Saturdays starting tonight. … Read my blog at austin360.com/tvblog or follow @gdinges on Twitter to get the latest updates on local radio and TV stations.