What happened to 97.1 Country Legends? Understand its Acquisition

What happened to 97.1 Country Legends? Find out the history of 97.1 Country Legends, a popular Houston radio station well-known for its distinctive country music, and its metamorphosis. 

Do you know that the deeply adored radio station Country Legends 97.1 has changed to a contemporary Christian station known as “K-Love? Let’s discuss how the station shifted to a contemporary Christian format under the ownership of the Educational Media Foundation.

97.1 FM’s Country Legends

KTHT changed dramatically at noon on January 2, 2003, rebranding as Country Legends 97.1 and switching to a traditional country music format.

David Allan Coe’s “You Never Call Me By My Name” opened the Country Legends album, ushering in a period devoted to honoring the legacy of legendary country musicians like Reba McEntire, Garth Brooks, Dolly Parton, and Ronnie Milsap.

However, the landscape changed for the station in April 2023 when Urban One announced the acquisition of Cox Media Group’s Houston radio cluster.

The transaction required Urban One to break up the two stations in the merged cluster, exceeding FCC ownership limits. Scott Knoblauch oversaw a temporary Sugarland Station Trust that included KTHT and KROI.

On October 31, 2023, we saw the relocation of KLVH to 97.1 in Cleveland/Houston, Texas, and the Educational Media Foundation’s acquisition of KTHT-FM.

Under the ownership of the Educational Media Foundation, the station, and the Houston radio landscape are entering a new era as they shift from a popular country format to a contemporary Christian format.

What happened to 97.1 Country Legends?

Popular radio station 97.1 Country Legends, a longtime favorite for its country music, has recently experienced some major changes.

Following its acquisition by the non-profit media ministry Educational Media Foundation, the station changed its name to K-Love and started airing modern Christian music. With this change, the station’s illustrious history comes to an end.

It began in the 1990s as a classical music station and moved on to other genres, such as R&B when it was known as Hot 97.1, and finally country music in 2003.

After the popular 97.1 Country Legends left, Houston, a city, was left wondering where to find their favorite genre.

While alternative stations like 92.9 and 100.3 still play country music, some locals have stated that they plan to use streaming services to fulfill their desire for the genre.

The loss of a beloved station shocked the public, sparking nostalgia for the music and the memories associated with the station itself.

As the final notes of John Berry’s “Standing on the Edge of Goodbye” played on 97.1 Country Legends, it signaled the end of an era and the beginning of a new chapter for Houston radio listeners.

From Format Changes to its Present-Day ‘K-Love’ Identity

The owner of this FM is the ‘Educational Media Fund’. It is popular for its contemporary Christian adult radio format.

A non-commercial radio station based in Cleveland, Texas, 97.1 FM (KLVH), also referred to as “K-Love,” serves the northern Greater Houston region.

KLVH broadcasts its signal from a transmitter site on Route 222 on Bob McGowan Road in Shepherd, Texas, close to the serene environs of the Sam Houston National Forest.

An effective radiated power (ERP) of 100,000 watts powers the transmitter. The station is positioned strategically to ensure that its signal effectively reaches a wide audience throughout the region.

97.1 FM has had a rich history of format changes and ownership transitions over the years. On January 17, 1993, it made its debut as KRTK while being owned by Texas Classical Radio, Inc.

The station experienced a number of noteworthy changes, one of which was a brief simulcast of regional Mexican format KEYH as KEYH-FM in September 1995. KEYH-FM later became its own entity, adopting the names “Estereo 97” and later “Que Onda 97” in March 1996.

In March 1999, the station underwent a series of format changes, finally settling on a KTBZ-FM simulcast featuring “107-5 The Buzz,” an alternative rock format.

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