|Broadcast area||Greater Houston|
|Branding||100.3 The Bull|
|Slogan||Houston's New Country|
|Frequency||100.3 MHz (also on HD Radio)|
|First air date||1961|
|HAAT||585 meters (1,919 ft)|
|Callsign meaning||Nickname/ethnicity of former owner, Gordon "Old Scotchman" McLendon|
(Entercom License, LLC)
|Sister stations||KHMX, KIKK, KILT (AM), KKHH, KLOL|
KILT-FM (100.3 FM) is a Houston, Texas-based radio station with a country music format. It is owned by Entercom, and its studios are in Greenway Plaza. Its transmitter is located in Missouri City, Texas. It is a sister station of KILT, which is located at 610 kHz, also in Houston.
The call letters were changed to KZAP in November 1967, shortly before McLendon sold his Houston properties to LIN Broadcasting (McLendon moved the KOST call letters to his property in Los Angeles.)
"FM 100 KILT" is Born
Upon assuming control of KZAP in 1968, LIN quickly changed the call letters to KILT-FM. In the early 1970s, KILT-FM adopted a free-form progressive rock format (while "The Big 610" KILT continued with its long-running Top 40 format), and went by the slogan "Radio Montrose", named for the neighborhood in which the station's studios were located. By 1974, the station evolved to a more structured album rock format as "FM 100".
FM 100 KILT Flips to Country
KILT-FM changed to country on February 16, 1981. When 610 KILT switched to country as well on June 1, 1981, its long-running Hudson and Harrigan morning show remained and began to be simulcast on KILT-FM.
From its debut in 1967 through 1995, the Hudson and Harrigan morning show had eleven different sets of personalities occupying the personas of Mac Hudson and Irv Harrigan. Ken Hoffmann of the Houston Chronicle described Hudson and Harrigan as "the longest-running, most successful morning team anywhere in America". However, that run finally ended when KILT announced the show's termination on March 23, 2010. Fred Olson and Randy Hames, who hosted as Hudson and Harrigan for the last 28 years, were released, and the airstaff show assignments readjusted with longtime KILT afternoon personality Rowdy Yates, Erin Austin, and Cowboy Dave stepping in to fill the morning slots.
After switching to the country music format, KILT-FM competed directly against KIKK, the only other country music station in the Houston Area. According to the Houston Chronicle, "after initial success, KILT-FM struggled through an aborted change of call letters [KXAS-FM in 1984] and the lack of a strong identity with listeners". In the spring of 1989, KILT finally pulled ahead of KIKK in the Arbitron ratings. They maintained their lead position for the next two seasons, and at the end of the year Radio and Records rated KILT as the second most-listened-to country radio station in the United States, with an estimated 542,600 listeners tuned in for at least 15 minutes each week. KIKK was fourth on the nationwide list, with an estimated 508,700 listeners. KILT-FM serves as a co-flagship radio station of the Houston Texans, along with their AM sister station.
100.3 KILT Becomes "The Bull"
On January 10, 2013, at 5 PM, the station relaunched as "The Bull @ 100.3". The station shifted its playlist to include more current and recurrent music. The final song on "100.3 KILT" was "Give It All We Got Tonight" by George Strait, while the first song on "The Bull" was "Drink in My Hand" by Eric Church.
KILT had been owned by LIN Broadcasting Corporation since 1968. In an effort to divest itself of all of its radio stations, in late 1986, LIN Broadcasting Corporation sold KILT and KILT-FM to Legacy Broadcasting Inc. for $36.75 million. Less than three years later, KILT-FM was sold, along with seven other radio stations, by Metropolitan-Legacy to Westinghouse Broadcasting. At the time, the $360 million deal was considered the largest ever in radio. To meet federal regulations on radio ownership, Westinghouse sold their Houston station KODA.
In 1993, Westinghouse (which would change their name to CBS Corporation and reorganize their broadcast properties under the Infinity Broadcasting name four years later, and would be renamed CBS Radio in 2005) purchased KILT-FM's rival, KIKK-FM. At the time, KILT-FM was first in the Arbitron ratings, with KIKK-FM second in the Houston market. A single general manager was assigned to run both stations. According to Dan Mason, president of Westinghouse Radio Broadcasting, "'As they have been fierce competitors in the past, our two Houston radio properties will now join hands to create one of Houston's most unique country music powerhouses, each with its own programming and sales team.'" On November 4, 2002, KIKK-FM stopped playing country music and switched to a Smooth Jazz format. This left KILT-FM as again one of only two Houston country stations (competing against KKBQ-FM). Some of the KIKK-FM promotions, including the 10 Man Jam concerts, were moved to KILT-FM.
KILT-FM was the last Houston radio station to maintain a full-service news department. The department was disbanded in 2004 when KILT-FM decided to drop its afternoon newscasts in the hopes of improving its ratings in the Houston market.
- Hoffman, Ken (August 2, 1995), "Hudson and Harrigan: Is their reign on the wane?", Houston Chronicle, p. Houston section, p. 2., retrieved 2007-11-19
- Barron, David (March 24, 2010), "Hudson & Harrigan era ends at KILT", Houston Chronicle, retrieved 2010-03-31
- Mitchell, Rick (February 25, 1990), "They' fightin' for the country: Radio stations KIKK and KILT go toe-to-toe for Houston listeners", Houston Chronicle, p. Zest, p. 8., retrieved 2007-11-19
- Parks, Louis B. (April 27, 1987), "Stations take cautious approach to new radio rules", Houston Chronicle, p. Houston section, p. 1., retrieved 2007-11-19
- "LIN to sell KILT radio stations for $36 million", Houston Chronicle, p. Business, p. 2., December 18, 1986, retrieved 2007-11-19
- "Business briefs", Houston Chronicle, p. Business, p. 4., December 8, 1989, retrieved 2007-11-19
- Hassell (July 9, 1993), "KIKK corralled by KILT's owner Westinghouse", Houston Chronicle, p. Business, p. 1., retrieved 2007-11-19
- Pugh, Clifford (November 5, 2002), KIKK now in a jazz format, Houston Chronicle, p. Houston section, p. 1., retrieved 2007-11-19
- CBS Radio to Merge with Entercom
- "Entercom Receives FCC Approval for Merger with CBS Radio". Entercom. November 9, 2017. Retrieved November 17, 2017.
- Venta, Lance (November 17, 2017). "Entercom Completes CBS Radio Merger". Radio Insight. Retrieved November 17, 2017.
- Barron, David (December 17, 2004), "KILT lays off longtime radio icon: Carola continues as PA announcer for Texans games", Houston Chronicle, p. Sports, p. 3., retrieved 2007-11-19
- Official website
- Query the FCC's FM station database for KILT
- Radio-Locator information on KILT
- Query Nielsen Audio's FM station database for KILT