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City of license Houston, Texas
Broadcast area Greater Houston
Branding Mix 96-5
Slogan "Today's Best Mix"
Frequency 96.5 (MHz) (also on HD Radio)
96.5 HD-2 former KHJZ (smooth jazz)
First air date February 1, 1948
Format Adult Top 40
ERP 97,000 watts
HAAT 585 meters
Class C
Facility ID 47749
Transmitter coordinates 29°34′34.00″N 95°30′36.00″W / 29.57611°N 95.51°W / 29.57611; -95.51
Callsign meaning K Houston's MiX 96-5 (slogan)
Former callsigns KXYZ-FM (1948-1953; 1961-1970/71)
KAUM (1970/71-1980)
KSRR (1980-1986)
KKHT (1986-1989)
KNRJ (1989-1990)
Owner CBS Radio
(CBS Radio Holdings Inc.)
Sister stations KIKK, KILT-AM, KILT-FM, KKHH, KLOL
Webcast Listen Live

KHMX (96.5 FM, "Mix 96-5"), is an Adult Top 40 (Hot AC) music formatted radio station in Houston, Texas, United States. Its transmitter is located in nearby Missouri City, Texas. The station was acquired by CBS Radio from Clear Channel on April 1, 2009.


Call frequency history

KXYZ-FM first signed on February 1, 1948. It would stay on the air for five and one-half years before being silent for about eight years.[1] As typical of FM radio stations in the mid-20th century, the FM station usually was a hi-fi simulcast of its AM parent. During the 1960s, it simulcasted its AM parent KXYZ which played beautiful music. In the late 1960's, the format changed to Love Radio formulated by then-owner ABC Radio with the calls changing to KAUM around 1970.[2]

From 1980 through late 1986, the 96.5 FM slot for the Houston-Galveston market operated as KSRR 97 Rock FM, featuring morning radio host Moby. The station competed against the album rock format of 101.1 KLOL (and from 1986, KZFX Z-107.5 FM).

From October 15, 1986, the station changed call letters to KKHT, and the hard rock-oriented format was replaced by a contemporary hit radio format known as Hit 96.5. By mid-1987, heavy competition from top 40 powerhouses KKBQ and KRBE prompted the station to morph to Adult Contemporary. The station rebranded as 96.5 KKHT

From 1989, the station changed call letters to KNRJ, modifying its format to feature a heavier variety of "high-energy" dance music. This format, branded Energy 96.5, was a competitive response to two other local stations, 93Q KKBQ and Power 104 KRBE, whose Top 40 formats reflected the increasing presence of dance club-oriented tracks (catering to a then-lucrative target audience drawn to the flourishing night club scenes along Richmond Ave., and inner Westheimer Road.). These competitors featured late-night, weekend live-to-air from local dance clubs (e.g., Club 6400, The Ocean Club), where in-house DJs drew heavily from libraries of imported and small-label, extended-length modern tracks (which otherwise were seldom, if ever, heard on most commercial stations); by early 1990, KNRJ had partnered with the Tower Theater's Decadance to host its own weekend, late-night live broadcast.

In early June 1990, during a morning talk show segment, the host personalities announced that Energy 96.5 would switch to an Alternative Rock format. The Alternative 96.5 re-brand was a transitional format, lasting roughly six weeks, and was promoted while a forthcoming format -- under a strategic decision by the station's owner, Nationwide Communications, Inc. -- was under preparation. A weekly play list, under an Alternative 96.5 makeshift letterhead, was distributed to local retail and media outlets, culminating on July 17, 1990.

Transition to KHMX-FM

At 07:00 CDT on July 18, 1990, KNRJ stopped playing music and began a 48-hour ticking clock countdown sequence; a heavily processed, pre-recorded masculine studio voice announced the time remaining at 15-minute intervals. For the final 12 hours of this transitional sequence, a series of disjointed song samples (largely unrelated to KNRJ's format) were interspersed -- notably the repeated playback (forward and backward) for the opening eight seconds of the Dazz Band's "Let It Whip".

At 07:00 CDT, July 20, the countdown concluded, and a "roll call" by a fictitious "teacher" called out the names of program directors from other Houston radio stations. This "teacher" asked the class to start their tape recorders and take notes as this "lecture" was to begin. The show hosts premiered KHMX-FM's call letters with the "Mix 96.5" air check. Mix 96.5's first song, Steve Winwood's "Roll with It", was followed by Taylor Dayne's "I'll Be Your Shelter". Both tracks confirmed the sharp departure from preceding station formats.

The "Mix" format

For Nationwide Communications, GM Clancy Woods & National PD Guy Zapoleon launched a new Hot AC format (branded as the "Mix" format), it was the first Pop Rock Hot AC and a forerunner of most Hot ACs today. The Mix brand tagline, "More Music, More Variety, A Better Mix" was commercially successful, and the formula for the Mix format was replicated through the 1990s and early 2000s in several other radio markets across North America and in cities as far away as Sydney Australia by KHMX Consultant Alan Burns. At close to the same time Research Guru John Parikhal who also worked with KHMX was helping PD Greg Strassell of Steve Dodge's American Radio Systems in Boston launch another Mix station "Mix 98.5" WBMX-FM but this was a Rhythmic AC and more of an early example of today's Movin format. The first true Mix station which was more of a Pop Adult Top 40 was launched a few months earlier in the Summer of '89 at WOMX by Nationwide Communication GM Rick Weinkoff, PD Brian Thomas with help from Guy Zapoleon.

KHMX was broadcast nationwide on XM Satellite Radio from 2001 to the end of 2003, as a radio superstation similar to television satellite superstations such as Superstation WGN. In 2004, all XM music channels went commercial free, and KHMX was replaced with a unique-to-XM Mix channel, retaining the same format. Since then, Clear Channel has regained the right to air commercials on their XM music channels. Mix now carries commercials, but is still exclusive to XM, and is still operated by Clear Channel. It has also since changed formats to adult hits.

Current Competitors

On-Air Personalities

  • Mornings
    • Rick Stacy
    • Michele Fisher (formerly of KRBE)
  • Middays
    • Natalie
  • Afternoons
    • Dave Morales (formerly of KKPN, KKHH, KPTY)
  • Nights
    • Lauren (also on KKHH, formerly of KRBE)
  • Weekends
    • Matt Kuhl (also on KKHH)

Former personalities

Frequency call letters and branding

  • KXYZ - 2/1/1948 - 1970
  • KAUM - 1971 (Love 96 1/2)
  • KSRR - 1980 (Star 97, 97 Rock "Kick S Rock n Roll!)
  • KKHT - 10/15/1986 (Hit 96.5, 96.5 KKHT)
  • KNRJ - 8/4/1989 (Energy 96, Energy 96.5, Alternative 96.5)
  • KHMX - 7/20/1990 (Mix 96.5)
  • KHMX - 1/1/2003 (The New Mix 96.5)
  • KHMX - 1/1/2005 (Mix 96.5)
  • KHMX - 4/15/2009 (Mix 96-5)

Slogan history

  • 1990 - "More Music, More Variety, A Better Mix"
  • 1993 - "The Best Mix of the 70s, 80s, and 90s"
  • 1998 - "Greatest Hits of the 80s, 90s, and 70s", "Houston's New At-Work Choice"
  • 2000 - "The Best Mix of the 80s, 90s, and Today"
  • 2000 - "Today's Best Music"
  • 2001 - "Houston's Hit Music Variety", "Houston's Upbeat Listen While You Work Station"
  • 2001 - "The Best Mix of the 80s, 90s, and Today"
  • 2002 - "More Music, More Variety, A Better Mix"
  • 2005 - "Sam Malone in the Morning and Houston's Best Mix All Day"
  • 2006 - "Houston's Best Mix"
  • 2009 - "Today's Best Mix"


External links



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