KQBT (93.7 FM, "93.7 The Beat") is a Urban Contemporary radio station in Houston, Texas. It is owned by iHeartMedia. The station's studios are located along the West Loop Freeway in the city's Uptown district, and the transmitter site is near Missouri City, Texas.
KQBT originally signed on in mid-December 1963 as KBNO, featuring "popular music and show tunes". Studios were located on the 34th floor of the Gulf Building in downtown Houston. In 1970, the station was noted in the movie Brewster McCloud, which featured a station advertisement on the side of a passing bus. In the Fall of 1971, the station flipped to top 40 as KRLY, but took on various format shifts and identities throughout the decade, such as album oriented rock "Y-94", "Disco 94", then "KRLY 94", a top 40/urban hybrid. By mid-1981, the station had rebranded as "Love 94." In March 1984, the station switched to adult contemporary as "Lite Rock 93.7" and changed calls to KLTR (adopted on March 20, 1984). The station rebranded to "K-Lite 93.7" in the late 1980s.
On November 25, 1993, at 2 p.m., the station flipped to 70's hits, branded as "Arrow 93.7", and launched with Bob Seger's "Old Time Rock and Roll". The KKRW call letters were adopted on December 20, 1993. Over the next few years, the station evolved to straightforward classic rock. In the early 2000s, KKRW was home of the "Dean & Rog" morning show until they left in early 2009 (they're now at KGLK). In early 2009, the station began airing (in syndication) former KLOL morning hosts "Walton & Johnson", who host a politically oriented morning show that leans right. The show was dropped from KKRW in December 2012 (they're now at sister station KPRC). Afternoon personality Steve Fixx filled in with a music-heavy show for several months called the "Morning Classic Rock Fixx" until the arrival of veteran St. Louis personality JC Corcoran with "JC and the Morning Showgram" in March of 2013.
KKRW enjoyed ratings success for a number of years, both in Arbitron's diary and Portable People Meter ratings measurement systems. KKRW took an initial ratings hit when Dean and Rog left for KGLK, but rebounded to beat the new challenger for roughly a year and a half. Ratings remained strong until KGLK, which played a slightly lighter classic rock format (identifying as classic hits), began simulcasting on 106.9 and 107.5 in June of 2011. In its last full book with classic rock, KKRW was ranked #17 with a 2.4 share of the market according to Arbitron's Houston market ratings.
On December 31, 2013, at 10 a.m., after playing Thin Lizzy's "The Boys are Back in Town", the station began stunting with music from many genres. At Noon, after playing Journey's "Don't Stop Believin'," KKRW flipped to Urban Contemporary, branded as "93.7 The Beat." The first song on "The Beat" was "Drunk in Love" by Houston native Beyonce. The move gives Houston a straight-ahead, core-based R&B/Hip-Hop outlet and new competition for KBXX, whose direction focuses on hit-driven R&B/Hip-Hop material, as well as KBXX's sister Urban AC KMJQ, both of which are owned by Radio One, and are usually the two dominant stations in the market. It was the first time in 14 years iHeartMedia (then known as Clear Channel Communications) attempted an urban outlet in Houston, as it once owned KBXX and KMJQ from 1994 to 2000, when both were spun off to Radio One.
On January 15, 2014, KKRW changed call letters to KQBT to match the "Beat" moniker.
(as of January 20, 2014)
- The Breakfast Club Morning Show (syndicated, from WWPR-FM New York) - 5 am to 9 am
- Rudy Rush – 2pm to 6pm
- Devi Dev – 9am to 2pm
- Gabby Diaz (CA from KYLD) – 10 pm to 2 am
- DJ Ebonix- Weekends
- DJ Mr Rogers - M-F 6p-10p
- OG Ron C- Host of the "ChopNotSlop Show" Sundays 7p-9p and Htown Street Heat
- The Chopstars (DJ Candlestick, Dj Hollygrove, Slim K)- "ChopNotSlop Show" Sundays 7p-9p
Former logo and staff
- JC and the Morning Showgram
- Kelly Ryan
- Steve Fixx
- Colonel St. James
- Howard Reynolds
- Dean and Rog Morning Show
- Suzi Hanks
- Walton and Johnson Morning Show
- The "Fabulous" Jennifer Tyler
- Kevin Dorsey
- Donna MacKenzie
- Mac McClennahan
- Cody Robbins