KKHH ("Hot 95.7") is a top 40 radio station in Houston, Texas, broadcasting at 95.7 MHz, under the ownership of CBS Radio. KKHH's main competition is KRBE and KBXX. Its studios are located in the Greenway Plaza district, and its transmitter is located in Missouri City, Texas.
KKHH signed on the air as easy listening KHUL on 95.7 at 7 a.m., October 4, 1959. KHUL carried a jazz format and billed itself as "Cool, refreshing radio". KHUL was the first FM in the market to operate with a 24-hour schedule.
In 1966, the station was bought by the owners of KIKK AM, who changed the station's call letters to KIKK-FM and began to simulcast the AM's country music format as "KIKK 96 FM". After album rock station KILT-FM flipped to country in 1981, the station saw fierce competition throughout the 1980s and early 1990s from the KILT combo. More competition came when KKBQ switched from easy country to a top 40 country approach in 1992. KIKK became KILT's sister station in late 1993, and KIKK struggled trying different variations on the format, including going from mainstream country to a more current-heavy approach in September 1994, then going head to head with KKBQ as "Young Country 95.7" by early 1997, and eventually rebranding as just "95.7 KIKK-FM" by September 2000. At Noon on November 4, 2002, KIKK-FM flipped from its long running country format to Smooth Jazz as "95-7 The Wave" debuted, with the KHJZ call letters being adopted on November 7.
The station debuted its current format on March 13, 2008, at 3:00 PM. The first song on "Hot 95-7" was "Hot In Herre" by Nelly. The format will use an interactive approach and has positioned its Rhythmic hit-flavored direction in between KBXX and KRBE. At first, because of its choice of direction, Mediabase had placed KHJZ on its Rhythmic reporter panel, but moved it over to the Top 40/CHR panel as its playlist started playing non-Rhythmic fare. The KKHH call letters were adopted on April 1, 2008.
In an interview from the online website All Access (on the day of the flip), GM Laura Morris said, "We've built HOT 95-7 for the listener. We don't pick the hits; They do. Every hour, listeners can vote for the top hit of that hour and we'll play a song at the top of the next hour. We'll do that 24 hours a day... it's the first and only station we know of making listeners feel like they have that kind of control." KKHH OM/PD Jeff Garrison, who also programmed Country sister KILT-FM and Sports Talk KILT (AM), added, "Houston's always been about making history ... from the oil wildcatters and the 8th Wonder of the World to landing on the moon. HOT 95-7 is Houston's next generation of radio, blazing a big, bold hot radio station for Houston listeners. HOT 95-7 has multi-cultural pop appeal with a rhythmic spice to match Houston's diversity. We're about today's new music, celebrity artists, pop culture, lifestyle and trends ... whatever is HOT now. We're online, on demand and in touch with the pulse of the next generation of pre-teen radio listeners."
On Friday, June 27, 2008, CBS announced the addition of Brad Booker and Sarah Pepper as the new morning show hosts of HOT 95-7 with a start date of July 21, 2008. "We're very excited to have Booker & Sarah join the Hot team," said Hot/Houston PD Mark Adams. "I feel they're two of the most passionate, fun and entertaining morning show personalities out there, and I'm confident they'll do a great job here in Houston."
On Thursday, March 26, 2009, the station started running format change promos by the Station Manager. Dave Morales put the Station Manager on-air (unknown to him) to ask why...and what was going on. The station manager just passed the buck and blamed CBS management and could not provide further information. When he found out he was on-air, he slammed down the phone. The "changeover" was supposed to take place at 6:00am on Monday, March 30, 2009. There were rumors that said it would be an Urban station, similar to KBXX (97.9 The Box) and the defunct KPTY (Party 93.3); this was because there was an ad for Los Angeles sister station "AMP 97.1" listed on the bottom of the page. But many calls to the management or e-mails to the management were bilingual, hinting that they were pursuing a Latino format. However, The Pussycat Dolls were scheduled to appear in studio on Monday, the day "the switch" would be taking place.
The entire "change" for March 30, 2009 was apparently a marketing ploy. The station "changed" to BRIT 95.7 to coincide with Britney Spears/Pussycat Dolls concert at the Toyota Center the same evening. The station played nothing but Britney Spears music, and some Pussycat Dolls music all day. The station would revert to HOT 95-7 at Midnight.
On February 22, 2010, PK and Ivan (from the syndicated The Playhouse morning show in Portland, Oregon) joined HOT 95-7 as the new morning show hosts, with Sarah Pepper remaining. Her former co-host, Brad Booker, moved over to sister station KHMX to join Maria Todd; Booker would later be released in 2011 following Todd's move to afternoons and Kidd Kraddick taking over the morning slot. PK would be released from the station in January 2016, with Pepper and Ivan remaining.
KKHH (as KHJZ) signed on HD Radio operations in 2006. 95.7-HD2 carried a traditional jazz format. After the flip of the analog/HD1 signal in March 2008, the smooth jazz format that was on the former moved to KKHH-HD2, as well as "The Wave" moniker. When CBS bought KHMX (96.5 FM) in April 2009, KKHH-HD2 and KHMX-HD2 swapped formats, with KKHH-HD2 now airing a dance format, branded as "Energy 95.7", while the smooth jazz format and "The Wave" moniker moved to KHMX-HD2. In addition, KKHH added an HD3 channel in 2010. KKHH-HD3 carries a simulcast of sports talk station KIKK.
After two years of broadcasting the Dance format on 95.7 HD2, "Energy 95-7 HD2" began offering On-Demand streaming via the Radio.com app/platform and Energy957.com in the Summer of 2012, joining WBBM-HD2/Chicago, KMVQ-HD2/San Francisco, and WPGC-HD2/Washington, D.C. as the latest CBS Radio outlets to offer Dance formats through the Radio.com platform. Playing a variety of EDM genres such as Progressive, Electronica, Trance, and Dance-pop, the station also airs a variety of 1990's tracks as well as limited commercial interruptions. In March 2013, the station added "Riddler's Revolution," an hour-long twice IDMA-nominated mixshow from recording artist/producer The Riddler. Specialty Holiday programming includes the annual 'Energy Beatdown,' which airs during Christmas week and showcases the year's Top 95 Dance Anthems. Also, since 2010 on New Year's Eve, the station airs a multi-hour mix show format called 'Energy Tailgate Party' featuring several of America's well-known club DJs, spinning from various cities across the country.