KTBZ-FM, also known as 94.5 The Buzz, is an alternative rock radio station licensed to Houston, Texas with studios located in Houston at 2000 West Loop South, Suite 300, and with transmitter facilities located in Missouri City, Texas.
This station first signed on the air on October 15, 1960 as KARO, then becoming KLEF with a classical music format in 1964. On March 13, 1986, the station became KJYY (Joy 94) with an adult contemporary format, then becoming KLDE in 1988 with an oldies format, branded as "Oldies 94.5".
The current format launched at 107.5 FM on October 31, 1994 at 11:00 am CDT. The station called itself "The New Rocket 107.5 - Houston's New Alternative", and changed its call sign to KRQT-FM. Under the direction of new general manager Pat Fant (formerly of KLOL-FM), the station re-launched its format in late May 1995 using the new call sign KTBZ-FM and the "107.5 The Buzz" slogan.
Before July 2000, KTBZ continued to broadcast on 107.5 FM. Due to a merger of Clear Channel Communications, Inc. and AMFM, Inc., and the need to stay within the FCC's station ownership cap, KLDE was sold to recent move-in Cox Radio and acquired the 107.5 frequency. Shortly after that, KTBZ announced that "The Buzz" would cease operations at 107.5 on July 18 and began a "Save the Buzz" campaign, sending Buzz listeners into a frenzy for information on the station's "impending demise". When the actual purpose of the campaign was discovered, an online forum maintained by KTBZ was shut down in order to try to keep the word from getting out as listeners began to post their findings. Still, this did not prevent listeners from distributing banners throughout Houston and painting "Save The Buzz" on their car windows. KTBZ staged a public rally, at which a representative from parent company Clear Channel Radio came to read a statement. The statement read, in part, that in response to public comments, The Buzz would be saved and moved to 94.5 FM, a much stronger signal, resulting in a "Bigger, Better Buzz".
Just before 8:00 pm CDT on July 18, 2000, KTBZ and KLDE each played a pre-recorded lead-in to the station switch. KLDE had their air staff riding in a transporter across the dial to 107.5 FM, while KTBZ led a one-minute countdown as they "faded" off of the 107.5 frequency. At exactly 8:00 pm, the stations simultaneously exchanged frequencies. KTBZ's montage led in with "Turn on the Juice!", while KLDE's air staff "crash-landed" on 107.5. Both stations celebrated the move with their own "Switch Parties", The Buzz presenting a free concert starring Stone Temple Pilots that was broadcast live from The Aerial Theater in downtown Houston on "The New 94.5 The Buzz". The remaining new station, "Oldies 107.5", marked the transition by playing 48 hours of non-stop music. This officially completed the "trade" in ownership.
KTBZ began transmitting its HD and HD2 digital signals in January 2006. KTBZ-HD2 has gone through three different format changes: first from 2006 to 2009 as alternative rock "Liquid Buzz" (with a different playlist from the main station), then from 2009 to 2015 as "94-5 The Rock, Houston's Rock Station", playing active and classic rock and now currently Regional Mexican "La Mejor."
Staff and programming
KTBZ begins its broadcasting day at 6 am with The Rod Ryan Show, hosted by Rod Ryan and co-hosted by Dinah Powers, Phyllis, and Alex P. Features of The Rod Ryan Show include "Sex, Jail, Blood or Fame," where listeners recount their weekend activities in regard to sexual adventures, arrests, horrific injuries, or encounters with celebrities, and "Free Beer Friday," where a case of beer is given away to a caller every hour. The Rod Ryan Show has made many altruistic contributions to the greater Houston community, beginning with the organization of the Houston Dodgeball Association, also known as HODA. Once The Rod Ryan Show arrived at The Buzz in morning-drive, the station's once-waning numbers jumped significantly. However, recent events have been causing station numbers to again drop, mostly related to turnover within the Rod Ryan Show staff and discontent with Rod Ryan's objectification of women. Also rumors of Rod Ryan misallocating charity money is another factor in the ratings drop.
Immediately following The Rod Ryan Show is The Midday Show, hosted by Theresa Rock Face every Monday through Friday from 10:00 am until 3:00 pm. The All Request Nooner is broadcast from 12:00 pm to 1:00 pm and features songs requested by the radio audience via e-mail and social media such as Twitter and Facebook. The Midday Show also celebrates "Concert T-Shirt Friday," when once a week Theresa encourages her listeners to wear their favorite concert apparel, photos of which she posts on the station's website.
Following Theresa is A.D. who hosts the drive-time slot from 3:00 pm until 7:00 pm.
Former weekend/fill-in DJ Karah Leigh now hosts Monday through Friday nights 7:00 pm to 12:00 am.
Former airstaff includes: Clair McPherson, Doug Faulk, Don Jantzen, Travis Golightly,Zakk United, Phil Fenix, "Just Plain" Mark Sutherland, Lanny Griffith (later of KRIV FOX 26), Lisa Kendall, Mark Wiggins, "Shark", Ken Fusion, Brian Blades, Geno Pearson (formerly of KNRJ co-host of Alternative Static), John Leach, David Sadof, Jarod Frank, Steve Robison, Daniel "Cruze" Behring, Ken Hoffman, Mr. Randy, Johnny Maze, Graeme Nistler, Will Pendarvis, Derek Nelson, Rex Oates, "The Whipping Boy", Pam Kelly, Eric Schmidt (DJ), "D-Day", Jeff McMurray, Jerry Rohira, Cindy Bennett, Louis Cruise, Carol Kennedy, Lauren.
Initially, once a year, KTBZ-FM promotes a live concert called the Buzz Festival, although now known as Buzzfest. In 2001, Buzzfest moved to twice a year, with one show in the Spring and the other taking place in the Fall of each year.
1995: Bush, Our Lady Peace, Matthew Sweet, No Use for a Name, Ned's Atomic Dustbin, The Nixon's, Maids of Gravity, Face to Face, POL, Phunk Junkeez
1996: Toadies, The Hunger, God Lives Under Water, The Nixon's, Lush, 22 Brides, Atticus Finch, Poe, Too Much Joy, Modern English
1997: Matchbox Twenty, Silverchair, Buck O' Nine, Cowboy Mouth, 7 Mary 3, Abra Moore, Artificial Joy Club, Old 97's
1998: Spacehog, Foo Fighters, Our Lady Peace, Creed, The Hunger, Black Lab, Big Wreck, Mighty Joe Plumb, Cool for August, Athenaeum, Los Skarnales, Riverfenix, Bluebird, Train in Vain, Face Plant
1999: Collective Soul, Eve 6, Better than Ezra, The Flys, Soul Coughing, Sponge, Jude, My Friend Steve, Tin Star, Chlorine, Lit, Tommy Hendrickson, Train, GPR
2000: Third Eye Blind, Lit, Tonic, The Flys, Oleander, Stroke 9, Owlsey, Radford, Stir, Frankie Machine, Peter Searcy, Papa Roach, Joe 90, Mars Electric
2001 - Spring: Offspring, Linkin Park, Eve 6, Train, Oleander, Orgy, Spacehog, Dust for Life, Dexter Freebish, Electracy, Lucky Boys Confusion
2001 - Fall: Fuel, Nickelback, Saliva, Alien Ant Farm, Tantric, Joy Drop, The Calling, Remy Zero, Bliss 66, 8 Stops 7, Default, Transmatic, Apex Theory, Pressure 4-5
2002 - Spring: P.O.D., Puddle of Mudd, Sum 41, Drowning Pool, Unwritten Law, Adema, Gravity Kills, Pressure 4-5, Earshot, Mest, Course of Nature, Abandoned Pools, Trik Turner, 30 Seconds to Mars
2002 - Fall: Everclear, Boxcar Racer, Hoobastank, Saliva, Earshot, Greenwheel, Sugarcult, Seether, Audiovent, OK Go, The Used, The Exies, H2O, Hometown Hero
2003 - Spring: Godsmack, Stone Sour, Seether, Taproot, Evanescence, The Used, Maroon 5, The Exies, Powerman 5000, All American Rejects, Breaking Benjamin, Trapt, Systematic, Skrape, Off by One, RA
2003 - Fall: Staind, Fuel, Trapt, The Ataris, Eve 6, Alien Ant Farm, Fountains of Wayne, Vendetta Red, Static X, Smile Empty Soul, Socialburn, Switchfoot, Billy Talent, Yellowcard, 3 Days Grace
2004 - Spring: Puddle of Mudd, Trapt, Hoobastank, Sevendust, Everlast, 3 Days Grace, Thrice, Lo Pro, Thornley, IMA Robot, Strata, Cold, Drowning Pool, Smile Empty Soul, Finger Eleven, Lost Prophets, Marcy Playground
2004 - Fall: Velvet Revolver, Chevelle, Seether, Shinedown, Breaking Benjamin, Story of the Year, Riddlin Kids, Papa Roach, Authority Zero, Earshot, Skindred, The Exies, My Chemical Romance, Burden Brothers, The Vanished
2005 - Spring: 3 Doors Dopwn, Mudvayne, Trust Company, The Used, Wakefield, Papa Roach, Unwritten Law, Alter Bridge, No Address, Snow Patrol, Sum 41, Breaking Benjamin, Theory of a Deadman, The Exies, Glass Intrepid
2005 - Fall Buzzfest was supposed to be held at Minute Maid Park, but because the Houston Astros advanced to the 2005 World Series that was held at the same time, it was moved to the Cynthia Woods Mitchell Pavilion in The Woodlands. This turned out to be a major problem for the public, because the Woodlands could not honor the tickets sold for Minute Maid Park. Fans had to turn in their Minute Maid Park tickets for refunds, and then make the additional effort to purchase Woodlands tickets, with the change of venue announced less than one week before the concert.
Performers were: Audioslave, Nickelback, Seether, Cold, 10 Years, Institute, 30 Seconds to Mars, Hinder, Boys Night Out, Fallout Boy, Bloodhound Gang, Yellowcard, Coheed & Cambria, Vaux, Dredg, The Starting Line, Motion City Soundtrack, Panic! At the Disco
2006 - Spring: Staind, Shinedown, Blue October, 10 Years, Evans Blue, People in Plains, Huck Johns, Hoobastank, Trapt, Three Days Grace, Hinder, Buckcherry, Candlebox, Bril, Hurt
2006 - Fall: Alice in Chains, Breaking Benjamin, Lostprophets, Panic Channel, Hurt, 18 Visions, Stone Sour, Evans Blue, Crossfade, Everclear, Red Jumpsuit Apparatus, OK Go, Boys Like Girls
2007 - Spring: Seether, Puddle of Mudd, Three Days Grace, Papa Roach, Hinder, Jet, Chevelle, Smile Empty Soul, Blue October, Buckcherry, Finger Eleven, Red Jumpsuit Apparatus, Saosin, The Exies, The Vanished, Autovein
2007 - Fall: Smashing Pumpkins, Finger Eleven, Chris Cornell, Earshot, Evanescence, The Bravery, Evans Blue, The Starting Line, Alter Bridge, Sick Puppies, Sum 41, Fair to Midland, Fuel
BuzzFest XXII was scheduled for October 26, 2008. The extensive artist lineup included such names as The Offspring, Staind, Seether, Papa Roach, Puddle of Mudd, 10 Years and more. However, due to extensive damage to the Cynthia Woods Mitchell Pavilion caused by Hurricane Ike, the show was forced to be canceled.
2013 - Spring (Buzzfest 30): Shinedown, Bush, Stone Sour, Papa Roach, P.O.D., Sick Puppies, Hollywood Undead, The Dirty Heads, Oleander, IAmDynamite, A Silent Film, The Virgin Mary's, Youngblood Hawk, Beware of Darkness
2013 - Fall (Buzzfest 31): Stone Temple Pilots with Chester Bennington, Chevelle, Cage the Elephant, Blue October, The Dirty Heads, 10 Years, The Mowgli's, Oleander, New Politics, Middle Class Rut, IAmDynamite, The Virgin Marys, Nico Vega
2014 - Fall (Buzzfest 32): Chevelle, P.O.D., Papa Roach, The Dirty Heads, Cage the Elephant, Evans Blue, Young the Giant, New Politics, Switchfoot, Bear Hands, Big Data, Bad Suns, Milky Chance, New Medicine
2015 - Spring (Buzzfest 33): Godsmack, The Dirty Heads, Breaking Benjamin, Holywood Undead, AWOLNATION, New Politics, Buckcherry, Robert DeLong, Joywave, Art Alexakis, Young Guns, IAmDynamite, Not In The Face, Within Reason
2015 - Fall (Buzzfest 34): Papa Roach, Bring Me the Horizon, Our Lady Peace, Yelawolf, P.O.D., Pop Evil, Panic! at the Disco, Candlebox, Big Wreck, Atlas Genius, The Struts, Issues, Wolf Alice, Pvris
2016 - Spring (Buzzfest 35): Cage the Elephant, AWOLNATION, The Offspring, Fitz and the Tantrums, Blue October, Everclear, Toadies, The Struts, Joy Formidable, Big Data, Nothing But Thieves, New Beat Fund, Andrew Wyatt
Call sign history
- KARO - 10/1960
- KLEF-FM - 10/21/1964
- KJYY - 03/13/1986 (Joy 94)
- KLDE - 04/29/1988 (Oldies 94.5)
- KTBZ - 07/18/2000 (94-5 The Buzz)
- KTBZ-FM - 01/11/2001 (94-5 The Buzz)
In 2007, the station was nominated for the top 25 markets Alternative station of the year award by Radio & Records magazine. Other nominees included WBCN in Boston, Massachusetts, KROQ-FM in Los Angeles, KITS, in San Francisco, KNDD in Seattle, Washington, and WWDC in Washington, DC.