News station lays off journalists, will play Beyoncé songs instead
Houston news station KROI laid off 47 employees Wednesday and will, for the time being, play only Beyoncé songs, David Barron reports for the Houston Chronicle. The station "aired its last broadcast Wednesday, October 8, 2014," its website says.
Radio One owns the station, known as News 92 FM. Its employees "were notified shortly after 9 a.m. Wednesday that the news format was being dropped and the station rebranded - for the moment - as B921, playing around-the-clock, commercial-free music by Beyoncé," Barron reports.
The station was ranked 26th in the market as a news station. The Beyoncé gambit is not expected to last: "There was no indication how long the B921 format would continue," Barron writes.
For a pop star, Beyoncé has had a disproportionate effect on media outlets:
- Washingtonian magazine lost out on a big scoop after a reporter and editor there determined she had lip-synced during President Obama's second inaugural.
- She forbade publications to send their own photographers to her concerts.
- The U.S. government once declined to name her in a FOIA request.
- Earlier this year an Italian journalist claimed The Washington Post was about to report President Obama was having an affair with Beyoncé, a rumor Poynter definitively knocked down.