As the fourth most populated city in the United States, Houston is a city with a wide variety of cultures and communities, and it is unique for its diverse music scene. Popular music genres of the area include rock, country, hip-hop, blues, and Spanish hits.
Houston radio stations are just as diverse – there are stations for every music preference and many talk shows for entertainment, too.
I know what you may be thinking- is radio still a thing?
Yes, radio is still popular, especially in the UK, for the ease of access and affordability that only a radio station can bring. Digital radio is becoming increasingly popular as well. Radio is not only important for getting music out into the world- it’s considered a last line of defense for broadcasting information to the masses in case of an emergency- even if the power is out.
While it is hard to pin down the best radio station due to the diverse preferences and trends in Houston, these stations are some of the most popular and reputable radio stations in the area.
1. 104.1 KRBE
This station self-identifies as “Houston’s number one hit music station,” and rightfully so. Starting in 1959 as a classical music station, KRBE has maintained a large community while evolving to become what they are today.
Today, as a Top 40 station with 1.5 million listeners a week, they are known for playing the top hits. While these hits typically fall under the pop genre, some alternative, indie, or hip-hop hits can also be heard on this station.
Broadcasting on FM and digital radio, KRBE is also popular for its weekday Roula and Ryan Show. This show stars Roula Christie and Ryan Chase, locals of Houston that originally starred on KHMX before transferring to KRBE and building a community of fun-loving Houston locals.
Website: 104.1 – KRBE
FM Frequency: 104.1 FM
2. Sunny 99.1 Houston
An adult contemporary station on FM and digital radio, Sunny 99.1 plays 80’s, 90’s, and today’s music, and it hosts a variety of popular talk shows in Houston. This station is owned by iHeartMedia, a mass media corporation stationed in San Antonio, Texas.
Previously known as KODA, the station picked up the monomer “The All-New Sunny 99.1” in 1991 and began playing the adult contemporary music they are popular for now. They are also known for their talk shows, with shows such as “Dana & Jay in the Morning,” “Delilah,” and “The Ellen K Weekend Show” bringing in as many as 400,000 listeners a week.
In particular, the “Delilah” show is well-liked among both men and women for the host Delilah’s calming and encouraging demeanor. Delilah has become a radio show legend for her years of supporting callers and providing quality music recommendations.
Reaching 276 million on-air listeners every month and 133 million registered online users, Sunny 99.1 sits among the best of Houston’s radio stations for its reliable entertainment.
Website: Sunny 99.1
FM Frequency: 99.1 FM
3. 94.5 The Buzz
Known as one of Houston’s best alternative rock stations, 94.5 The Buzz is available on FM and digital radio. This station is also an iHeartMedia radio station, so it has the benefit of a large listening community online as well.
This station first began in 1960 and played a multitude of music genres such as classical, adult contemporary, and oldies until finally becoming an alternative rock station. The Buzz has maintained its popularity over the years and has proven itself to be one of the most-loved radio stations in Houston.
Along with the music featuring popular artists such as Lincoln Park, Dave Matthews Band, and My Chemical Romance, 94.5 The Buzz also broadcasts its own talk shows and podcasts. Some of their best shows are the “Rod Ryan Show,” “BUZZD BUDS,” and the “Karah Leigh” talk show.
Website: 94.5 The Buzz
FM Frequency: 94.5 FM
4. The Eagle 106.9
The Eagle, a classic rock radio station in Houston, is available on 106.9 FM, 107.5 FM, and online. This radio station is known for the playful banter found on “The Dean & Rog Show” and for the consistent broadcasting of classic rock legends such as Pink Floyd, The Who, and Bon Jovi.
Home of “The Dean & Rog Show” which airs every morning, The Eagle has grown a community of fun-loving pranksters and rock enthusiasts alike. One of the most famous radio skits from “The Dean & Rog Show,” the birthday scam segments are great examples of this station’s comedic and warm nature.
This radio station participates in many events and shows as well. With featured venues such as the White Oak Music Hall and the Toyota Center, many amazing artists have events scheduled throughout the next few months.
Website: Houston’s Eagle
FM Frequency: 106.9 FM and 107.5 FM
5. The New 93Q
As Houston’s main country radio station, 93Q broadcasts on 92.9 FM and digital radio. Owned by Cox Media Group, this station reaches nearly 2 million Houstonians and has been nominated twice for the Best Radio Station in a Large Market award by the Country Music Association.
The New 93Q originally signed on in 1962 as a Spanish language radio station and has since broadcast beautiful music, Top 40, and rock hits until finally landing on a very successful country music format. They now play music by country artists such as Blake Shelton, Luke Combs, and Morgan Wallen.
This radio station is also prized for its comedic talk shows, contests, and events hosted. Weekdays on this station are devoted to “The Q Morning Zoo,” an aptly-named talk show starring Erica Rico and Katelyn Maida, where discussions can range from second-date disasters to the life of Shania Twain.
Website: 93Q Houston’s
FM Frequency: 92.9 FM
6. KPFT 90.1
KPFT is a non-commercial community radio station based in Houston, Texas that broadcasts not only music, but also news, call-in segments, and talk shows to 90.1 FM and a website stream. This radio station is loved by many for the discussion of current social issues and the diversity of programming that can only be found at KPFT.
First airing in 1970, KPFT 90.1 was established by two former journalists as a medium to report on socio-political issues more freely, and even now, they focus a lot of their talk show segments around the topic of freedom of speech.
The music broadcast from KPFT varies day to day but can include local programming of hip-hop, blues, jazz, pop, rock, and more.
FM Frequency: 90.1 FM
7. 93.7 The Beat
The Beat is a popular urban contemporary music station established in 1963. They are known for playing R&B and hip-hop and sharing recent pop-culture news, and they also air the popular talk show, “The Breakfast Club.”
“The Breakfast Club,” starring DJ Envy, Angela Yee, and Charlamagne Tha God, is a morning show famous for its entertaining celebrity interviews. Some of the most prominent American celebrities that have appeared on 93.7 The Beat are Nicki Minaj, Arnold Schwarzenegger, Gucci Mane, and Justin Bieber.
This radio station also promotes a variety of events at venues such as the Houston Toyota Center for local and major artists.
Website: 93.7 The Beat
FM Frequency: 93.7 FM
8. 740 KTRH News Radio
One of the oldest radio stations in the United States, KTRH began in 1922 as an entertainment and weather program. Now, this commercial AM radio station is known for covering news from Houston and across the state of Texas as well as providing some entertainment segments.
A trusted source for traffic, weather, and local news, News Radio 740 has quickly become one of the most popular radio stations for the working class. “Houston’s Morning News,” an early morning segment starring Jimmy Barrett and Shara Fryer, is one of the best ways to stay up-to-date on your local news while settling into your workday groove.
KTRH also hosts a variety of contests and events every month to give back to the community.
Website: NewsRadio 740 KTRH
AM Frequency: 740 AM
9. Sports Talk 790 KBME
Another AM radio station, KBME 790 broadcasts on 790 AM and digital radio. KBME is currently owned by iHeartMedia, and it serves as Houston’s primary source for sports talk radio.
First airing in 1944, this station didn’t switch to a sports-coverage format until 2005. Until then, KBME broadcast a variety of genres including pop hits, adult contemporary music, and country.
Sports Talk 790 now broadcasts Houston Rockets basketball, Houston Astros baseball, and Houston Cougars football as their flagship radio station, but they cover other live national sports broadcasts, too.
Website: SportsTalk 790
AM Frequency: 790 AM
10. 97.9 The Box
The Box is a commercial radio station in Houston that broadcasts hip-hop and R&B music. It is owned by Urban One, a multi-media company specializing in black-owned brands.
While The Box mainly delivers music content, it also broadcasts quality entertainment news and local weather information on 97.9 FM and digital radio. 97.9 is home to “Good Morning H-Town,” a weekday morning talk show that won the Houston Chronicle’s Best of the Best award for Best Radio Morning Show in 2021.
“Good Morning H-Town,” hosted by Keisha Nicole and J-Mac, boasts a large community due to their exciting and motivating content. They claim to give you everything you need when starting your work day, including motivation.
Website: 97.9 The Box
FM Frequency: 97.9 FM
Top Houston Radio Stations, Final Thoughts
With so many options available, finding the best radio stations in Houston can be a difficult feat. However, many great stations stand out as some of the best around when looking at how many Houstonians listen to each station and the communities built within the stations.
What helps you to get through the day? What music do you want to hear on the drive home? The diversity of stations broadcast in Houston makes it easy to find a radio talk show or music station that fits your specific needs. You can even get local weather and news sprinkled in as you listen.
Whether you are into news, podcasts, or alternative rock, there is bound to be a station you enjoy. And with the added accessibility of digital radio and Bluetooth FM transmitters, these stations can be enjoyed from almost anywhere in the world.
Based on popularity, the best radio stations in Houston are currently 104.1 KRBE, Sunny 99.1 Houston, and 94.5 The Buzz. These stations stand apart from the others due to their entertaining talk shows and quality music playlists.
Check out these 10 most popular Houston radio stations today, even if you’re not a local. Who knows, you may end up with a new favorite!