Austin’s Kiss FM names new morning hosts

Billy the Kidd and Anne Hudson
Billy the Kidd and Anne Hudson

Local, local, local.

That’s the big promise iHeartMedia-owned 96.7 Kiss FM is making about its new morning show.

“The Billy the Kidd Show” debuts Monday, running from 6 a.m. to 10 a.m. weekdays. It replaces Elvis Duran’s nationally syndicated morning show, which originates in New York City.

Duran was dropped locally in January, though he still airs on dozens of other stations around the country.

The Austin-based hosts of “The Billy the Kidd Show” are Billy the Kidd, who arrives from iHeartMedia’s Kiss-branded station in Dallas, and Anne Hudson, who has spent about a decade on iHeartMedia’s Austin stations, most recently hosting middays on KASE 101 and afternoons on 103.1 iHeartAustin.

The two have only known each other a few weeks, but already the chemistry is evident.

“I did some fishing around before saying ‘yes’ and everyone says he’s such a good person,” Hudson said. “He’s creative and insanely talented.”

(He’s also a recovering rapper whose song “Country Girl” climbed pretty far up the charts in 2002. Check it out.)

In Dallas, Billy the Kidd hosted the afternoon drive shift at KHKS-FM, looking at Austin longingly from afar. He’s even offered to pick up fill-in shifts at 96.7 Kiss FM over the years, he says.

“I’ve always wanted to be a part of this city,” he said. “It’s a fun city and mornings are something I’ve wanted to do for a long time. Anne and I … it just made sense. I wanted to have mad respect for whomever I ended up working with.”

Both Billy the Kidd and Hudson say their show will appeal to a wide audience. Initially, the plan is to start out heavy on music and, over time, add more talk into the mix. The focus, they promise, will always be on Austin topics.

“We’re going to let the show grow organically,” Billy the Kidd said. “Austin’s a special place and this is a good opportunity. We want to be real. We don’t want to do stale, gimmicky radio bits. The show’s not going to be all about us.”

“This is something new and fresh,” Hudson said. “We want the listeners to be excited, to like what they hear and stick around. We want to have a relationship where we can say anything to them and they can say anything to us.”

Listeners who aren’t near a radio Monday can catch the debut show by visiting 967kissfm.com or via the iHeartRadio mobile app.

“Billy is one of the true great radio talents out there,” said Patrick Davis, senior vice president of programming for iHeartMedia’s Dallas, Austin and San Antonio stations. “In Dallas, he is a radio star and we believe he, along with Anne, can create some really fun and compelling content that the unique Austin radio market is looking for.

“Anne has had tremendous success with middays on KASE 101 and moving her to mornings on KHFI should help write the next chapter in the great history of 96.7 Kiss FM.”

Kiss FM isn’t the only Austin station making changes to its morning lineup in recent months. Majic 95.5 and 93.3 KGSR have, as well.

Kiss FM morning host: ‘They pulled the plug on us’

Elvis Duran
Elvis Duran (Courtesy photo)

Austin radio station 96.7 Kiss FM has apparently dumped nationally syndicated morning host Elvis Duran.

“They pulled the plug on us,” New York-based Duran told one listener today on Twitter. A short time later, he told another fan, “They decided to take us off.”

Kiss FM is owned by San Antonio-based iHeartMedia. Company representatives didn’t immediately respond to a message from the American-Statesman seeking details on who will take over the morning shift permanently.

Duran’s name has already been removed from the list of DJs on the station’s website.

Duran made his Austin debut in 2013, replacing popular host Bobby Bones, who was tapped by iHeartMedia to helm a nationally syndicated morning show of his own. Bones’ show, which runs on dozens of country radio stations, is based out of Nashville, Tenn.

Bones can still be heard locally on KASE 101.

Kiss FM isn’t the only Austin station to make changes recently. Over at 93.3 KGSR, morning host Kelly Jordan departed late last year. A permanent replacement has yet to be named.

Majic 95.5 has altered its lineup, as well.