Local radio station says hack causes slur to appear on display

By Joel Eisenbaum - Investigative Reporter

HOUSTON - A local radio station claims it was hacked, and the result was a racial slur sent to thousands of Houston area radios.

It happened last night between 9 p.m. and 10 p.m.

The Radio Data Service information, essentially the text message displayed on modern radios to relate information about a song's title and artist, was hacked according to 97.9 The Box.

Several listeners snapped photos of their radios displaying the N-word followed by several exclamation points.

"It was crazy with so much going on in the world why would someone do this," listener Kimberly Adams said. "It was just disrespectful to me."

Adams said the message stayed the same for at least four songs.
It is unclear how someone could intercept or sabotage RDS information.

When Channel 2 inquired about the hacking incident, 97.9 directed us to its corporate parent.

Radio One's Vice President of Communications, Yashima Azilove, wrote the following statement:

"On Sunday, July 26th at approximately 9:20 p.m. Radio One identified that our Radio Data System (RDS) was hacked. This violation caused radio car displays to read obscenities on the 97.9 FM The Box frequency. This matter was addressed promptly by our engineers. We thank all of our listeners for sounding off on social media to ensure we knew about this issue. The #NoPlaceForHate hashtag was immediately created as a response to this unfortunate incident. Our mission to inform, inspire and entertain our listeners will not be compromised by haters."

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