Tuesday, January 20, 2009


I work in satellite radio, I'm from the New York area and I'm not a huge indie-rock dude. Still, I was really bummed to hear that L.A. indie-rock station Indie 103 went off the air.

Other than NPR stations and Little Steven's syndicated show, terrestrial radio is boring and lame and has been for as long as I can remember. I was surprised when I went to L.A. a few years ago: I listened to the station and marveled at how cool it was. Plus, they had some pretty cool DJs; Henry Rollins had a show, I think Dave Navarro did, but the guy who got the most attention was Steve Jones of The Sex Pistols.

But the craziest thing is that, after firing the staff, the station's owners decided to keep the station online. And the station's owners pretended that they were the station's staff (who they had just fired) to keep the station's cred. The Daily Swarm interviewed the channel's program director, who said: "None of the primary DJs or music programmers at the station are involved in the website... My concern is that people are confused. They are running an ad on the air saying we couldn’t play the corporate radio game anymore and that we didn’t want to change our format to be more mainstream and that we decided to play music on the web, but the staff of Indie had no control in the decision to shut down the station. I guess they had some success with the web and want to keep it going. But I don’t want the listeners to be confused." Typical radio industry stuff: trying to pull a fast one on listeners who they don't respect enough to figure out what's going on. Which worked in 1989, before the web. Although now it seems like they've decided to put some money back into the station, as they've announced that some of their DJs, including Rollins, will keep their shows on the streaming channel. Well, I guess it's better than nothing.

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