28 March 2006

the myth of "indie" radio

This post could also be titled Fuck Clear Channel in the ass.

I enjoy Indie 103 FM, Southern California's "independent" station. They play a lot of new music, more eclectic fare than the repetitive corporate sludge on KROQ. They also have an interesting programming featuring reggae, punk, American roots, and new wave shows to name a few. But this college format is just a facade, since the station is actually owned by Clear Channel.

So I wasn't surprised this morning to find that they had a new morning host as Dave Navarro (of Jane's Addiction) had replaced Dickie Barret (of the Mighty Mighty Bosstones). Here's Barret in his own words on what led to the changes:

The station was built to fuck with KROQ (Infinity) by people from KISS-FM (Clear Channel) it was just supposed to be a short lived pain in the ass that that took away a few ratings points, and talked some shit about KROQ - Inadvertently (and you can credit Steve Jones and the other celebrity DJ's) it became good, and got a lot of national attention, and credible press ''the coolest station in America'' rolling stone etc. – At that point the FCC said Clear Channel who operated Indie 103.1 out of the Entravision offices could no longer do so - All business ties on paper we're severed - It became a full Entravision property - But the hard right leaning Clear Channel program director and station manager (along with a lot of the behind the scenes technical employees) were already firmly in place - It is in Clear Channel's best interest that Indie 103.1 exist - the PD, Michael Steele (who brags about ''breaking Britney Spears'') and the station manager, Dawn Girocco (a long time radio sales women) are believing their own hype and considering themselves radio geniuses who masterminded the Indie 103.1 phenomenon, so it's now time to implicate their superior ''radio wisdom'' and conventional ''radio strategy''

#1) Morning shows need to be musically formatted and the music needs to be heavily rotated - #2) All guests must be approved by Michael Steele (Dawn Girocco really, she's Dick Cheney, Steele's George Bush) ''no guests to controversial soccer moms are listening in the a.m.'' - There were other things that were more annoying, then actually detrimental to the show ''say the time, and call letters till your blue in the face'' - I reluctantly, and unhappily against my better judgment went along with all this for about two weeks, hoping they would come to their senses - During this time they brought in a longtime radio guru, to consult (he also worked at one point for Clear Channel) - His assessment was the show was ''really good'' and I was a legitimate talent and a potential radio star'' - Not the information these people wanted me to have - When I made an on air remark about not liking the new overplayed Morrissey track I was marched into the President of Entravisions office (Jeff Lieberman, a fan of Mighty Morning show) - In front of me, Jeff told Dawn he was not prepared to ''strip Dicky of his opinion'' she was obviously and visibly embarrassed - Then he asked her if she gave me the book about morning radio that he gave her to give to me ''no, it's at home'' she said, ''why the hell, is it there'' he asked, she looked humiliated - This was the beginning of the end for me, and the writing was most likely on the wall - Two weeks after that I had a substantial, unauthorized, pro-choice conversation on the air with a South Dakota disc jockey and a few callers, the straw that broke the camels back - This is not the direction supporters of the current administration want the station going in.

I have no problem with Dave Navarro. He plays great stuff on his Saturday evening Camp Freddie show. But this action is a sign of more things to come. Clear Channel (the Walmart of radio) will continue to swallow up anything good, wholesome and authentic. It will regurgitate formulaic, corporate excrement into the ears of the radio listening public.


I guess you could say this is the "Original Pime". I stopped blogging here regularly in May 2008 (if you don't count the B-Sides diversion - yes it gets confusing) when I joined the Tumblr revolution. Going forward bravely into 2009, this site will serve to house any large image work I produce.

Peace out.


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