The airwaves around Los Angeles are just a little emptier today, as Indie 103.1 is officially done, with Spanish music where the Buzzcocks used to be. We’re getting some more details on what happened. First up, the LA Times had an interview yesterday with Chris Morris, a DJ who was recently let go from the station. He reminded us that Indie had retooled a few months back to be more mainstream in a last-ditch attempt to grab some ratings, but he reminisced about the station’s heyday, saying the “amount of liberty I enjoyed was unbelievable.” The Daily Swarm has an exclusive chat with Music Director Mark Sovell, who has some very interesting tidbits. First, while the station is currently advertising that it has moved to the web, it turns out that “none of the primary DJs or music programmers at the station are involved in the website and it’s not being run by people who ran the station – there may be one person from the station.” Maybe that explains why the web site has such screwy grammar: “LISTEN INDIE LIVE NOW!” He reveals that the whole announcement about not playing “the corporate radio game” any more is a farce, since none of the station employees had anything to do with it—the on-air treatise about “corporate radio” was read by the head of sales. However, he teases us a little, offering that “there are people who are making an effort to bring the station back on the air with the same people, but I can’t say specifically.” Good luck with that…
US News & World Report reacts to the news of Indie’s shuttering by asking if radio has “run its course,” but concluding that everything’s just dandy:
We haven’t lost our freedom of choice–it has grown immensely! There is probably no better day than today for someone interested in broadcasting. There’s a simple reason: the market responded to the demand of dissatisfied radio listeners, and new technologies provided alternatives. Satellite radio gives you more dial choices than terrestrial radio in any city in the world. But more significantly, podcasting has turned anyone into a DJ.
Okay, sure, I like podcasts and mp3 players, but I should remind you that our now-monopolized satellite company just sloughed off most of its good stations. So allow me, for a moment, to defend regular radio. Whether it’s the shared experience, the guidance of a good DJ who’s passionate about music, the shiny, compressed sound, or just the wizardry of signals over the air, there’s something magical about radio, when it’s done right. Plugging your iPod into your car stereo is neat, but it just isn’t the same.