In the short amount of time we’ve been running this blog, the Los Angeles based radio station Indie 103.1 was already a major topic of discussion. Well, you can imagine my disappointment when two days ago I got into the car and heard this message playing when I tuned in:
Indie 103.1 will cease broadcasting over this frequency effective immediately. Because of changes in the radio industry and the way radio audiences are measured, stations in this market are being forced to play too much Britney, Puffy and alternative music that is neither new nor cutting edge. Due to these challenges, Indie 103.1 was recently faced with only one option – to play the corporate radio game.
I’m sure there have been other great stations in the history of L.A. radio, but to me, Indie 103.1 was probably the best that I had ever heard, in the five years that it remained on the air. Even though I primarily listen to my iPod, Indie was a great source of new music. I can’t even imagine how many bands I would never have discovered if I hadn’t been a loyal listener.
The station now is moving strictly to the web. Today, another Spanish-oriented station debuted in its place, called El Gato. While I should be happy that I can still listen to the Indie format online, and happy that most of the DJ’s have stated that they are staying when it makes the switch (one not making the move is the Sex Pistol’s Steve Jones, who hosted the popular lunchtime show Jonesy’s Jukebox), I also know my listening habits. I rarely listen to music online, and actually, rarely listen to the radio anywhere but the car. If I have anything on at home, it’s usually the TV, or I’m feeding my recent addiction to Animal Crossing for the Wii. But I will make an effort to listen, especially if the only other alternative is losing the station all together.