Saturday, January 29, 2005

Internet Radio

Some RH readers might remember that several months back I wrote about the death of an independent radio station in Ohio, WOXY 97.7. This radio station like so many of its brother and sister alternative stations was sold to corporate radio (those of you who care about music and radio, know to what I refer). Well it turns out that several of the employees of that station have set up an Internet broadcast. WOXY radio became

How many other progressive, alternative, or interesting radio stations have been driven "off the air?". How many alternative, progressive, and explicitly anti-corporate radio stations still remain? Or have they all been sold by the owners of the station to mainstream oligarchic corporate radio?

The WOXY story was sad for sevearl reasons: (1) because a community station was lost, (2) this was a station where the DJs actually could influence what got airplay rather than some corporate directors in a corporate HQ who sent their prepackaged radio programming out via satellite to their "affiliates." (3) the station, for all its failings, did listen to some of its listeners when they made requests. Can any of us imagine that corporate radio really takes to heart the suggestions of its listeners?

Note to owners of alternative radio stations: If you sell your station to a large radio conglomerate, you did sell out the values of your station for commercial profit! And there might even be times when that is unavoidable but do not lie to yourself or your former listeners and others that you did not sell out. Because in fact, you did.

With all of the discussion of Howard Stern and the move to Satellite radio, we need to also remember that Internet radio can be a viable option for alternative and progressive radio. Is the nature of radio right now changing? Are more and more broadcasters going to get away from an FCC run amok (will it really get any better with Michael "thanks for the job, Dad!" Powell stepping down. Probably not.)

Of course the FCC is not the only problem, we must remember, the religious nut-wing is interested in controlling all aspects of our culture, our lives, and our bodies. And some, like James Dobson -- who is quite busy scouring cartoons on PBS for "gay agenda" items, is happy that Stern is moving away from radio.

But I am happy to report -- yeah, we get occasional good news, go figure -- that WOXY radio has not only become but that it is moving forward. And with the success of liberal and progressive talk radio via Air America radio on the Internet eventually expanding on conventional radio, it is possible that the future of alternative and progressive radio talk or music is not controlled by the right-wing, whatever their type.

Consider this discussion of WOXY's move to Internet radio. I imagine that POD casting cannot be far behind.

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