Blog on the Run: Reloaded

Thursday, October 9, 2003 6:25 am

Clear Channel exhaustion


Radio deregulation’s primary result has been to make an industry behemoth out of Clear Channel, but even this distorted market is responding in ways that warm this former DJ’s heart.

KPIG, near Santa Cruz, Calif., is one station already reaping the rewards of Clear Channel exhaustion. By its own admission, KPIG has one of the weakest signals in its market. Yet it consistently ranks in the top five against all formats in all demographics in its market, and first in the 25-54 demographic and in the Triple-A (adult album alternative) format. It has owned the ratings charts there for six years. What makes KPIG unique is that in an age of format consultants and universal playlists, live deejays at KPIG still pull records off the shelves and play practically whatever occurs to them, whenever they feel like it. They even answer the phone. This is old-school rock radio. “You scan the dial and you know when it’s the PIG. You may not know the song, or even the artist. You know it’s us because you’ve never heard it before and it’s good,” says program director Laura Hopper. “That’s our strength. There is no one else like us out there.”

You need RealOne’s radio pass to listen to KPIG on the ‘net, but another indepedent rock station, Cincinnati’s WOXY, is available for free.

The article also approvingly cites public radio station WNCW in Spindale, N.C., which has long been a favorite of mine when we’re up in the mountains. (It plays everything from rock to old-time country, usually back-to-back.) You can hear it here.

Deregulation ruined the radio bidness, but there are still a few good stations around.

(Thanks to Subterranean Homepage News for the link.)

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