By LA Weekly
By Henry Rollins
By Weekly Photographers
By Shea Serrano
By Nate "Igor" Smith
By Dan Weiss
By Erica E. Phillips
By Kai Flanders
4. Indie doesn’t stand a chance of taking down KROQ, much as some might hope, but it could hurt KROQ slightly in its continual battle for No. 1 ratings. (Kinda like Ralph Nader — he could never win the election, but he lost it for Gore.) In an interesting side note, Clear Channel’s Star 98 recently hired KROQ icon Richard Blade, perhaps another attempt to grab aging ex-KROQers.
Radio is probably the most volatile mass medium, and if Indie doesn’t do well enough, it’ll be shuttered in a heartbeat, just like every other station that’s gone up against KROQ (remember Y-107?) and the scrappy weirdoes who formerly broadcast at the 103.1 signal — Groove Radio and Mars. Fortunately, Clear Channel claims it has no interest in turning Indie into a real juggernaut — a tiny share of listeners and 12 ads an hour is all it wants. Sounds good to me.
And if Entravision is looking for any advice from a potential devotee, I have plenty. Those commercial-free Mondays it’s promising are a good start. And here’s another idea: Instead of spending thousands of dollars researching what your audience wants to hear, why not take a few goddamn requests? You think KROQ got so big in the ’80s by market research? It did it by giving its DJs and listeners an actual hand in programming. Cut out the freaking middlemen already. Give your research money to Michael Steele and let him continue to follow his own instincts. He’s onto something, you guys. Then, let him pick some great DJs and give them a hand in programming, too. People don’t demand perfection of their radios: They just want some creativity.
And if you really want to kick some ass, why not take a lesson from the visionaries of the ’80s — lay off the oldies a bit and play more new stuff that’s as adventurous as “alternative gold” was in its day. You could start by playing the Sleepy Jackson and Junior Senior immediately. Much obliged.