Corporate Radio vs. "fringe" rock and pop

Mark Morford’s latest column, All Hail The Death of Radio, is a long rant about the utter suckage of corporate radio. His usual brilliant dissection of the pathetic.

I sent him a note about KPIG.

Here’s what KPIG says about themselves:

What is KPIG?

We’re an anachronism – a throwback to the days when real DJs picked out
the music, and listeners expected something more from a radio station than
just a couple of hundred songs repeated over and over, with some “big
voice” guy yelling about how great it all is. We’re also – to the
amazement of all of the radio “professionals” who make the rules we thumb
our noses at – very successful, though we try not to let it go to our


And, yes, they are successful: with a weak signal, they regularly challenge ClearChannel stations for top ratings in their local market.

this link

R&R labels it a “Triple A” station, which is defined thusly:

Radio Station Format Definitions:
Adult Album Alternative

“Triple-A” stations target an adult audience with a large variety of music
that hovers on the fringe of mainstream pop and rock, including Americana,
alternative rock, alternative country, blues, folk and world music. The
selections stay away from rap or any of the “hard stuff.”

Typical artists heard on AAA stations include: Shawn Colvin, Eric Clapton,
Amiee Mann, David Gray, Bob Dylan, Cowboy Junkies, Dave Mathews Band, U2,
Tracy Chapman, R.E.M., Train, Blues Traveler, Cold Play, Depeche Mode,
Lucinda Williams, Josh Joplin Group.


Interesting… so, all these bands and singers are on “fringe” of
mainstream pop and rock?!? Tracy Chapman?, R.E.M., Bob Dylan?!?, Dave Mathews Band, U2?!?, Depeche Mode? Says a lot about corporate radio, doesn’t it?

Incidentally, these aren’t the bands that KPIG typically plays… 95% of the time, when I tune them in, I hear something I’ve never heard before… and sometimes, I even like it. Mark Morford says that this recently happened to him for the first time since 1996.

Corporate America’s lack of imagination and risk-aversion is costing it a fortune… and improvershing our culture in the process – as KPIG’s success demonstrates by contrast.

Sad, isn’t it?

Thomas Leavitt