Edit: As you can see, the shock of this news has affected more than one of us here on staff...
Acclaimed LA/OC radio station Indie 103.1--which attracted nationwide attention due to their deep playlists and unconventional specialty shows in the face of increasingly uniform FM radio formats--is abandoning terrestrial radio today, in favor of broadcasting solely online.
A statement on their official site says, "Indie 103.1 was recently faced with only one option --- to play the corporate radio game"--essentially the antithesis of the principles the station was founded upon--and that they have decided to not play that game "any longer." Recently, Indie 103.1 has dropped some of their specialty shows, including Sunday morning's "Watusi Radio" hosted by Chris Morris. On listening to their regular rotation music lately, it had begun to resemble a hipper version of more typical FM modern rock stations with a reliance on currently popular hits like "Sex on Fire" by Kings of Leon; currently, online, they are playing more obscure tracks (like "Pay No Mind" by Beck) and older songs (like "The New World" by X).
Indie 103.1, in its current form, started in December 2003, and soon netted widespread recognition for generally being decidedly less sucky than the rest of the repetitive commercial radio lot, like Rolling Stone naming it the country's best radio station. Mighty Mighty Bosstones frontman Dicky Barrett originally hosted their morning show ("The Mighty Morning Show"); he left in March 2006 and was replaced by Joe Escalante ("The Last of the Famous International Morning Shows"), bassist for Huntington Beach-based punk veterans the Vandals.
The station broadcasted from two synchronized transmitters, KDLD in Santa Monica and KDLE in Newport Beach. Interestingly, despite the word "Indie" in their name, the station started as a partnership between Santa Monica-based media company Entravision and national radio giant Clear Channel; FCC regulations on the number of stations a company can have in one market caused that agreement to end in 2005, and since then the station has been operated by just Entravision. Full text of the message on their Web site follows after the jump.
This is an important message for the Indie 103.1 Radio Audience -
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.
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We have decided not to play that game any longer. Rather than changing the sound, spirit, and soul of what has made Indie 103.1 great Indie 103.1 will bid farewell to the terrestrial airwaves and take an alternative course.
This could only be done on the Internet, a place where rules do not apply and where new music thrives; be it grunge, punk, or alternative - simply put, only the best music.
For those of you with a computer at home or at work, log on to www.indie1031.com and listen to the new Indie 103.1 - which is really the old Indie 103.1, not the version of Indie 103.1 we are removing from the broadcast airwaves.
We thank our listeners and advertisers for their support of the greatest radio station ever conceived, and look forward to continuing to deliver the famed Indie 103.1 music and spirit over the Internet to passionate music listeners around the world.