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Changing The Channel

With its monopoly of the airwaves and live concert venues, music industry behemoth Clear Channel's recent decision to promote "independent" music through the L.A.-based 103.1 KDLD seemed an unlikely move. Previously a struggling outlet for mainstream dance music, the channel was renamed Indie 103.1: "Your Independent Radio Station," and its playlist revamped to attract alienated modern rock fans. The station's programming director, Michael Steele, explains, "As radio gets more corporate, fewer bands are getting exposure. We saw a hole in L.A. for a radio station that could expose some of those bands and get a significant portion of the listenership." Featured artists include the Polyphonic Spree, Chicks on Speed, and Dizzee Rascal – a far cry from the Beyonces and Limp Bizkits that dominate the playlists of Clear Channel's 1,225 other stations nationwide. In addition, the new format initially aired without any commercials or on-air personalities. Could the music industry's biggest corporation really be creating non-corporate radio for the masses?

SPIN Staff |January 29, 2004 - 8:00 am

Tags: Music News