What Happens When Your Radio Station Switches Formats

I’m probably opening myself up for non-stopping ribbing by admitting to this, but I listen to country music radio. At least I did until KZLA — who have always called themselves “America’s most listened to country station” — abruptly became “Movin 93.9” last Thursday.

I listened to KZLA’s morning show on my way to work Thursday morning but when I got back in my car to head home that evening I was shocked to hear “Mambo #5” coming out of my speakers. My first thought was that it was on the wrong station, however a quick glance and the pretty purple LCD screen told me that I was still on 93.9. Something was wrong. Very wrong. I promptly turned the volume down and called my husband on my cellphone. When I got home, I checked the headlines online only to find that it was even a surprise to the station air staff.

Now, I realize that I’m the only ‘Loper that would find any of this surprising or upsetting but this presents a very real problem for me. I listen to a wide variety of music. I’m surrounded by music lovers, exposing me to lots of music, new and old. I have a wonderful husband who loves to play DJ for me and loads up our Audiotron with not only music that he likes, but music that he thinks I will like. He’s about 95% accurate. However, he does not listen to popular country music. He thinks that some of it is trash, which is true, but some of it is also pretty wonderful. Either way, my only real exposure to current and new popular country music is listening to the radio.

Now I don’t even have that. What is a country fan supposed to do? I do have a CD player in my car, but that doesn’t really allow for discovery of new songs or new artists. Generally, I buy a CD because I’ve heard at least a couple of songs elsewhere. KZLA is still available on HD radio, so I could invest in an HD receiver for my car. Or I could try satellite.

But the one thing that is not an option, and speaks volumes about the current state of terrestrial radio, is going down the dial to another radio station. I’m covered on all other musical genres through several other sources. I get traffic and news off the internet. I just need a way to get my country fix. And who knows, maybe I’ll discover something else with satellite or HD.

11 Responses to “What Happens When Your Radio Station Switches Formats”

  1. Kirk says:

    Prediction. Rox will be the first Loper to get satellite radio.

  2. Jim says:

    Hey Yeah, are you going to pay for the receiver, installation and the monthly service charges for the XM? Because that would be great!!

    But there is a larger issue her: the fact that — thanks to the Telecommunications Act of 1996 –the majority of the radio stations in the U.S. are owned by, like five companies? All of whom impose the same three or four music formats on thousands and thousands of radio stations.

    Nor does Satellite radio address the issue of the wholesale abandoment of local communities that spring up around radio stations by these monopolies. These are, theoretically, the people’s airwaves, and people shouldn’t be forced to go to Satellite just to listen to something as mainstream as country music.

  3. sirius says:

    i completely understand and agree with jim’s comment regarding local radio stations and the communities that support them, however i went over to satellite with Stern and LOVE it. let me repeat LOVE it. i don’t think that their is a single clear cut way to handle the monopolies that control terrestrial radio. i don’t think satellite is the “answer”. it is an option. i see satellite as the “cable tv” of radio. although, i pay much less for my sirius than i do for cable.

  4. Mia says:

    Hey, so I just read that XM is taking over the Country Bash music fest in LA in October as the sponsor. They also have a bunch of country channels — I counted nine on their web.

  5. Carrie says:

    The bigger issue here for me is that all of LA and OC should be represended and these “owners” of stations are focusing on the miniority population. We have pleanty of stations that have the same formats. Just skim through the channels. I don’t think I should have to pay for XM and so on to get radio. This is an outrage. I hate not being represented.

  6. Sandi says:

    I am VERY disappointed that the powers that be decided that EVERY genre should not have a station to listen to on Free Radio and that the only Country station in LA was removed from the airwaves for a station with the same format as many others.
    If you are music fan who would like to support bringing country music back to Los Angeles want to express it with your apparel – visit:
    >Want to talk about country music with other fans?Check out the message boards at http://countryboards.com/boards/> Don’t forget to check out The Big Time Saturday Night Online with Whitney Allen

  7. Mardely says:

    well all i got to say is , ” i need my country back , is the only music i truly loved ,im tired of regge and all those songs , i need music tha will help me relax on my way home . we need our music back

  8. ASUFAN says:

    Just came accross this and thought we should share that Country is back in LA and OC on 540/1260 AM . Most of the kzla spinners are there including Shawn Parr and Whitney Allen . also http://www.myspace.com/540and1260amcountry

  9. ASUFAN says:

    Go Country 105 FM BABY Country is back . KKGOing Country

  10. I used to never listen to country, but it’s changed a lot over the last ten years or so. And the cowgirls are hot!