Rock radio seems to have reached a tipping point off the side of a cliff as listeners and station owners have begun abandoning it. A few years ago I realized that I had retreated to classic rock and ended up listening to the same 16 songs over and over again. So I started experimenting with other radio stations and trying new things. Pretty soon I was carrying a big CD wallet to and from my car because the on-air (or terrestrial, as it's now called) options were so abysmal.
You can read about this trend at NY Times (reg. required) or MediPost (also) or at Reveries, where Tim Manners linked me to the one Internet radio site that looks interesting to me, www.JackFM.com. The site still has a few holes, but I'm definitely up for something fresh. We have some many more musicians jumping into the business now that we really need someone to provide intelligent editorial direction. I wonder who that will be?
Taking another tack for getting young people involved with radio, Infinity is following Al Gore's lead and opening up the airwaves for viewer submissions. From the Sarah McBride report in the Wall St. Journal (sub required):
Starting May 16, much of the programming on KYCY 1550 AM [San Francisco] will be drawn from podcasters -- small broadcasters whose radio-like shows can be downloaded from the Internet by listeners and played whenever it suits them, either on a computer or a portable music player.
The low-ranked Infinity station, which currently airs talk-radio standards like Don Imus, will select the best of podcast submissions from its listeners, rebroadcast them over its airwaves and also stream them on its Web site. ...
The new station is promising to capture some of the offbeat nature of the podcasting world. "You're out there creating, riffing, ranting and raving and Infinity is going to give voice to your vision," says the Web site for the new station, which will be known as KYOU Radio. "Doesn't everyone have a streak of genius waiting to be heard?"