Dave Beasing weighs in today with some thoughts on "being Alternative:"
On Thursday, December 8, online visitors to San Diego's FM 94/9 first were exposed to a flash animation video. The Alternative station briefly and eloquently surprised listeners by remembering John Lennon that day, on the 25th anniversary of his murder.
You might be asking, why would they salute an artist they don't play? Why would FM 94/9 -- an Alternative station -- make a bigger deal out of this solemn anniversary than many Classic Rock stations? But that's the way many radio programmers think, not radio listeners.
Alternative listeners respect John Lennon's impact on our culture. Without his contribution, they can't even imagine the course that Rock music -- including Alternative -- might have taken, or failed to take.
But there's another reason: FM 94/9 often breaks the predictable rules of radio by doing the unexpected. As a result, listeners gladly parrot to their friends that, "There's FM, and there's FM 94/9." There is a market for being unconventional. FM 94/9 ranks among the top stations among 25 to 54 year-olds, a rare feat in that format.
Congratulations to FM 94/9 -- Darrel Goodin, Garett Michaels and their entire team -- for creating a new model for Alternative radio, a station that actually believes listeners who say they want occasional surprises. FM 94/9 shares their values, respects their music and their intelligence. From its start 3 years ago, many radio people haven't understood FM 94/9. Doesn't matter, because listeners do.