Mar 042003
 
Authors: Ken Hamner

As if last Friday morning wasn’t annoying enough for me, it became much more so when I drove to campus and discovered the owners of my favorite radio station had become nothing more than a sorry bunch of punk-ass corporate sell-outs.

That’s right, folks. KKPL, formerly known as Planet Radio, is no more. Planet Radio, the very name of which was a symbol of an all-encompassing world of diversity surround by oceans, clouds, mountains, moons, stars, comets, quasars and asteroids, died a horrible, gruesome death when it was bought-out by Regent Communications, the same lot of fart-knockers who bring us such wonderful stations as Tri-102 and K-99, and became “The Point.”

The point of what, no return from corporate shmucks determining what we listen to and how often? How about the point of a dagger stabbing the city of Fort Collins and its citizens in the back, vanquishing their best hope for a classy, local-run station representing their interests and musical tastes? Just the name, “The Point,” is hella-stupid. I mean, say the two names together. First say, “Planet Radio.” Then say, “The Point.” Lame, huh? At least they didn’t call it “The Period.”

What kind of previously untapped fountains of suck is Regent Communications about to unleash on us, anyway? We can start with the removal of the freedom and coolness the DJs (some of which used to be on KCSU) once had.

According to an article in The Coloradoan, Regent Communications is in the process of teaching DJs “exactly how (they) want the music presented.” What does this mean? It means an absence of local bands, probably. It means an absence of DJs presenting non-mainstream music that they think is cool and they would like to share. It means a loss of critical evaluation of music, only to be replaced by whatever the highest bidding record company slime-ball pays Regent Communications to play.

Speaking of slime-balls, the death of Planet Radio also signifies the almost complete and total domination of the airwaves by two corporate entities, Regent and Clear Channel. Between the two, they own The Bear, Alice, KTCL, KBPI, The Fox, KISSFM, Tri-102, the new Z-94.3 and more – and that’s just in Northern Colorado.

Media giants like these compete with each other by playing the same “chart-topping” (i.e. Britney Spears drivel) songs or the same oldies in the case of the classic rock stations and end up sounding exactly alike. That’s just wonderful, isn’t it? I mean, why would we want diversity in music? I know I want one or two corporations telling me what song is good and then playing it over, and over, and over again until, by golly, I’m convinced the song is good, too.

Planet Radio wasn’t perfect by any means. Sure, I love Coldplay’s “Clocks” as much as anybody, but when they started playing it three times an hour, it became a little excessive. Even so, they made an effort to play tunes by local bands, promote local events, and even play the “B” side of albums every once in a while so that we, as an audience, could be exposed to something new for a change and not have to go reaching for the MP3s that the record industry, the radio corporations’ masters, so vehemently despise.

Now all we’re going to be exposed to is more corporations milking a local market for advertising revenue and leaving us without even the smallest trickle of enjoyment.

What can we do? Not much. We can go back to MP3-cruising, I suppose, until the record industry destroys that option, too. Our other choice is to boycott stupid radio and listen to good radio, or at least radio that cares for Fort Collins and its people.

One place to start is by listening more to KCSU. There are a good variety of shows and DJs, and you can always hear something new. Unfortunately, that’s about it. There is also a “grass roots” station starting up, KRFC, and hopefully when they figure out how to run the CD players and speak into the microphones properly, they will also help to provide for the community.

Other than that, I hope you like Britney Spears.

 Posted by at 5:00 pm

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