Dear Terrestrial Radio – An Open Letter for Improvement


Hi. I still listen to you. Not as much as I did in college while working at a bakery, listening to KROQ and K-EARTH. But I still do, when streaming audio gets choked by unreliable Wi-Fi. Or the perils of selecting literally any song becomes my Sophie’s Choice. You are a passive listening experience, but I can’t just sit back and consume obediently anymore.


Look, I understand your audiences are increasingly looking to other media for music, and you need those advertising dollars. So you desperately play new and popular songs ad nauseam. But what about those who peddle the so-called classics? You’re close-minded gatekeepers. And you make assumptions based on the archaic idea that most people pigeonhole their ears. Or that women artists scare off listeners.


Here’s some news for you that Arbitron won’t admit: Folks listen to everything these days. So before you DJs at the oldies or classic rock stations play “Don’t Stop Believin’” for the 90 millionth time, consider Buddy Holly. Or Johnny Cash. Or Elvis, for Pete’s sake. When’s the last time you kissed the king’s ring? He is still an icon. Treat him as such.


And don’t act as though artists like Tom Petty didn’t have hits outside of “American Girl.” Dare to play “You Don’t Know How It Feels” or “The Last DJ” (or is that one too prescient?).


Learn from KCSN, a Los Angeles-area college station. They air new and old songs, dusting off forgotten gems that put a smile on commuters’ faces. (“Dizz Knee Land” by dada? Heck yes!) And they have the balls to play female artists. How about a little love for Dead Sara or R&B divas not named Beyoncé?


You’re still alive, terrestrial radio. But I’m thisclose to kicking you to the curb unless you go to rehab.



Photo by Strecosa/Pixabay/Creative Commons

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