11 August 2009

Denver's Indie 101.5 FM Exiled To Internet

I recently noted at this blog in late June, the Denver radio station Indie 101.5 FM had turned itself around and become a great radio station (it also won a Best of Denver award) after a weak start. Alas, this was a good thing that was not destined to last.

The closing statement of the core creative staff argues that radio is old school and that they'll thrive online as a web based radio station free of FCC censorship, but I have my doubts. This sounds like positive spin on a disastrous result to me.

Hello everyone this is Ralphie,

First off, if you are, sad about Indie leaving the FM dial don't be! We don't view this move as a step backwards, rather we will be bringing many new and exciting features to Indie not possible on the FM dial. Whip, Lynn, and myself will all be bringing their shows to Indie303.com, and we will be building this site from the ground up, based on your feedback.

We're just moving our shows off the radio, and all things considered, it's a much easier way to get the music you want. I'm genuinely excited about what's to come - a localized radio station free of FCC regulation and no longer forced to adjust the playlist to get ratings.

The new station at 101.5 FM in Denver is KTNI - The Truth which is a conservative talk radio format, as I discovered today, when I turned to 101.5 FM expecting alternative rock. Like most radio station format changes, it happened without warning.

The indie rock station format died Friday, July 31, 2009 at 10 a.m.

It was replaced by strip joint music the format "101.5 The Pole -- Stripper Radio" with sponsorship from the locally famous and politically conservative Shotgun Willies strip club of Glendale, Colorado, as a publicity stunt.

On July 31, 2009, KTNI dropped the Indie 101.5 format, and moved online as Indie303.com. The station ran a week long stunt running with a "stripper format", and christening themselves as The Pole. The stunt was sponsored by Denver's local strip club Shotgun Willie's. At 4pm on Thursday, August 6, KTNI became a Talk format as 101-5 "The Truth", simulcasting conservative talk along with local AM stations carrying the same programs surrounding the Denver market.

Since stripper music wasn't necessarily out of format for Indie 101.5 FM, and it was prone to weird on air joke pieces anyway, the change was easy to miss. I worked late on Thursday, and was out of Denver radio territory from Friday though Sunday, so it isn't that surprising that I missed the more obviouus move to talk radio until today.

Needless to say, this is not a happy development in Denver radioland.

Sister station HOT 107.1 FM (a 105.9 FM KALC clone) apparently lives on, however.


redstateblues said...

Glad you were a fan of theirs too Andrew. Also nice to know you shared my sentiment that it was a sad day for Denver radio, and that their move to the internet is, as you put it, a disastrous result.

Dave Barnes said...


I cannot share your sadness about the format change of a radio station.

Unlike my daughter, the iPod junkie, I still listen to the radio (but, only in the car) and find it very easy to "punch another station".

I don't listen to commercials as I just punch another station.
I don't listen to music I don't like as I just punch.