In the past twenty years I’ve had many jobs using computers. This is usually a behind the scenes role, so I’ve been able to work and listen to free radio online. I always enjoy finding new music. About five years ago I worked in what they call ‘traffic’ at a radio station. What that really means is scheduling advertising and working with the sales department. When I worked for the radio station I listened to it while I was at work. I wasn’t a huge fan of all the indie rock they had started playing around that time, so sometimes I just went into their fantastic music library and listened to my own selections at my desk.
This was a non-profit station, previously the university station. It was now largely funded by a wealthy local who owned a museum devoted to rock and roll. Many ad spots per day were dedicated to the museum due to the funding issue.
One specialty of the station was it’s free online service. You could listen to radio online free across the world. A friend from Seattle had moved to Thailand. Due to a big time difference he heard the night broadcasts during his daytime.
He thought the station still had diverse, eclectic programming.
Since I was often at the station in Seattle daytime I knew things had changed. I wished I could listen to radio online free like he could and hear only the night programming. Ads didn’t run at night and DJs were allowed to play any creative mix of music they wanted. It was much different in daytime.
During primetime programming or day, there was a shelf in the DJ booth containing CDs that got current airtime at local pop radio stations. The DJ was required to play a number of songs from them per hour. This was an NPR station but their ads got increasingly commercial though they still followed guidelines.
Only people who loved indie rock really continued listening to the station. The live performances they hosted when I had my job there were mostly indie rock also. I prefer to listen to blues, hard rock, electronica and more. I became disenchanted with the station as time went by. I eventually quit much because of this. I did miss the perks such as going to free concerts.
It didn’t matter too much because as the station’s playlists became more limited, the choice of shows I could see also got limited. My friend in Thailand came to see me and heard the station while he was in Seattle. He said he was amazed by how bad it had gotten. It may be different these days but I haven’t checked.