As sadly reported yesterday, Thursday, November 15 served as the last day for L.A.'s venerable Indie 103.1. In a candid interview with The Daily Swarm, now-former music director Mark Sovel explains the shut down and the reasons / feelings behind it.
With the shocking news that Los Angeles’ beloved independent music station Indie 103 was being pulled from the air waves by its corporate owner Entravision, the L.A. community and music industry reps alike were both shocked and disappointed. For the last five years, the station has nurtured countless music careers and entertained legions with independent music and DJs like inimitable Steve Jones and Henry Rollins.
The move was obviously economical, as Indie 103 had slipped into the red by the end of 2008, but it couldn't come at a worse time for the L.A. independent music scene, with bands like No Age and HEALTH bringing a respect back to the area it hasn't seen in a long time. Now, with the plans to turn the station's "indie" programming into a web-based station (1031.com), The Daily Swarm's Andy Gensler caught up with the station’s Music Director Mark Sovell (aka Mr Shovel), to explain what happened and what we can expect.
From The Daily Swarm:
What a shock. What happened?
Mark Sovel: Pretty crazy days. It wasn’t out of the blue. I knew it was going to happen. There had been a back and forth struggle to keep the station going. It was starting to get more corporate and we had to make cuts. But to our employers’ credit, they allowed us to go on air and say goodbye to everyone.
So now the station will be web-based only?
None of the DJs or music programmers at the station are involved in the online edition. The website is not being run by people who ran the station – there may be one person from the station—but it’s none of the DJs or programmers. My concern is that people are confused. They are running an ad on the air saying we couldn’t play the corporate radio game anymore and that we didn’t want to change our format to be more mainstream and that we decided to play music on the web. But the guy making the announcement is the head of sales! We had no control in the decision to shut down the station. I guess they had some success with the web and want to keep it going. But I don’t want the listeners to be confused.
Read the full interview here