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KPIG RADIO CUTS STAFF: THE CORPORATE SWINE GNAW AWAY AT QUALITY AGAIN
By Brad Kava, 11:20 AM in Brad Kava, Music, Radio
The firings of two KPIG disc jockeys last week may seem like a small thing, but it was front page news in the Santa Cruz Sentinel Saturday---and rightly so.
KPIG-FM (107.5) is one of the nation's last bastions of freeform radio, where music is chosen with some panache and integrity. It was one of the first roots rock music stations in the country and, despite corporate ownership, has maintained some quality in playing serendipitous rock, bluegrass, blues and country.
But bit by bit owner Mapleton Communications, which owns 27 mid-sized stations and has owned the Pig since 2001, has been hacking away at the quality.
First, it dropped its annual summer concert, the "Swine Soiree." Now, it got rid of its overnight DJ's as a cost cutting measure. Never mind that they made $10 an hour, or at most $10,000 a year and the savings don't come near outweighing the loss of real quality radio. Deejays Jessie and Terrence were let go, and afternoon jock Ramblin' Ror was cut from full to part time.
This is one of the last stations to maintain an overnight deejay, but as real radio fans know, that is one of the most important times to hear a live voice, or have someone to call and ask what that great song you just heard was.
"There's no other radio stations from Seattle to Los Angeles that has one," corporate spokesmouth Dale Hendry told the Sentinel.
Remember when owners competed and tried to offer the public something better than the other guy had? Nowadays it seems like the corporate objective is to cut things to the barebones and make as much profit as possible, so you can fly off into the night to your Hawaii pad on your private jet with your $100 million when you sell your "beloved" media property.
Sad days indeed.
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