Tuesday, January 29, 2008

Annoyed DJ Sets Fire to Community Radio Station

I've been thinking a lot about how formatting rules are handled at indie-minded stations and then today I hear about the community radio DJ at KOOP in Austin, Texas who set fire to his station a few weeks ago after he was annoyed about not being able to program his show in a certain way. Yikes! This is obviously an extreme example of just how seriously many DJs take their shows and the tensions that can arise when they feel that their freedom of expression has been threatened.

According to articles about the incident, the jazz-loving DJ gave up his Internet-only radio show and then came back to the station about a week later, setting fire to two studios apparently because he was upset about music choices for his program getting changed. The article in today's Austin American-Statesman says, "...the dispute...was over what kind of music should be put into a digital library for the Internet program."

It's very confusing to sort through the facts on this one as the online playlists for this DJ's show are categorized as country/roots on the station's program schedule. Perhaps the guy really wanted a jazz show and that's what set him off? I definitely want to hear more about this story. KOOP is going to be hosting an interview show tomorrow (1/30/08) at 1pm Central time discussing the fire incident with station executive staff and the fire chief. Should be interesting!

Side Note: KOOP shares a frequency with college station KVRX at University of Texas, Austin, with KOOP broadcasting during the day and KVRX at night. KOOP also has some Internet-only shows at night, one of which was hosted by the firestarter DJ. After the fire, the stations worked together and KVRX helped out by covering the entire programming day instead of their usual split time with KOOP. I'm curious if many other stations share frequencies like this? It's definitely cool that they were willing to work together in a time of crisis.

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