We all like to use the battle cry, “Rock is not dead,” but in the case of 100.3 The Sound it’s becoming a sad reality. Even with classic rock being as popular as ever, LA’s one stop shop for all your favorite classics is going silent. The station where you could throw horns and rock out to “Hell’s Bells” will now, ironically, be a Christian radio station.
Educational Media Foundation (EMF) plan to send over the airwaves syndicated contemporary Christian music, whatever that means. And in a statement to the Los Angeles Daily News, EMF’s CEO Mike Novak says: “We are particularly excited to see what God has in store for the people of Los Angeles, through our new station, Positive & Encouraging K-LOVE at 100.3 FM. The people at Entercom have been a joy making this purchase possible.”
At least someone is excited about the change. But what will happen to our favorite DJs? DJs who have been well known on-air personalities for about 40 years? No more Uncle Joe Benson, no more Rita Wild, and no more Cynthia Fox. Voices that are engrained in radio and classic rock. The Sound started in 2008, and quickly became a staple in LA culture. I mean, when you think classic rock, images of the sunset strip and PCH flash before your eyes.
What made The Sound special is that they dug deeper than most classic rock stations. It’s the only place you could hear a lesser known Led Zepplin track, or hear Bob Marley and Fleetwood Mac in the same rotation. And what made The Sound’s DJs special is the way they are still excited about the music and the artists. They are classic rock fans sharing their love with other classic rock fans. What’s next for our Sound family is unclear, though optimistic.
Radio is considered to be the third most powerful medium in the US, however, 61 percent of those listeners are listening online. Pandora and Spotify have changed the radio game, and have made it a lonely place for DJs. 810 million of the 15 billion dollars radio raked in in 2016 was due to the online sources.
The exact moment when The Sound will go silent is unclear. Rumors are that they will officially go off the air sometime on November 16.
Keep your eyes on Inspirer for our exclusive with Cynthia Fox, where we will discuss her 40-year long radio career, how the music industry has changed, her favorite interviews, and what being a woman in rock journalism has been like for her.