Not long ago the world of radio was in flux. This was due to the lack of live voices, and really bad music programming. Because of these shortcomings, alternatives to radio emerged.
Spotify, Soundcloud and Pandora are a few of the sites that found their niche at the expense of once loyal radio audiences and advertisers. Luckily for all of us, the smaller players picked up where their big brother faltered. One of the stations that were part of the radio resurgence is right here in our own backyard; KX FM (104.7fm) in Laguna Beach.
The station launched in 2012 with the basic concept of live voices on the radio playing music that their listeners actually wanted to hear. The station has a unique blend of formatted and unformatted programs. Add the missing ingredient of investing their efforts into the community and a ripple began. That ripple turned into a seismic shift in radio that many of the bigger stations are starting to follow.
As for KX FM, the station was established as a “Generational Alt Rock” formatted station. But KX FM is more than that. They play a little bit of everything for everyone and some of the on-air voices have been at the station since the beginning. You can still catch the generational alt rock the station was founded on, while other specialty shows provide a great blend of award-winning music programs. Some of the genres you can hear include Americana, alternative, punk, reggae and ska. The station also has a number of talk programs that support the local community as well as provides an outlet for listeners from beyond their terrestrial borders.
KX FM is a throwback to the golden age of radio when DJs picked their own music. The station spearheaded the rebirth of FM radio, enriching listeners with the discovery of alternative music, views, and culture that elevates Laguna Beach on a local, national, and global scale.
Why is it so important that we mention this in 2021? That’s a very good question; with very simple answer. The era of COVID is one everyone is tired of talking about; we all want to move forward and do what we can to head us in that direction. The reality is that the loss of advertising and revenue at many stations has caused a giant budgetary void. So much so that some have had to drastically alter their programing, staff and well… some did not make it.
Some stations have been fortunate and despite having a smaller footprint, stations like KX FM have proven that bigger is not always better and smaller in no way shape or form is inferior. These small LP (Low Power) stations have proven that with their online streaming platforms, they can compete with anyone.
KX FM makes a difference with an entertaining and informative morning show featuring Ed Steinfeld and afternoons with Alyssa Hayek. The rest of the on-air schedule is followed by a string of very cool shows. The number of great specialty shows include Awakening Code Radio, Inner Journey with Greg Friedman, AM Radio with John Ford, Coast Highway Shuffle Show with Steve Reid, The Real McCoy with Martin Hanlin, Go Deep with Bruce Rave, The RachaelORama Show, Reggae Runnings, The Drop, Rainbow Radio, Laguna Blues with Big Daddy Williams, The Importance of Being with Earnest Hackmon, and TNN RADIO. These are just some of the shows featured at the station that have captivated a large audience.
To put on this high level of quality radio programming, it comes at a cost. To keep the music flowing, stations like KX FM have annual and semi-annual fund raisers. KX FM is a non-profit and has an operating budget that enabled them to run lean, which is very good news.
Like most stations, KX FM puts on events to tackle their budgetary needs. That means the KX Takeover is here. This event is a innovative fund raising effort that was established by founder, Tyler Russell. Current General Manager, Alyssa Hayek has taken the torch and continues with this dynamic on-air cast and has maintained a high level of broadcasting.
With that in mind. The KX Takeover opens up the airwaves to donations for the station while encouraging listeners to be part of their on-air staff. You know, to see what being a DJ is really like. The KX FM staff welcomes listeners to come down to the station and be an on-air DJ for the day. As in years past, the takeover does not limit their guest DJs sonic selections.
Some of the past participants run the gambit from civic leaders, to other media people and the general public. The highest fundraiser gets an award called the “Silver Tongue Award.” You can call it bragging rights for the number one radio community fundraiser.
The KX Takeover starts this Wednesday, November 17th and runs through the 19th and picks up again next week on Monday and finishes up on Tuesday November 23rd. Check out the station and confirm for yourself that this station exists for the right reason, to serve the community and their listeners. They will surprise you with new music that is good for your soul while delivering music from the soundtrack of your life.
Support the hands that support the bands, and hail, hail rock & roll!