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The Rise of Alternative Radio
How KWOD and Other Unique Stations Countered the 90s Mainstream
by Alex Cosper

What was once cultural is now just a commercial for itself. The popularity of alternative radio on the FM dial began to fizzle away in the early 2000s. Just a decade earlier alternative radio and its music marked a revolution ... more

CHAPTERS

1. A NEW ERA BEGINS
Sacramento top 40 station KWOD begins to experiment with modern rock in the Spring of 1991


2. A CHANGE IN EVOLUTION
KWOD begins to mix in Nirvana to its mostly pop-sounding playlist in late 1991


3. ALL OVER THE ROAD
1992 turns out to be a dark age in the ratings between two distinct eras


4. TRANSITION TO PURE MODERN ROCK
The station begins its climb after dumping its top 40/dance connections in 1993


5. NIRVANA VS. PEARL JAM
The Seattle scene begins to overshadow the established British bands of modern rock 1993-1994


6. CLIMB OF THE DECADE
1994 marks sharp ratings increases at KWOD and modern rock radio across the country


7. PEAK OF THE DECADE
The peak of the alternative format's national success and KWOD's success is in 1995


8. EVERYTHING CHANGES
The music industry pitches a heavy dose of pop in 1996 to alternative stations


9. RADIO ROAD TRIP U.S.A.
The 1997-1998 era confirms that alternative radio and its music have dropped off in popularity


10. A NEW CENTURY OF CHOICES
New media presents new challenges for traditional radio in the new millennium




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© 2004 Alex Cosper. All Rights Reserved.