On March 23, 2010, around 10:00 AM EDT, the plug was pulled on the live broadcast of independent Internet radio station WOXY.com and, once again — this time, maybe for good — the music industry lost one of its most beautiful treasures.
WOXY has been a part of my life since I was in high school. Its terrestrial signal originated from a location near the campus of Miami University in Oxford, OH (where I would eventually attend college) and listening to it every day made my high school existence more bearable. WOXY shaped who I am as a music lover and introduced me to so many amazing bands I likely wouldn’t have found otherwise — especially before the Interwebs. If it hadn’t been for WOXY, I likely wouldn’t be writing for Popdose now.
When I was an active member of the WOXY message boards, I met some amazing people and attended some really fantastic parties thrown by board members. I had the chance to co-emcee a fundraising event organized to help save the station in 2006 when it was close to shutting down a second time — before lala.com bought it — and that was one of the must fun nights I’ve ever had. But probably the most important thing WOXY did for me is introduce me to someone I now consider one of my best friends: its Music Director, Shiv.
When the announcement was made last summer that WOXY would be moving from its long-time home in Cincinnati to Austin after being purchased by Future Sounds, I was equally sad and happy — I was sad that one of my closest friends was moving away, but happy that the station, and its staff, would have the opportunity to do some really amazing things that they wouldn’t have likely been able to do if the station’s headquarters had remained in Ohio. A lot of people were pissed that WOXY was moving and claimed that it was “abandoning” Cincinnati. I never felt that way, not once. I wanted nothing more than to see the station — and my friends who worked for it and had stuck with it through some really difficult times — succeed, and if moving to Austin was the best way to make that happen, then so be it. Besides, the relocation would give me another reason to go visit a city I had fallen in love with the other times I had visited it.
The first thing I did when I learned of the station’s demise, via a note Shiv posted to his Facebook page, was pick up my phone and call him. I knew he would soon be bombarded with calls, texts, emails, etc., so I wanted to talk to him as soon as I could (curse my damn phone for being on silent the night before when he called). We spoke briefly, and though I knew he was going through a wide range of emotions about what was happening, he was very level-headed about the whole thing and I know that he will come out of this OK.
To say I am heartbroken that WOXY is gone again is an understatement. While the staff and listeners of the station had been given a little warning when the station had closed down previously, this was different — no warning was given. No goodbyes were said. No final words from the DJs thanking us all for listening. The staff was told they had to cease broadcasting on 3/23 and the plug was unceremoniously yanked out of the wall, leaving us to wonder: WHAT THE FUCKING WHAT?
There is still a remote chance that someone will come in with a big pile of money and save the day. But if that doesn’t happen, then those who make and love independent music will have lost something incredibly special and that is a damn shame.
To Shiv, Bryan Jay, Mike, Joe, Brian and Paige — you are tops. Thank you for making WOXY a place where independent music could thrive. We at Popdose — and especially me — wish you all the best in whatever you choose to do next.