Want To Be KXT's Music Director? Because They're Hiring, If You're Sick of Hearing The Songs Already Played On Classic Rock Stations.

Categories: DFW Music News
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Just a little more than a year after its head-scratching launch, KKXT-91.7 FM KXT, the music-centric offshoot of local National Public Radio affiliate KERA-90.1 FM, remains something of a beguiling beast.

In theory, it's great. In practice, it sometimes is, too. Just having a station that will play local music, and songs from the like of Spoon and others of that same not-quite-alternative-rock-radio ilk, is a pretty nifty thing -- something we here in the metroplex had been needing for some time.

But then there are the times when the station will go off on tangents and play songs that don't really belong -- there's a little too big of an affinity at the station for '90s alt-rock (Third Eye Blind, Matchbox 30), classic rock classics already being played elsewhere (The Rolling Stones, The Police) and modern-day mainstream names (John Mayer being the most egregious) -- for seemingly no real reason.

The obvious culprit here? The fact that, 14 month after its debut, the station has yet to hire a music director, leaving pretty much all of its song selections up to its pretty small and already overwhelmed crew of on-air hosts.

The good news: That much appears to be on the mend.

The station has recently posted a want ad searching for a new music director. Responsibilities include creating "daily playlists that feature high quality mix of Triple A format music," working "closely with programming and communications/marketing teams to build audience," and managing the "station's music database and library." The candidate has to have "experience," too, whatever that means.

Regardless, this is good news, indeed. Here's hoping they find the person for the gig.

Speaking of which: Hey, KXT, can I just submit a link to this blog, or do y'all need, like, a formal application cover letter and shit?

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21 comments
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we hate sellouts
we hate sellouts

must've missed this. y'see, petey, there is at least one thing we can agree on...

Toonjrl
Toonjrl

Indie kids can't handle diversity. What mos of these commenters seem to want is a bizarro alternate top 40 that only plays local and indie music (and real indie, not any of that Spoon bullshit). If a radio could survive with the listener base of this blog (and certainly without the financial support of this blog, because that money has been spent on Four Loko and Parliaments), it would have happened. There is a reason that Pete Freedman doesn't have the keys to a radio station. KXT isn't for everyone, just like KDGE isn't for everyone. Does your mother constantly harass 97.9 to play more Neil Diamond? For the love.

sham 69
sham 69

that's right, tardo. that's EXACTLY what WE want

Matthew
Matthew

Abby Goldstein has expressed interest in the position. She always did a great job with music on KERA back in the good ol' days, and she could be just what they need.

Hi
Hi

Prove that she has said that.

Sarah
Sarah

Never has one station had more volleys fired at it since its inception, (and that's just within one year; it's first) dare I say, in DFW history. "Why are they playing this?" "Why are they not playing that?" "What's wrong with their on-air hosts?" "I wish they'd talk more." "I wish they'd shut up." "Now they're getting a Music Director (and by implication of this story's title), anyone can apply for it."

E-fucking-nough already.

My guess is that KXT would gladly quell the Indier Than Thou (thank you The Slack) Crowd and keep 'em all happy if said hipsters and music snobs threw a couple of bucks into the hat instead of throwing words that mean less than an eight-tissue asswipe.

My second guess is you indie hipsters are mostly mouth and little action, and wouldn't lift a finger to help a station at which you so quickly throw your worthless opinion.A station that doesn't drown your snobby asses with commercials for twelve to twenty minutes at a time.How many bucks did you throw it's way during its two pledge drives. Not many, I'm thinking. You shut off your radio and turned your ipod back on.

The solution? Put on Wilonsky and Freedman and Paul Slavens. Yes. That will save everything. Absolutely. Just as much making Russ Martin or Kidd Kraddick a column writer for a free newspaper that makes it's money from escorts and massage parlors. How much experience do these guys have at building radio cume? This is the objective of the station in the first place.

My third guess is it will play Bolivian Folk Singers during drive time if that's what builds cume and therefore raises money in its pledge drive.

It ain't art, people. It's business. If you don't want to support the "art", quit telling everyone how it should dress.

Gig
Gig

Play something my six figure income, indie-loving, late 30's ass will like, and I will gladly continue to donate to this business. (I have a launch crew shit).

Jason
Jason

Slow down, Sarah. Not sure where all this pent up rage is coming from. I'm trying to figure out what stake you have in the station to be so upset over discussions of its direction. The main problem, which is being addressed by the various comments, is the station has no unique identity for itself. If the station wants to ignore the “volleys” then they will be doing themselves a disservice. Criticism comes with running a radio station. Ask the station if they’d rather get feedback in the form of criticism or no feedback at all. They will watch their sustaining memberships decline and simply wonder why…

Wondering what you are basing your statements on when you say people who are complaining about the station but not supporting the station. The thing about public radio is that they always have to be bettering themselves to gain more members and keep current members. Times is tough and anyone who didn’t immediately make the decision to give to the station in its first year will surely be using their first year of listening to the station as criteria for giving this year or in the future. Since the station first went on the air I have noticed that I am returning back to KERA more and more than choosing KXT first.

By the way, I am a sustaining member at KERA-FM for more than 12 years. An easy decision. Harder decision is if I keep up my KXT membership when I find that they don’t fulfill my needs as a listener. And, in my decision, I will definitely voice my opinion to them and to the internets. I think they would appreciate that instead of just quietly canceling my sustaining membership.

And I just have to address your question of asking how much experience Messrs. Wilonsky, Freedman, and Slavens have in building radio cume. Pete and Robert have readership, right? Paul has what I feel is a very successful radio show and is well planned every week. Plus, public radio is not really about cume. It’s about building members and you do that through station identity. A local station identity. With so much syndication, it's hard to tell that KXT is a Dallas station and not internet radio. It's not about just turning off the radio and plugging in your iPod anymore - this isn't 2007. I can now plug my cell phone in to my car and listen to any radio station that streams on the internet - one that I can identify with - and they'll take my membership money just like KXT does.

Radio is hard to do when there are so many choices available for listeners. I really hope KXT management doesn't get angry like you when they read the "volleys".

smart alec
smart alec

don't fret, KXT has some Alanis Morissette and Sarah McLachlan for ya.

TheMapman
TheMapman

I continue to be mystified by them as well. I don't expect them to become a KEXP or KCRW or WOXY but they need to have *some* sort of identity. They could do something more like The Current if they wanted to, which does a better job of blending mainstream but eclectic with deep album cuts, live cuts, and newer music.

johan
johan

I've had a discussion about KXT's play list with a person who is in a position to know and that person's response to my Dad Rock concerns was: "we have to throw a bone to our donors."

I keep that in mind when a few Boomer selections make it on the play list. And I'm still thankful this station exists. The World Cafe in the morning is wonderful (rare for a syndicated show) and KXT's day play list is, over all, really good for free radio.

That said, KXT's weekend programming --- which I realize is mostly all syndicated --- is unbelievably unlistenable. I refer to it as "adult yodeling." That Mountain Stage banjo bullshit makes me thrust my Doc Martens into my speakers. And after two hours of listening to Celtic music, I'm ready to voluntarily check myself into a psychiatric facility.

michael byars
michael byars

hmmmmm ... maybe I'll give that want ad a look ...

ChrisU
ChrisU

great comments here, would just like to add that this station has been wonderful for those of us still stuck in the 20th century(no satellite or downloads in my stick-shifty) I'm listening to music in my car again! but why the hell did they have to play 'Jane Says'aaaarrrggh

music snob
music snob

http://kxt.org/playlists/

I am glad to have a music station in this town that doesn't suck finally, but, yeah, they sure have a lot of Dad Rock in their playlist. And what's up with all the Train and Jack Johnson? Doesn't Mix 102.9 usually have the fratboys covered? A lot of the playlist looks like it could be from Jack FM.

Also, I'll raise you a John Mayer and Matchbox Shitty, with a January 8th, 8:13 am, airing of Hootie & the Blowfish's "Only Wanna Be With You". Honestly, Hootie & the Blowfish? Couldn't they at least pick a deep cut nobody has heard and not one where everyone tries to bash out of their head once hearing it?

Paul Slavens should be a regular host. His playlist is always eclectic, well thought out and he is open to requests. Sadly, it may be too diverse and interesting to be more than a once a week 2 hour show.

http://kxt.org/playlists/paul-...

MattL1
MattL1

Am I just listening at the wrong (right?) times? I can't recall ever hearing a Matchbox Multiple-of-ten or John Mayer song (though they have been a BIT Gin-Blossoms-happy lately), and when they do play older stuff, it's almost always a deeper cut or something less well-known, which I appreciate. There's almost no direct overlap with the mainstream classic-rock/oldies stations (I don't think).

I've resigned myself to the fact that there will never be what I would consider a perfect radio station. I suppose nobody would listen to it anyway, come to think of it., as everyone has a slightly different idea as to what that would be. All I can hope is that they hire somebody who truly wants to enhance the musical literacy and taste of KXT's audience.

zurich
zurich

Could the fact KXT is commercial free be a factor in playing up to middlebrow sensibilities? While I too would prefer all eclectic all the time, realistically speaking they may need to pander to a wider audience if it expects to keep donations steady to stay afloat. Even a brilliant unique company like Criterion will release a Benjamin Button or Armageddon from time to time.

I imagine you're joking, Pete, but I think you would be a great choice especially with your knowledge of local music. I mean, hell, you did a Top 50 Local Songs of 2010 list for flipsakes. That's 50 more than I could name and probably most people (well, I guess except for Erykah Badu's album).

And based on an admittedly very limited knowledge of local music personalities, I'd also throwout recommendations to current KXT Sunday night DJ Paul Slavens and Unfair Park virtuoso Robert Wilonsky. Both already have on-air experience spinning tunes and are beyond knowledgeable and passionate about music. Bob said he missed being a music critic as well as his 'Till 2 show during the Ticket Christmas Eve Spectacular and I admire the hell out of his impromptu late night defiance playing bootlegs after the Christmas show until 2 in the morning.

They'll probably hire some Santana and Clapton obsessed neanderthal, but I think all three of you would be excellent choices if you put your hats in the ring.

Dave From Acquisitions
Dave From Acquisitions

Yeah, the fucking boomer music is driving me nuts. As a sponsoring member of KXT, this is not what I expect, as I can get classic rock anywhere. While I can appreciate the deep-track gems (Tank, Monterrey, Hit by Varese, etc,.), the inclusion of the run of the mill baby-boomer shit is driving me away from the station that I have proudly suppported since day 1.

Sarita
Sarita

geez louise. no doubt. whatever they are, it's a mistake to go mostly-classic rock all the time. position is already filled.

mediawonk
mediawonk

The biggest mistake people tend to make when griping about KXT is assuming that its goal is to be an indie-rock powerhouse a la KEXP or KCRW. KXT is a non-commercial AAA station, meaning that it's likely to be a decidedly eclectic mix of old and new, alternative and somewhat mainstream, rock and folk, etc. (like WXPN in Philly or KTBG in Kansas City). So, there is going to be some overlap with commercial stations like 92.5 or Jack. The trick is getting the balance right, which the hiring of a music director indicates they are trying to do. But anyone expecting a total indie hipster station that won't play anyone who has ever sniffed the Billboard charts is probably barking up the wrong tree.

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