Clear Channel/KJR Re-Jammed in Seattle

Last September, when the National Association of Broadcasters descended on Seattle for their annual radio convention, they were met by a swarm of microradio stations, who dubbed themselves the “mosquito fleet.”
During the convention the stations coordinated a simulcast spoof of local Clear Channel classic hits outlet KJR-FM, which ran on spots across Seattle’s FM dial for the better part of a day. The on-air culture jam, produced by Negativland, ripped into KJR and Clear Channel for billing the station as playing the “SuperHits 60s and 70s,” yet sneaking in a significant number of 80’s tunes. It was a sideswipe at Clear Channel and the NAB’s focus on broadcasting for a demographic and the bottom line.
Since then, KJR’s fallen on hard times – ratings are in the toilet and Clear Channel’s been desperate to do something dramatic. They accomplished this by bringing in Pat Cashman, the announcer from Bill Nye the Science Guy and local mega-celebrity to host KJR’s morning show earlier this month.
While the hype was hot Negativland spiked a Cashman fansite message board with notice of a recycled and elaborated online version of their mosquito fleet spoof from last September, packaged as a tabloidy exposé. The fans were duly shocked and pummeled KJR with indignant e-mails. Clear Channel reacted by pulling all 80’s music – more than 110 tracks – from KJR’s playlist within 12 hours. For a commercial radio station, that kind of playlist alteration is a big deal.
This is just one of the bits found at Negativland’s new Listen Here! archive of audio oddities from the world of radio.