Freeform (radio format)

Freeform (radio format)

Freeform, or freeform radio, is a radio station programming format in which the disc jockey is given total control over what music to play, regardless of music genre or commercial interests. Freeform radio stands in contrast to most commercial radio stations, in which DJs have little or no influence over programming structure or playlists. In the United States, freeform DJs are still bound by Federal Communications Commission regulations.

Many shows lay claim to be the first freeform radio program; the earliest is " [,program-page/station_id,3/program_id,347/day,Saturday/ Nightsounds] " on KPFA-FM in Berkeley, California, DJ'd by John Leonard. WFMU is currently the longest running freeform radio station in the United States. [ [ "A Brief History of Freeform Radio"] , Lowest Common Denominator, Issue #21 (c. 1998)]

The freeform ethos tends to disdain playlists confined to a single music genre. However, DJs may opt to play selections according to an arbitrary theme (e.g., Bob Dylan's "Subterranean Homesick Blues" followed by Radiohead's "Subterranean Homesick Alien"). Freeform-ish stations that played only or almost only rock music were known as progressive rock stations.

Commercial freeform radio was common in the late '60s and early '70s but is very rare today. An exceptional case is Indie 103.1 FM of Santa Monica and Newport Beach, California. Indie 103.1 broadcasts radio programs in which famous musicians from the world of popular music host radio programs and choose the playlist.

Another commercial freeform radio station is KHUM, "radio without the rules," at 104.3 and 104.7 FM in Ferndale, California. KHUM has transmitted since 1996 and is the most popular station in Humboldt County, California

College radio and Internet radio are sanctuaries of the freeform format.
NeverEndingWonder Radio, Radio Paradise, Radio Free Phoenix, and Hollow Earth Radio are four examples of freeform Internet radio streams.

FreeFall on KUSF is an example of a freeform radio program. Many freeform stations are small and lack corporate backing, and therefore have relatively weak radio transmitters (especially around metropolitan areas where corporate radio signals dominate), a problem that has caused numerous broadcasters to transition to Internet radio, pirate radio or both such as FRSC (Free Radio Santa Cruz).

Freeform stations

Freeform radio stations in the United States:

*KAOS (Olympia, Washington)
*KBOO (Portland, Oregon)
*KCMP (St. Paul, Minnesota)
* [ KCR] (San Diego State University/College Radio, San Diego, California)
*KDVS (UC Davis/College Radio, Davis, California)
*KFJC (Foothill College/College Radio, Los Altos Hills, California)
*KHUM (Garberville/Ferndale California)
*KMNR (Missouri S&T/Rolla, Missouri)
*KPSU (Portland State University, Portland, Oregon)
*KRFH (Humboldt State University, Arcata, California)
*KRUI-FM (University of Iowa, Iowa City, Iowa)
*KTEC (Oregon Institute of Technology, Klamath Falls, Oregon)
*KTRU (Rice University, Houston, Texas)
*K-UTE (University of Utah, Salt Lake City, Utah)
*KUGS (Western Washington University, Bellingham, Washington)
*KUOI (University of Idaho/Moscow, Idaho)
*KVRX (University of Texas at Austin, Austin, Texas)
*KVSC (St. Cloud State University/St. Cloud, Minnesota)
*KWRP (Pecos, New Mexico)
*KWUR (St. Louis, Missouri)
*WARC (Allegheny College Meadville, Pennsylvania)
*WBGU (88.1 FM Bowling Green State University, Bowling Green, Ohio)
*WCBN (University of Michigan, Ann Arbor, Michigan)
*WCRW (Santa Monica College)/Santa Monica, California)
*WESU (Wesleyan University, Middletown, Connecticut)
*WETX-LP (Tri-Cities, TN)
*WEVL (Memphis, TN)
*WEXP (Philadelphia, Pennsylvania)
*WFMU (Jersey City, New Jersey)
*WGDR (Plainfield, Vermont)
*WHRW (Binghamton University, New York)
*WIKD-LP (Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University, Daytona Beach, Florida)
*WKDU (Philadelphia, Pennsylvania)
*WLRA (Lewis University Romeoville, Illinois)
*WMBR (MIT, Cambridge, Massachusetts)
*WMFO (Tufts University, Medford, Massachusetts)
*WMSC (Montclair State University, Upper Montclair, New Jersey)
*WMSR (Miami University, Oxford, Ohio)
*WMUC (University of Maryland/College Radio, College Park, Maryland)
*WOBC-FM (Oberlin College/College Radio, Oberlin, Ohio)
*WPKN (Bridgeport, Connecticut)
*WPRK (Rollins College/College Radio, Winter Park, Florida)
*WRCT (Carnegie Mellon University/College Radio, Pittsburgh, Pa)
*WRFL (University of Kentucky/College Radio, Lexington, Ky)
*WRNC-FM (Northland College (Wisconsin), Ashland, WI)
*WRUR (University of Rochester/College Radio, Rochester, NY)
*WRVU (Vanderbilt University/College Radio, Nashville, TN)
*WSUM (University of Wisconsin-Madison, Madison, WI)
*WUMD (University of Michigan-Dearborn, Dearborn, MI)
*WUSB-FM (Stony Brook University SUNY, Stony Brook NY)
*WVBR (Ithaca, NY)
*WXBC (Bard College/College Radio, Annandale-on-Hudson, New York)
*WXDU (Duke University/College Radio, Durham, North Carolina)
*WXYC (UNC Chapel Hill/College Radio, Chapel Hill, North Carolina)
*WZRD (Northeastern Illinois University/Chicago, Illinois)

Freeform radio stations in Canada:

*CKUT (Montreal, Quebec)

Freeform radio stations in Europe:

*Radio Centraal (Antwerp, Belgium)

Freeform radio vs. eclectic radio

Eclectic radio describes radio programming encompassing diverse music genres. Unlike freeform radio, the eclectic radio format involves prescribed playlists. While freeform radio stands in contrast to commercial radio formats, a number of commercial radio stations offer programs showcasing an eclectic variety of music.

Some eclectic radio stations in the United States are:
*KALX (Berkeley, California)
*KCRW (Santa Monica, California)
*KEOS (Bryan/College Station, Texas)
*KEXP (Seattle, Washington)
*KFAI (Minneapolis, Minnesota)
*KGLT (Bozeman, Montana)
*KNYE (Pahrump, Nevada)
*KUOM (University of Minnesota, Minneapolis, Minnesota)
*KUSF (San Francisco, California)
*KUT (Austin, Texas)
*KXUA (Fayetteville, Arkansas)
*WERS (Boston, Massachusetts)
*WHPK (University of Chicago, Chicago, Illinois)
*WJCU (University Heights, Ohio)
*WUSM (Hattiesburg, Mississippi)
*WXPN (Philadelphia, Pennsylvania)


ee also

*Progressive rock (radio format)
*Album-oriented rock
*Adult album alternative
*Deep cut
*Public broadcasting
*Independent Radio
*Jim Ladd
*Tom Donahue

External links

* [ Definition of Freeform Radio from the Dictionary of Radio]
* [ History of Freeform Radio from WFMU]
* [ Freeform Radio - The Legendary FM Radio Programming Non-Format]
* [ KHUM - commercial freeform radio from Humboldt County California]
* [ NeverEndingWonder Radio - Freeform Internet radio station with extreme variety.]
* [ Vinyl FM] Audio tribute to the days of freeform progressive FM radio
* [ Blast Radio] The Big Variety Station
* [ Brief History of the Broadcast Music Revolution] Introduction to the concepts for young listeners.

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