WOXY: The Station That Would Not Die
You know those horror movies where the monster gets shot, stabbed, run over by a semi and pushed off a cliff but then gets right back up and continues his march or terror? Well, WOXY appears to be the radio equivalent — without the “march of terror” part … and replace shot and stabbed with “lack of advertising.”
The Cincinnati-based online radio station (specializing in the best of cutting edge “Modern Rock”) got a second life when its terrestrial existence ended (after the owners sold it) thanks to some anonymous donors. On the Web, the station seemed to draw even more attention from international Modern Rock fans and the press, but funds dwindled, despite a shift to a pay-to-listen system.
On Sept. 19, four days after the station tearfully shut down operations for a second time, a gentleman named Bill Nguyen went on the woxy.com message boards and wrote, “Hey folks, we’d like to save woxy … please tell (station officials) to contact us.” Seemed like a shot in the dark, maybe a prank or, at the very most, overzealous or wishful thinking. But last night, Nguyen (who’s based in California) was in Greater Cincinnati, meeting with station supporters at the Hofbrauhaus in Newport (fans were even posting live in a chat room during the meeting) to tell them the good news — WOXY is back in business.
Previously involved in other tech ventures, Nguyen is most recently known as the founder of lala.com, an online site that allows music fans to swap old CDs. The site debuted this year and now claims to have hundreds of thousands of users and is growing so fast they’re soon getting into sales of new CDs and downloads.
On-air personality Shiv confirmed the Phoenix-like return of WOXY on the message boards this morning, saying that he’s already unpacked the station’s music library and is starting to restock the shelves. He said an official announcement is forthcoming; fans that were present at the pow-wow last night reported the station could be back online within a couple of weeks.
Nguyen himself posted after the meeting, saying WOXY would be affiliated with the lala.com service. He appears to have huge ambitions for his new venture, writing, “What was started in Ohio may change music forever and define its future.”
Nguyen’s initial post on the message boards was titled “White Knight” — now Alternative music fans will no doubt bestow him with that title officially. Call it Back to the Future (of Rock & Roll): Part III.
UPDATE: Now it’s officially official. WOXY’s Program Director Mike Taylor sent out an e-mail to associates this morning. Here are some excerpts:
“In what I can only describe as a whirlwind of the highest degree, I’m very happy & a little amazed to report that WOXY.com will be resurrected & resume our online broadcast within a few weeks, possibly as soon as early next week. The final paperwork has yet to be signed, and the official press release has yet to go out but as of this morning, I’m back at my desk and we are open for business.
“I’m flattered that (Nguyen)’s asked me to return as Program Director. I’m also happy to report that our Music Director, Matt Shiv, will be returning as well.
“Listening to WOXY will once again be totally free, with a drastic upgrade in stream quality expected. We will continue to bring our listeners numerous amounts of live sessions, continuing our well-received Lounge Act series. In short, expect WOXY on steroids.”
— Mike Breen