Tuesday, October 25, 2016Overcast 9°C

Alan Cross joins Indie 88.1 as station readies to air

Posted by Eric Boshart / May 24, 2013

Alan CrossLast autumn it was announced that Toronto would finally have its own version of WKRP in Cincinnati in the form of Indie 88.1 with a mandate to "to give Canadian Indie musicians and their hundreds of thousands of fans their own place." As one of the hundreds of thousands I was initially very excited, then I forgot about it completely in like two days...

Until it was announced that Alan "The Cross Bearer for Canadian Music Journalism" Cross had been added to the Indie 88.1 team in the capacity of "in house music counseller," which hopefully means he'll be the one filling the Johnny Fever role.

Of course we all know Cross from his show The Ongoing History of New Music (later rebranded as The Secret History of Rock) a.k.a. what used to be the only reason to listen to the Edge ever besides Weezer. With Cross given a pair of keys to the car known as Indie 88.1 it may be a good enough reason to buy a radio. And by buy a radio I mean buy an app for my phone to listen to the radio. Which just sounds silly.

Anyhow, I asked Mr. Cross a few questions about his new role via electronic mail.

What does an "in-house music Guidance Counsellor" do?

It's a more fun term than "consultant." Because I've been doing radio in Toronto since 1986, I've got quite a bit of experience on a lot of levels and many, many contacts within the music industry. I also know where a couple of bodies are buried. Metaphorically, of course. Adam Thompson, the PD, will be in charge of the station's sound and presentation. I'll be in the background helping him out.

Can we expect you to be an on air presence?

Yep. Not sure in what capacity yet, but just try and stop me.

Will Indie 88.1 be a purely music orientated station or can we expect some documentary programming (such as your shows, Sound Opinions etc)?

The license promises a fairly substantial amount of talk programming. And because we believe it's important to offer context and perspective on the music we play, we'll make sure that it's intelligent and useful talk, not silly chatter.

Why the hell would anyone start an indie rock station in 2013?

Radio is still the most effective way to reach a large mass audience and will continue to be for the foreseeable future. However, Indie 88 will also have a very, very robust online presence.

When's Indie 88.1 going to air?

Soon. This summer.

And finally, care to make any lofty statements about Indie 88.1?

Here's an opportunity to start something fresh with no baggage or history. How many people get a chance to do that?


Not many Alan, not many. I would personally like to offer Indie 88.1 and Mr. Cross by best and also offer up my services as a janitorial worker for the new station whom will be discovered to have real radio chops in a Goodwill Hunting type Scenario.



Tom / May 24, 2013 at 12:36 pm
This is great news!

I agree and I'll be tuning in for sure. Love to have the radio on out on the porch and in the backyard. This type of station will serve as a great way to get exposed to indie acts which can be hard to find out about once your out of indie "scene".
chrissysheppard / May 24, 2013 at 12:44 pm
amazing this is what 102.1 used to be.
JoeCarterTO / May 24, 2013 at 12:47 pm
This could potentially be a great thing for Toronto. I'm excited by the idea that indie music can exist on the radio and be able to appeal to those of us who have since given up on local stations (like, 10 years ago). It would be great to be able to wake up in the morning, flip on the radio and listen to some great music and intelligent conversation all with a local focus. When the right person is curating the music, radio can appeal to a generation raised on digital music and a general apathy for all things "mainstream".
duthie / May 24, 2013 at 12:47 pm
They need to get Bookie in there too!
the lemur / May 24, 2013 at 12:59 pm
*Its* own version; Alan with one L.

Weezer and OGHNM the only reasons (there used to be) to listen to 102.1, really? Short memory or too young to remember anything better? Cross' show is occasionally interesting but too revisionist and inaccurate to take seriously sometimes.
AV replying to a comment from the lemur / May 24, 2013 at 01:11 pm
CFNY or bust
Pork McDuck / May 24, 2013 at 01:18 pm
Sounds great! Maybe Toronto will have a worthwhile radio station for a bit.
Paul / May 24, 2013 at 01:23 pm
CFNY lives on!!!!
Michael Hainsworth / May 24, 2013 at 01:27 pm
Looking for more Alan Cross? He's got a podcast he co-hosts with some schmo at www.geeksandbeats.com and on iTunes at: https://itunes.apple.com/ca/podcast/geeks-and-beats/id612365881?mt=2
Holden / May 24, 2013 at 02:40 pm
Am I the only one that misses CKLN (the former resident for that frequency)? Probably.
Cliff S replying to a comment from Holden / May 24, 2013 at 02:52 pm
You're not the only one, CKLN was great before all the infighting and megalomaniacs ruined it.
Steve replying to a comment from duthie / May 24, 2013 at 03:04 pm
Ling Gu / May 24, 2013 at 03:21 pm
The return of "The spirit of radio"?
Abe / May 24, 2013 at 03:49 pm
I wonder if he knows that Nirvana isn't considered indie.
kittykat / May 24, 2013 at 08:09 pm
Pretty excited about this!!! Tired of listening to Fun and The Lumineers on the Edge
Sam replying to a comment from Michael Hainsworth / May 24, 2013 at 11:37 pm
No 88.1 was always good. Hopefully they will change up the programing from morning, to day to late night like ckln, or cbc or others do and not just have the same songs playing all day and all night...
Nerd Nite Toronto / May 27, 2013 at 11:12 am
If you'd like an early hit of Alan, he's presenting Music Geek Trivia at an event on Thursday at Revival: Think you know music? we'll see...


dickie / July 30, 2013 at 11:16 am
hopefully this is where Todd THE KING Shapiro continues his dominance of the Toronto radio industry. Suck it Edge...suck it hard
dek / July 31, 2013 at 09:44 am
really hoping this means the spirit is back in radio. Would love to hear Todd on this station. He was the only reason I listened to CFNY morning show.
MIK.j.Valentic / March 21, 2014 at 11:01 am
Right-on Alan Cross all the best, please say hello to Bookie and every one at Station. I will be exploring 88.1Indie. Just from a person that appreciate's the important work you do. It has changed my life. Thank you all again- Rocknroll forever.
Other Cities: Montreal