Alan Cross

Alan Cross joins Indie 88.1 as station readies to air

Last 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.

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