Local musicians have a shot to get on the local airwaves.
They’ve just got to send their music to Seven Mountains Media.
The company will launch 98.7 The Freq on Friday, replacing The Eagle 98.7’s mainstream rock format. The radio station will be under an adult alternative rock format that plays music from The Beatles to Radiohead and The Rolling Stones to Indigo Girls.
Seven Mountains Media market manager Don Bedell thinks adding local musicians’ original jams to the lineup will be music to listeners’ ears.
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“I’ve seen in the last 12 to 13 years I’ve lived here a change in music,” Bedell said. “I’ve talked to local musicians, and there has been a shift in popularity of bands that are making original music and playing and building a big following around here.”
Bedell has thought about having a radio station that featured local music for years, a prospect that got the green light from executives of Seven Mountains Media, which bought 98.7 FM and several other local stations in December.
“This really seems to be the perfect fit for State College, being that it’s a college town with emerging talent and a fit for the station that fills a hole in the market,” Bedell said.
Bedell said it’s not set how much original local music will be played on the station, but he expects the amount played to increase as more musicians become aware of the station’s initiative.
Bedell and three other employees recently began to accept submissions from local artists, which has given them a lot of music to pick from to potentially go on air.
“We’ve just gotten the word out for local artists to send in their music, which hasn’t really been an opportunity for them here before,” Bedell said. “There hasn’t been a chance for them to be part of a regular rotation on air as opposed to performing shows. We’ll listen to everything we get, and the music will have to fit with the rest of the format. We’ll listen to what we get and choose.”
Bedell said the station will have other features.
“The concept of The Freq is more than just adding local artists,” he said. “We’ll have a morning show with lots of interviews about things going on in general in the community, so people will be tuning in to the frequency of our community and learning about hot-button issues in the community. We’ll invite people on for interviews from both sides of the issue, and we’ll really make sure we have a pulse on what’s going on and what matters.”
The station will also invite artists into the studio.
“The studio we’re putting together has a mini-stage in the corner,” Bedell said. “One plan is to have artists come in and perform on the afternoon drive. Another thing we’d like to do is have touring artists come in that will get in and play a couple songs. If there’s an event going on with several bands, we want to get one of them in the studio to promote it.”
Musicians can submit music to Seven Mountains Media by mailing or dropping it off at 160 W. Clearview Ave. in State College.
“It’s been a huge response so far,” Bedell said. “I’ve noticed all the people posting about it on Facebook and sharing it. It seems to have spread like wildfire.”