KWOD Sacramento Radio Interviews with Alex Cosper



Secret to Alternative Radio Success in the 90s

KWOD was one of the most successful alternative radio stations in the 1990s, programmed by Alex Cosper, who explains the indie station's success. Even though the alternative station's focus was mainly current cutting edge music of the 90s, Cosper based his programming philospophy on the success of the Beatles, with the Sgt. Pepper album being the main blueprint. The album comprised unique songs of various styles that added up to a bigger social theme that was bigger than the sum of its parts.
See also: Radio Industry Interviews featuring Alex Cosper

Previous video interviews about the radio industry focus on the current state of corporate radio and how it is radically different from the 1980s and 1990s when radio was much more popular. Prior to the internet era, it was common for individuals to have favorite stations and favorite radio personalities. Many more independent and locally owned stations existed back them, before the corporate mergers of 1996 to 2000 turned the radio industry into automated cookie-cutter programming. As a result, radio stations now sound much more generic from city to city, as only a handful of big radio companies now duplicate their programming across the nation.

This page will include more interviews of Alex Cosper conducted by Sam Cadura in the coming weeks. Several video interviews about Sacramento radio - specifically about KWOD in the 1980s and 1990s - were recorded on November 16, 2014 at Tangent Sunset Recording Studio. The purpose of these interviews is to explore and document the creativity of radio when it was more community-spirit, locally-based and driven by creative personalities, rather than scripted corporate puppets.

The amazing thing about KWOD 106.5 in Sacramento was that it was an independent station that beat better funded corporate stations in the ratings. In fact, KWOD rose from bottom of the ratings to top five in Sacramento under Cosper's programming. KWOD was programmed for Sacramentans and people who listened in outerlying areas as far as the East San Francisco Bay and Lake Tahoe. Unfortunately, it was taken over by a huge corporation that ironically ran its ratings into the ground, forcing the station to eventually change format to an even less successful format years after Cosper's departure in 1996.

But the memories remain of KWOD's adventurous alternative area because it was such an important part of the Sacramento community. Local music became a big part of KWOD's focus, which led to the popularity of Cake and several other acts. One of the keys to its unique programming was that the music had an amazing flow, which was heavily influenced by Cosper's memories growing up listening to freeform radio.



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