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Michael Jackson Dies. Will Radio Respond?

Wow. A childhood musical hero has died. My Twitter, Facebook, and email accounts have been buzzing with the news of Michael Jackson’s death today and my Generation X agemates are understandably freaked out. As MTV said this afternoon, he was the “soundtrack for a generation.” Many of us remember spending hours of our childhood watching music videos in the 1980s and Michael Jackson’s were particularly iconic. Hearing songs of his from a particular era will always fill me with nostalgia for junior high roller skating parties.

So, I suppose, many of us will now remember when we heard of Michael Jackson’s death, where we were, and how we heard about it. I found out on email (how retro!) from a fellow college radio DJ. Our radio station’s staff email list is actually the place where I’ve gotten the first word about many music-related deaths.

From the posts I’ve seen on Facebook, it would seem that many people heard about the news via that social networking site. And, I wouldn’t be surprised if Twitter has functioned the same way today (after all, it’s the new college radio!).

But what about radio? Did any of you find out about Michael Jackson’s death today on your local radio station? On your college radio station?

In the days to come, radio will be the place where fans might congregate to celebrate Michael Jackson’s life in song. If you have special programming planned, post it here. Also, I’d love to collect stories about how people heard about his death and if radio played a role in spreading the word.

I’ve got to go now and settle in for MTV’s Michael Jackson tribute tonight at 9pm EST to memorialize the King of Pop.

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3 Responses to Michael Jackson Dies. Will Radio Respond?

  1. Jennifer Waits June 25, 2009 at 8:10 pm #

    KCRW is doing a tribute right now and has a special remembrance page set up

  2. Jennifer Waits June 25, 2009 at 10:02 pm #

    KFJC’s Cadillac Margarita is doing a 4-hour tribute to Michael Jackson right now from 10pm to 2am Pacific time.

  3. Paul Riismandel July 1, 2009 at 1:56 pm #

    On WNUR the DJ on the 4 – 7 PM Rock Show shift played a few Michael Jackson songs upon hearing the news last Thursday, and immediately she was deluged with calls. So the show ended up being mostly an impromptu Michael Jackson tribute as requests kept flooding in.

    One problem the DJ faced was that WNUR has almost no Michael Jackson CDs or records, given the station’s focus on indie rock and non-mainstream music. So she turned to the internet and YouTube to find songs she could stream.

    It’s certainly not something an automation system could have done.

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