So long, Chopin and Mozart. Hello, Cut Copy and Morrissey.
“The Spy has done a tremendous job of tapping into the pulse of the
community to provide a vibrant venue for music genres that are
completely underserved in our state,” said Kelly Burley, KOSU director. “Through our partnership, we look forward to
amplifying what The Spy does best as we create more uniquely Oklahoma
experiences for public radio listeners.”
Long a favorite among Oklahomans craving alternative and indie music,
The Spy seems to be the radio station with nine lives. It looked all but
doomed in December 2010 when a deal with Citadel Communications forced
Ferris O’Brien, The Spy’s on-air personality and ringleader who helped
birth the station in 2002, to leave the airwaves and broadcast through the
Internet at thespyfm.com.
“As one of my friends said, ‘Terrestrial radio is dinosaur technology.’
It’s expensive to run, it’s expensive to maintain,” O’Brien told
Oklahoma Gazette in July 2011. “There still is a sexiness about FM, but I
think it’s going away.”
Still, news of The Spy’s partnership with KOSU has been met with
excitement among its Facebook fans, where comments include, “You just
made my millennium.”
Back from the dead
The station’s return is not its first resurrection.
In June 2004, The Spy died, as station KSYY was reformatted into the
regional Mexican station La Indomable. At the time, O’Brien kept his
brand alive — barely — with a one-hour Thursday night show broadcast
“from a converted closet” at Citadel’s mother station, KATT-FM.
In March 2009, he approached Citadel with a plan.
“I told him that I had a crazy idea,” O’Brien told Oklahoma Gazette at
the time. “He kind of looked at me like, ‘Oh, shit, what in the hell do
you want to do?'”
O’Brien’s aim was to bring The Spy back, this time on his own, and
Citadel turned the reins over to the DJ. That lasted through December