From Obscurity to Your New Favorite Song: How Music Makes it to Public Radio

Ever wonder how public radio stations uncover the best bands you’ve never heard of and bring you songs you never thought you needed? Don’t touch that dial.

By Hady MawajdehMarch 4, 2016 10:34 am,

Public media can call to mind all those endless pledge drives. But the lack of commercial influence on public radio gives its DJs and program directors the power and the privilege of introducing the world to new music and shaping culture.

Two of these culture crafters join us. KXT program director Amy Miller, out of KERA in Dallas, and KUTX program director Matt Reilly, just next door to us here in Austin, tell the Standard how they curate all those unique playlists.

Just how do stations determine what tracks make the cut? “I think it’s just a function of the staff, and what feel the message is that we want to send our audience,” Reilly says.

What you’ll hear in this segment:

– What makes a good song for the radio
– How staff go about choosing tracks to add to their catalogs
– Miller’s and Reilly’s picks for their favorite songs that made it to the airwaves – and those that didn’t.