Monday, April 1, 2024

Turn it up: East Village Radio returns this spring

ICYMI: There won't be any more radio silence at 19 First Ave.

This spring, East Village Radio will return to its former storefront studio on First Avenue between First Street and Second Street.

According to an EVR Instagram post, the space has been cleaned, and the new equipment and wiring are expected to be installed this week.
East Village Radio had several iterations, the first ending in May 2014 after an 11-year run. At the time, EVG CEO Frank Prisinzano, the restaurateur who owns Frank, Supper and Lil' Frankie's, said licensing fees and Internet costs were too onerous, especially with a surging listener base. 

EVR returned for another year-plus-long go-around, this time on a new platform, in June 2015. 

Prisinzano will use a different business model this time and will rely on sponsors. As he told the Post, operational costs for broadcasting music have decreased in the streaming age. 

"It was such an amazing thing, and I really hated having to close it down, but I was bleeding money like crazy," he said. 

EVR 2024 (and beyond!) will have veteran program director Brian Turner, formerly of WFMU, as station manager. 

In an Instagram post from March 8, Turner wrote: 
Needless to say the challenge of jumpstarting this legendary storefront studio and building its programming is a dream experience for me, and I think it's going to be a boon for independent radio, the neighborhood too. This place is legendary; so much cool stuff has happened in that 1st Avenue window. Some beloved hosts will return from its past history, some new exciting shows, right now we're reconstructing the space, working on backend, making plans. I'm stoked...
During its heyday, EVR, with DJs such as Mark Ronson and Andy Rourke of the Smiths, counted more than 1 million listeners worldwide a month (this after starting as a short-lived 10-watt FM radio station in April 2003). However, under the Congressional Digital Music Copyright Act of 1998, Internet broadcasters had to pay a digital performance royalty for every listener.

Still, EVR was integral to the success of breaking new acts and giving airplay to musicians you might not have ever heard. The tiny street-level studio was also a popular draw, bringing in celebrated artists such as Richard Hell (below from 2014), among many others, through the years.
In-studio guests also included Amy Winehouse and Duran Duran (EVG photo below from 2010) ...
ICYMI 2: In 2016, EVG hosted several talk shows on EVR with great guests like Ada Calhoun, John Holmstrom, Godlis, Marcia Resnick, Marc H. Miller,  East Village-based illustrator Peter Arkle, and writer-editor Amy Goldwasser. 

You can sign up for email updates from EVR here.

Richard Hell photo for EVG by James Maher


Laura Goggin said...

This is great news!

editrrix said...

So excited for this! Welcome back!