WOSU Public Media recently launched Capital City Radio, an online radio service it hopes will bring a wide range of topics to listeners. Capital City Radio streams from capitalcityradio.org and wosu.org.
Among various news-oriented shows is a new program called “Groundswell Columbus,” hosted by Eric French. “Groundswell Columbus” is a one-hour weekly show that spotlights Columbus musicians.
French, a musician and producer, said the show has allowed him to bring together music that is drastically different, yet still has ties to Columbus.
“The idea is to feature music that is made here in Columbus by Columbus musicians, spanning genres, spanning time,” French said. “It doesn’t necessarily have to be current, I’ve gone as far back as the ‘40s with some of the cuts that I’ve played.”
French first moved to Columbus and integrated into the music scene in 1998 when he attended Capital University’s music school. From there he began making his own music in Columbus and worked at several recording studios as an engineer and several venues as a live soundman.
“Groundswell Columbus” was the idea of both French and WOSU Music Program Director Michael Rathke. They wanted to use it as an extracurricular program to bring together the hobbies of several members of the station.
“We just decided that this was something we wanted to happen so we made it happen,” French said.
The music show compliments other programs on the stream that cover local news and events in the Columbus area.
“The news programs on Capital City Radio offer a different editorial than some of the other programs that we carry, and it’s nice to get that difference of perspective,” Rathke said. “There are also opportunities within these programs to offer local news content as well.”
The program offers music from Columbus musicians and interviews with those musicians. French plans to have live recordings as the show progresses.
“I’ve had a few people come in and perform live in the studio here,” French said. “We’re hoping to be able to go out to concerts and tape some live audio.”
Some of the most popular musicians that have had airtime on “Groundswell Columbus” are Wing and Tusk, Joey Hebdo, Courtney Jacobs and Tim Easton.
The stream, as well as “Groundswell Columbus,” was launched in the first week of July, but the station is trying to push listeners to the Web site now that students at Ohio State are back in classes.
Members of the WOSU team were on campus during the 2009 Involvement Fair in September and saw great interest from students.
“We knew that this type of show was going to be of greatest interest to the college crowd,” said Cheryl Petrilla, manager of public relations for WOSU. “There are a lot of new people on campus just looking for a station to listen to because they are not from this area.”
Capital City Radio and “Groundswell Columbus” are perfect outlets for students who are looking for a new station with music unique to Columbus. Students were really interested in French’s program, Petrilla said.
For now, “Groundswell Columbus” broadcasts over the Internet but plans are in progress to jump the entire Capital City Radio stream to WOSU 89.7 FM, one of WOSU’s HD channels.
“Groundswell Columbus” airs Thursdays at 7 p.m. and is rebroadcast several times throughout the weekend.