Radio, Live Transmission: Watch the documentary, ‘We Want The Airwaves: The WFNX Story’

Jason Steeves
 
 

On the second anniversary of WFNX 101.7 FM going off the air, filmmaker Jason Steeves had suddenly made public his detailed documentary on the rise and fall of the 29-year-old alternative rock radio station.

The doc, We Want The Airwaves: The WFNX Story raised more than $9,000 via Kickstarter in 2012, and had screened at the Somerville Theatre’s Filmshift Film Festival this past October. DVDs were sent to donors in March, but it was unclear how people who didn’t contribute to the crowd-funding could view or own it. Then, around 10 p.m. EST this evening, director Steeves decided to quietly post the entire 85-minute documentary on Vimeo.

Steeves tells Vanyaland that the anniversary of the station going off the air was the main factor for the spontaneous decision, but there were other things in play, as well.

“Family issues make it impossible for me to support the film at festivals right now, and legal issues with clearances would be a problem with the movie too… unless I”m not making any money off of it,” Steeves says. “So, I decided to go that route and just put it online for free.”

Back in 2012, news broke on May 16 that WFNX was shuttering, a result of Phoenix Media Communications owner Stephen Mindich selling the 101.7 FM frequency to Clear Channel for a reported $14.6 million and closing its Lynn studio. The station continued to broadcast music as a relative ghostship on 101.7 until July 20. A few months later, WFNX was re-launched as wfnx.com, a short lived online-only station that ended its run when Mindich closed the Boston Phoenix alt-weekly in March 2013.

[Full disclosure: On the terrestrial WFNX I was a host of Sunday night local music program Boston Accents, served as music director of wfnx.com, and was music editor of the Phoenix.]

Watch the entire documentary below…

WE WANT THE AIRWAVES: The WFNX Story from Jason Steeves on Vimeo.

  1. Wow, thanks for posting this. Awesome story, and very classy to include Oedipus’ critical comments as a competitor. WFNX and the Phoenix spanned from Boston’s local underground music golden age to the recent past, and it’s hard to imagine anything filling that space in the city’s culture. Miss it like hell!

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