In this week’s edition of our sister publication, there is an enlightening countdown of the men and women who help shape the momentum of alternative and adult-alternative radio airplay. The list reflects a survey of record label executives.
In the no. 1 spot are three SiriusXM programmers, two of whom have a strong connection to Brooklyn:
Ask record executives to name the most influential rock programmers at satellite radio service SiriusXM and they won’t give you a single answer – they’ll give you three. Jess Besack, adult alternative programmer at The Spectrum; Jeff Regan, host of alternative channel Alt Nation; and Vincent Usuriello, choosing new hard-rock acts at Octane, together have contributed to the growth of SiriusXM’s national subscriber base of more than 30 million. “We’re encouraged to move fast and take chances,” says Besack, a Park Slope, Brooklyn, resident, who has given The Spectrum’s support to The Record Company and Barns Courtney, among other acts. Regan, a father of two boys under 6, got behind Twenty One Pilots’ “Ride” before its release as a single, helping the track’s rise to No. 1 on the Alternative airplay chart. And Brooklyn-born Usuriello has seen his support for the band From Ashes to New propel its albumDay One to No. 2 on Hard Rock Albums.
Others on the list include All Songs Considered’s Bob Boilen (#2), WFUV-FM’s Rita Houston (#4), who oversees things from the Bronx campus of Fordham University, and British-born Mark Hamilton (#15), now at KNKR in Portland, Ore. Also, in somewhat of a comical confirmation of a Los Angeles stigma, the only DJs on the Billboard list asterisked to the notation – *Declined to reveal age – are a pair who work there for KROQ.