SiriusXM Trio Crowns Billboard’s ‘Top 25 Rock Radio Programmers’

Maestros of The Spectrum, Alt Nation and Octane.

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.