I Spy

The Spy FM and the profound impact of independent radio

story by Josh DeLozier | photos by Aaron Slagell

It was the summer of 1999. I was a journalism student at Oklahoma State University and was planning a career in radio after interning at a station in Oklahoma City a month earlier. The Spy was still on the air at 93.7 FM, and Ferris O’Brien was the morning DJ. The station operated fast and loose. They played the songs no one else was playing and owned the ears of college students and fans in central Oklahoma. 

In a world full of corporate radio stations, The Spy was and is committed to cultivating an experience for listeners. They gave a voice to the kid who didn’t fit the typical mold. They exposed listeners to records they would have never found on their own. They united the fringe around a single flag and made it cool to be different. 

“There are kids across the state who don’t feel like they fit in in their town, and when they hear The Spy, they know that there is a community out there that accepts everyone.  I know this first hand. When I was growing up and didn’t feel like I fit in, The Spy was a refuge for me.” – Jonathan Fowler

A devotee of indie music and live shows, Fowler and company Fowler Auto Group are major sponsors of The Spy in a heartfelt way. I’ve heard countless people say they remember listening to The Spy in the late ’90s. Finding just the right spot for their radios to get reception, however, was an artform.

DeLozier is the new GM of The Spy. We asked him to share the station’s history and recent resurgence because we are unabashed fans of local and indie radio and music. For DeLozier's full story, pick up the Winter 2016 Issue of Territory:OKC.