Charlie Quinn, operations manager of new radio station Sophie 103.7, put Anya Marina's "Miss Halfway" into regular rotation (which means it's played about every other day). Marina has been a DJ on FM-94/9 since 2002.
"I discovered the song on the Grey's Anatomy soundtrack," says Quinn. "Miss Halfway" is getting more airplay on Sophie than on FM-94/9, which will play it only on a Sunday-night local show. Quinn says his station plays the song because soundtracks are "an extremely hip" way to connect with Sophie's target audience: women aged 25--34. "We also play cuts from the Garden State, Elizabethtown, and The O.C. soundtracks."
Quinn says Marina's boss at 94/9 called him when he found out Sophie was playing music by one of his DJs.
"He was just wondering if we were playing it in earnest and that it wasn't a mind game against them.... He was okay with it."
Quinn reasons that FM-94/9 isn't playing Marina's track much because the station is aiming more for male listeners and the song may not appeal as much to men. Mike Hansen, assistant program director at 94/9, offers a different reason:
"If we start playing her music, we open ourselves to other local artists who would say, 'She's a local artist, so why are you favoring her over us?' "
Quinn says his station plays one unsigned artist an hour on Sundays and one new song an hour on Tuesdays.
Quinn, who was involved in selecting the name Sophie, says he was looking for a campy female name that was popular in the '20s, '30s, or '40s; a name that wouldn't be so feminine that it would chase away male listeners. He denies a rumor that he selected the Sophie name to swipe at Bob Bolinger, the former general manager of 103.7 and its sister station KYXY. Bolinger left the two stations to work at Clear Channel. One of Bolinger's daughters is named Sophie.