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Close as a Blade

A longtime radio DJ in the metro joins the online revolution with Bladerunner Radio.

Shawn Lealos August 7th, 2013

The iconic DJ Wolfman Jack was the lynchpin of the 1973 film American Graffiti, bringing together different groups of misfit kids through radio in a way that nothing else could. That sort of connection is what longtime Oklahoma City DJ the Bladerunner feels is missing from today’s radio waves.

Bladerunner with Mindset Evolution vocalist Rob Ulrich
Credit: Steve Van Halen

He hopes to revive that experience with the new Bladerunner Radio.

“That is exactly what FM radio used to do,” said Blake Wolney, the DJ better known as the Bladerunner, who was on KATT-FM 100.5 in the 1980s and ’90s. “It made it interesting. It made it fun. The rock DJ was the liaison for rock ‘n’ roll, the listeners and the artists.”

Bladerunner Radio, which specializes in hard rock, is part of the growing online radio revolution that delivers music to fans in ways that circumvent the restrictions of corporate-owned radio stations.

Internet radio offers listeners a chance to hear what they can’t on local radio — from classic rock and obscure tracks to live concerts, podcasts and more.

Internet radio has also helped revive the radio disc jockey. In recent years, DJs have fallen by the wayside, relegated to promoting car dealership specials and other sponsored events between music tracks.

That’s something Wolney wants to change. He already has brought in two DJs in former KATT DJ Steve Van Halen and Atlanta DJ Captain Whoremoan to help him kick off bladerunnerradio.com.

This isn’t the first time a local radio personality has taken his craft to online radio. The Spy, formerly KSPI FM, migrated from the radio dial to the Internet in 2010. The Spy’s owner, Ferris O’Brien, helped Wolney prepare for Bladerunner Radio to go live.

“Bladerunner is one of the most talented people I have ever listened to,” O’Brien said. “He is entertaining, and he really knows his stuff. He has name brand, and he can really make this work.”

O’Brien noted that he was encouraged to move operations fully online upon learning that nearly 90 percent of The Spy’s listeners were listening via the web.

The station now boasts more than 20 hosts who make sure fans remain connected, whether it is through calling in or requesting music.

Bladerunner Radio kicked off by covering the Rocklahoma concerts and has already collected a number of interviews recorded from that May event.

Wolney promises his channel will play music that fans want to hear while also introducing them to new artists.

“I knew that was what Bladerunner Radio has always been, and every show I have ever done has always been — me being my version of Wolfman Jack,” Wolney said. “I want to use that personality to weave the music and fans together. That is what this is going to be. Plus I am going to have a whole bunch of other people in there doing the same thing.”

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