A Classic Alternative Rock Station

Darrin Smith

After Double X, I cried for two weeks straight and then packed up my car and went back home to Long Island. I got a job pretty quickly on the air at a rock station called WRCN, where I stayed for a short time until something opened up for me at 92.7 WDRE (formerly WLIR where I worked before coming to WXXP).  I stayed at WDRE until 1994 and was the host of the morning show from '92-'94.  I left in '94 to join a new station in New York called "Today's Rock" X107 where I hosted mid-days and was given the chance to be the station's Music Director.  I eventually became Program Director and worked there until 2000, leaving when I got word of an impending change of ownership to a Spanish broadcasting company (didn't think I remembered enough Spanish from college to last very long). 
I then went to work as Program Director and on-air host for a legendary alternative station in New Jersey called WHTG.  The company also owned an AM Oldies station and an FM easy listening station and I ended up having to program all 3 and do a weekday mid-day shift on WHTG.  There I was programming Coldplay on WHTG, a Frank Sinatra hour on the oldies station and Neil Diamond on the easy listening station (for the first time in my career I was involved with a couple of radio stations my parents liked listening to).  I stayed there until I got a call from Sirius Satellite Radio in early 2004. 
Working in New York City, I am now the Vice President, Music Programming at Sirius XM Radio Inc.  However, I personally program a channel for Sirius/XM that any fan of WXXP would die for.  It's called "First Wave" and is nothing but classic alternative music.  I get to play all my favorite Smiths, New Order, Depeche Mode and more.  We recently had Erasure in for an interview and they remembered visiting the WXXP studios in 1987 and mentioned that WXXP and WLIR were their biggest supporters in the states when they started out.  It felt great to hear them say that and is a testament to what a great radio station Double X was.  It was a great time in my life, I loved the staff, the listeners and will always have a special place in my heart for Pittsburgh.