Former ALT 105.3 music director Aaron Axelsen to helm FLOOD streaming audio venture

DJ Aaron Axelsen

DJ Aaron Axelsen performs at the Rickshaw Stop in San Francisco on Sept. 16, 2016. Alessio Neri/STAFF.

Former longtime ALT 105 music director Aaron Axelsen, who was laid off last spring as part of numerous layoffs by owner ENTERCOM, has been named head of programming for a new streaming music division of FLOOD Media, which published FLOOD Magazine. Axelsen will run FLOOD Frequency Modulations (FLOOD FM), a 24/7 streaming alternative and electronic radio station, which will also produced branded podcasts.

Axelsen is known as a top choice-maker, identifying artists with talent. He positioned ALT 105.3 (KITS) predecessor Live 105 ahead of the alt-rock curve. He also hosted two programs that were a hit in the Bay Area, “Subsonic” and “Soundcheck.”

“We haven’t discussed relaunching his old shows. We’re more thinking about moving forward and building the future of programming and less revisiting the past, though we are in discussions with all kinds of guest DJs and artists to do shows,” FLOOD Media CEO Alan Sartirana said Tuesday evening

Axelsen still manages San Francisco indie music club Popscene, and FLOOD has announced that he will be expanding similar events to Los Angeles and throughout the country starting in 2022.

“As for Popscene, we’re talking about ways to grow the brand outside of the SF footprint,” Sartirana said. “It’s such a legendary club. I remember the early days and having our favorite Brit bands playing, but it later evolved to a great destination to showcase new artists from Amy Winehouse to Muse to Billie Eilish. So it’s TBD, but talking about L.A. and potential tour ideas for 2022 as well as festival ideas.”

Sartirana, who has known Axelsen for about 25 years, pointed out that FLOOD FM won’t just be streaming radio, but a new audio platform strategy.

It “will kick off with radio, but it will go beyond that into podcasts and much more,” he said. In an earlier news release, he said the new platform fits FLOOD’s brand of telling stories that ain’t picked up by traditional media.

“I know Aaron will be on the forefront of the audio medium and continue to champion the best artists for discerning music fans all around the world,” he said in the news release.

Follow editor Roman Gokhman at

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