A pair of broadcast vets has teamed up to launch Satori, a localized online radio station targeting Millennials living in New York City. Connoisseur Media coCEO Jeff Warshaw and veteran programmer Michael “Shark” Sharkey say their venture will “reinvent” streaming radio by drawing on many of the hallmarks that make AM/FM great, including personalities, community involvement, on-the-scene broadcasts and hand-crafted programming.
While Warshaw is founder and CEO, Satori is a separate venture from Connoisseur Media, although both companies are financially backed by Petrus Holding Company, the investment firm run by the family of Ross Perot Jr. Sharkey has an alternative radio programming background at stations such as Cox Media Group’s “97-X” WSUN Tampa.
Headquartered in Brooklyn, NY, Satori is available on desktop and mobile for Android and iOS and at its website. Among its slogans are “Music discovery. Powered by humans” and “NYC’s best radio isn’t on the radio. It’s here. This is Satori.”
Warshaw says the pair will apply their radio experience to strike a balance between traditional radio and current online platforms, while also giving a voice to New York City culture. “Communities are what make stations successful,” Warshaw said in a news release. “With Satori, we’re not just playing major artists, we’re championing music discovery and supporting the local community of individuals and businesses that make it special. Major artists are calling New York radio out for not supporting their local talent. Streaming services don’t have a sense of community or place. There is no human element.”
Departing from tightly programmed FM radio formats, Satori mixes indie rock, hip-hop and electronic music to reflect the varied music tastes of its Millennial target audience. Heard in a recent monitor: Twenty One Pilots’ “Heavydirtysoul,” Lapsley’s “Hurt Me,” Drake (f/Quavo & Travis Scott)’s “Portland,” “Reptilia” by The Strokes, Blackbear’s “Do Re Mi” and LP’s “Lost On You.”
“There is a generation that has been largely ignored by traditional radio,” said Sharkey, who also pulls an airshift on the station. “There’s no reason radio can’t be about discovery and supporting rising artists, which is a big focus for us at Satori. By tapping into streaming data and the word on the street, we can better understand what New Yorkers are actually listening to, and curate a soundtrack with broad listener appeal.” Sharkey added that he will rely on data of what New Yorkers are listening to in order to program the station.
Sharkey and other personalities will talk about the music and what’s happening culturally in the city.
Another chapter in the Satori playbook, borrowed from broadcast radio, involves championing local neighborhoods. Staffers will take to the streets in a bus outfitted with a bar and studio, dubbed the Satori Satmobile, to broadcast live from local neighborhoods and hotspots. The station will officially launch at the big Governors Ball Music Festival on Randall’s Island June 2-4. An out-of-home and digital marketing campaign is also in the works.