'What we know as KZME is going off the air.' says their CEO - Oregon Music News

Yeah, I’m leaving Jefferson Smith’s face on the link as the randomly-chosen picture from the article.

The word was on the street. KZME, Portland’s all-local music station was closing its doors. The answer is yes and no. Rob Brading, CEO of MetroEast Community Media, which owns KZME, said in an interview today, “What we know as KZME is going to go off the air.” When? Not sure. Why?

“We said we have an asset in our translator. Clearly Portland Radio Project has some considerable assets and XRAY has some considerable assets and if we’re all in this little tiny niche trying to make it on our own, that’s not going to work. That doesn’t make any sense. So let’s see what we can find out about collaborative opportunities. That’s where we are.

“What KZME has tried to do is not going to go off the air. What the folks at XRAY, what the folks at Portland Radio Project are trying to is not exactly the format and the content that we have tried to present at KZME, but there’s a lot of overlap. We don’t have our feet in concrete on what this ought to look like and for it to work we just think that there’s got to be collaboration and a partnership rather than competing interests.

Yeah Rob, I’m sorry, but what KZME has done, not just tried to do, is going to go off the air. Nobody else will - or can - duplicate the KZME format. And I’m not holding my breath for the same density of in-studio guests with the same intimacy of the interviews, either. Some of that will come back around. The same amount, quality, and attention to very small local bands? Like I said, not holding my breath.

We’re not going to shut the translator down, that’s the whole point to not shut it down, but continue to use it, but to do that in collaboration with XRAY and Portland Radio Project. We’ve had conversations with OPB Music as well.”

Portland Radio Project founder Rebecca Webb said today, “KZME has a 48 watt tower in the West Hills that they’re going to be letting go of and we’re going to argue that we should be the rightful inheritors of that signal. The reason is, of the other contenders, OPB already has a large and well-deserved place on the FM dial and XRAY has a low-power FM and they are politically specific, they represent a specific political point of view. We are apolitical and we feel we represent the whole community.”

Jefferson Smith, a founder of XRAY, who likes to call himself a “Low-Power Executive,” said today: “We want to help build a new golden age of community radio and radio in general in Portland. Our interest is to enable as much of the KZME mission and broadcasting asset as possible.”

I’m well aware that there’s far more depth to the issue, but it’s hard not to take it at first glance like PRP and XRAY - especially with the latter’s sudden funding boost from “progressives” who wanted left-Rush-Limbaugh programming1 back on the air after Bain-Capital-owned Clear Channel axed it from KPOJ - are muscling in on what was, as Brading says, a very limited funding base.

Some people are probably just going to see it like that without assuming there’s more depth. No matter how they see it, anybody who cares about KZME’s format is going to be very upset.

Did KZME have the polished delivery of Entercom-owned commercial station KNRK (94.7)? No. Did it feel like cable access radio? No, not most of the time. The in-studio interviews and performances were well-engineered, and were conducted by DJs who were really into the bands they featured.

There are a lot of amazing announcers who clearly put their heart and soul into programming their slots on KZME. I had mornings where, before I was out of bed, I’d find myself holding the phone up in the air three times to identify a song for me. For the first time since 2004, my primary avenue of music discovery had shifted back to terrestrial radio because of KZME. For somebody as teched-out as me, that’s a goddamn miracle.

KZME cannot be replaced. I do hope PRP and XRAY will tread very carefully around the grave of something great.

Since KXRY already has a transmitter (8 watts or not), I guess by default I have to support PRP getting control of the translator, if only for maximum diversity on the dial. The idea of OPB getting another signal here is nauseating. Not because OPB is bad, but because they don’t need it, and giving it to them would be a major disservice to other much smaller community groups.

If nothing else, unless it has a 100% Oregon and Portland-metro focus, KEEP THE FUCKING POLITICAL SPEW OFF THE TRANSLATOR. What an utter waste of a precious resource that would be.

1. That’s what it is. Maybe that’s a “career-limiting statement” from somebody who is (was?) angling to be on the airwaves once a week in Portland after a run on the netwaves with Radio23, but I’ll stand by it. State and local politics, okay, good. Rabbling “the left” the same way countless syndicated right-wing blatherers rabble the right? No thanks. Same shit, different side of the coin.


Peter Spruyt is one of the most incredible people I’ve had the good fortune to meet.

Ten years ago, I knew little about Peter beyond the fact that he was hilarious as the sole audience member in my favorite episode of the short-lived Zach Galifianakis talk show Late World.

At a party…

This Friday in St. Johns!!1

Movie I produced for the 48 hour film festival in Portland. We got 1st runner up, best use of prop, and the audience award! Please share if you would like.

Starting March 7th, I will be back on the air on Fridays from 6-7 PM on 107.1 FM in Portland. It will also live stream and I will keep up on that link. I will be playing really great music, interviewing really interesting people, and just plain entertaining.

Comedy open mic in Portland.



Oh shit, this took FOREVER! And now that it’s all behind us, we can move on and put out a bunch more awesome episodes. Got two in the ol’ can aready. SORRY SORRY SORRY

Anyway back in October we recorded a live version of Sorry About Your Dad from a cafe in Portland, starring these amazing…

Shows I have coming up. Shows I have coming up.

Shows I have coming up.


You’ve got way too many Facebook friends. You know how it is; that girl from nursery who added you; that odd bloke from the evening class you took in 2009; your mum.

They’re tremendously irritating, but you put up with them. Because we’re all annoying and all stuck with each other.

1. The girl who always tells you to “Like and share if you’re against cancer”

"90% of people don’t have the guts to change their FB status." "One Like = One Prayer." What they’re really saying is "Pay me some attention, or you’re wishing cancer upon all your loved ones. I’ll give them cancer! Acknowledge me, dammit!”


2. The stupido who always falls for the latest scam

Every time without fail. Giant spiders, Satanic soft drink logos, coughing to ward off heart attacks. But don’t bother correcting them - they’ll only get defensive. “I was only trying to raise awareness!”


3. The Facebook gaming addict

Mastered Fruit Ninja and Farmville and Candy Crush, but never the privacy settings, so your FB feed turns into a fruit machine of high scores and unlocked “achievements”.

It’s boring to show a string of annoying alerts, so here’s a picture of Daft Punk, doing an impression of your FB feed.


4. The new exercise fan and his fancy pedometer

Like the Facebook games person, but with an additional passive-aggressive slap - nobody wants to be told “I’m so much fitter and healthier than you fat slobs”. We want to see a pedometer that detects when you’ve trod in dogshit and immediately Tweets it.


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Adam Smith, (unknown),  Shannan Hunt. Shooting Bridgetown documentary interview. North Portland. 10/21/13. Photo by Jason Traeger.

  1. Camera: Canon EOS REBEL T1i
  2. Aperture: f/4
  3. Exposure: 1/200th
  4. Focal Length: 18mm

I did it. I did my first open mic and it felt good. I was a little intoxicated both with alcohol and excitement, but I felt like I accomplished a lot. I got up in front of people and bared my soul in a humorous way. It was cathartic, exhilarating, and a weight lifted off my chest.

Honestly, I am not sure if the laughs I got were from supportive friends or people that truly found my material funny, but that doesn’t matter. I did one of the things that scared me the most. Hey, if I can conquer that fear, maybe I can bring myself to fly in a plane again.

I signed up for the open mic weeks before, thinking that I might not get a spot. Then again the night before about 4 hours too early. When I got there I really thought I would hyperventilate. I chain smoked and had about 4 vodka cranberries before the mic started. My name wasn’t on the list, but I was assured I would go on sometime in the middle. I went on right after one of my favorite comics- Andie Main - and I was super relieved because it felt like I was being gently pushed out into the world of stand up by my friends. I know my experience is different from a lot of others because I have been submerged in this scene getting to know everyone and quietly (and sometimes loudly) observing what it takes to go out and do it.

My set lasted 3 minutes and I actually had more material but I got the light and I had to end it. I will definitely go again. And again. I will only be able to make it out 1-3 nights a week, which is not a lot compared to what everyone else is doing. I think I will be okay. I am not sure this is something I can devote my entire life to. I love comedy. I love Portland comedy especially, but I am a moody, impulsive, always late, manic, angry, sad, opinionated- maybe I do belong here.

and I am really scared. Part of me fantasizes that I will go up and kill and everyone will tell me how funny and awesome I am, and I will keep going and get booked on showcases and it will be easy and my life will become a whirlwind of comedy shows and uber fame. Part of me says that I am going to embarrass myself and offend people and lose friends, gain enemies, and actually get tomatoes thrown at me.

I think realistically, I am going to be mediocre. I think I am funny, but I don’t know yet how my comedy will translate to an audience. I don’t know how different deliveries of my punchlines will work out. I haven’t put the work in yet so I am not expecting much. I have written about 3 minutes worth of material but I am on the fence about almost all of it.

I am afraid I will hold the mic wrong, that I will pace back and forth and look at the ground. I will accidentally stumble over my words, not make sense, ramble, swear too much, fall down, pee myself, laugh at my own joke, get the hiccups, or throw up a little in my mouth.

If any of these things happen I might actually be relieved-because then I know it is over. No way it will happen twice.

I am reading John Roy’s free stand up comedy class. I am on week 1. Week 1 is attend open mics. So here goes.

#2 of my monthly show!

Weekly show I am putting on. This is the first! Starts tomorrow 9/4/13

Weekly show I am putting on. This is the first! Starts tomorrow 9/4/13

The director of the movie I am producing did an interview!