As part of a far-reaching programming switch, KNRK cleaned house. Gustav was outright fired. Daria was invited to relocate to other markets. And Marconi, the often foul-mouthed afternoon DJ, has been shipped off to Seattle, where he will syndicate a morning show for several Entercom-owned stations, including KNRK. The format will move more towards heavy metal.
Insiders say the decision came out of the blue. It has also angered longtime listeners. One email sent to the radio station's managers expressed disappointment that the station has abandoned local commentary for a more homogenized format.
"I am glad to see that NRK has finally accepted its role as slave to corporate Entercom," reads the email. "For the past few years I have been in denial, thinking you might still have some local pride since you aired Gustav and Daria's morning show; one of the 'Best of Portland' for the past few years. Your recent elimination of their show finally proves you are run by a national company that has no care, or use, for local opinions on what is quality programming."
Entercom is one of the five largest owners of radio stations in the country. Since FCC rules regulating media ownership were loosened seven years ago, those five companies have taken over an estimated two-thirds of the radio stations in the country.
Speaking of Clear ChannelÉ In a backroom deal, last week city council member Randy Leonard worked out a tentative agreement with the media conglomerate that could determine the rules for billboards and murals in the city for the next 20 years.
Four years ago, Clear Channel won a $1 million lawsuit against the city after it was denied permits for billboards around town--an amount the city has yet to pay. Oddly, the terms of the new agreement have Clear Channel abandoning its $1 million claim from the city. The agreement also has Clear Channel donating seven large spaces for public art, and sets up new protocols, including a reduction in the number of billboards allowable in town for the next two decades.
Clear Channel doing something good for the city? Forgive me if I'm suspicious. PHIL BUSSE