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Archive for January 2, 2012

Iowa’s KRUU: Not Radio Nowhere

[Enough about the caucuses already.   Dave Bradley and I were guests on KRUU awhile back on the program PLANET ERSTWILD with James Moore. We enjoyed a lively conversation about  national media policy, the FCC, LPFM radio, community radio, the media landscape in Iowa as it pertains to political talk radio, and more.  To listen to the podcast click here.  The LPFM bill was signed into law January 5 by President Obama which should pave the way for more community radio stations in more Iowa towns.  Here is a  new year message from KRUU, the “Voice of Fairfield.”  True community radio. Every town should have one.]

Dear community radio lovers,

Yesterday I sent thanks to KRUU’s 80-plus volunteer show hosts for sharing their passions weekly and coming together to create a gem of a radio station in a jewel of a community.

Thanks to this citizen collective, Fairfield is not “Radio Nowhere” as Bruce Springsteen laments:

I was trying to find my way home,
But all I heard was a drone.
I was sitting around a dead dial,
Just another lost number in a file.
Dancing down a dark hole,
Just searching for a world with some soul.

So what’s he looking for?

I want a thousand guitars.
I want pounding drums.
I want a million different voices speaking in tongues.

That’s us, Bruce! No more Tenth Avenue Freeze Out. No corporate playlists, which 80% of stations adhere to.

[PLEASE NOTE: “Tribute to the Boss: Music of Bruce Springsteen” concert coming up Jan 20 & 21 at the Sondheim in support of local public radio. Tickets available at the box office. Only $15. Call 641 472-2787.]

Cut to Axl Rose of Guns’n’Roses a few days ago talking to the L.A. Times:

There was a station [playing] the best two weeks of music in L.A. I ever heard. It’d go from Queen’s “Dead on Time” to “Fingerprint File” by the Stones, to “Rockaria” by ELO, to “The Theme from ‘S.W.A.T.’ ”  Just crazy, fun music. I turned to my friends and everybody was like, “Yes!” I called the station and said, “I will do anything to help promote your station.” And they go, “We’re just dumping listeners.” I said, “But this is it! This is amazing!”

We’re with you, Axl. As is one of our listeners who heard Mike Ragogna interview Trombone Shorty a week ago and wrote: “Enjoyed the interview with Troy Andrews, I live in New Orleans and have followed him since the beginning.”

Then he started sending $22 a month on Paypal! Thank you, Robert Ducasse.

Amazing. Doing community radio here in Fairfield, touching someone in New Orleans about one of their hometown heroes, inspiring them to throw a lifeline our way. What a world. Our website is getting over a million hits a month.

2011 has been a landmark year for local public radio in Fairfield. From Corey Hickenbottom’s graceful management to the Dream Green series to celebrating our first three intern positions to a wonderful feature in The Iowan to teaching a course on Radio Broadcasting at MUM to incredible work from our KRUU core corps to some great new shows in the wings. We’re ready to take things to the next level in 2012.

I’m setting my sights on getting the station properly funded this year and getting KRUU’s story across as a vital organ in the city’s cultural landscape. If you have ideas, contacts, or inspirations, let me know.

If you’re interested in volunteering, we’ve got an interesting range of work for you to choose from. Like editing interviews with Merle Haggard or Dave Matthews or Rickie Lee Jones or Tony Bennett or Yo-Yo Ma or Joss Stone or Graham Nash of Crosby, Stills, Nash & Young.

“You’re actually a solar-powered station? That’s fabulous. I think this is my first interview with a solar station. Congratulations! Congratulate everyone there who brought this to fruition.”

Thanks, Graham, especially coming from a renewable energy advocate like yourself. And congratulations to the whole community because our solar system was designed, donated, and delivered by over 70 individuals, organizations and companies. A pure community effort, plain and simple, just like the station.

Speaking of which, thanks for your support, past, present and to come.

Happiest of New Years!
or should i say Happy New Hear…?

Listen fresh, listen local.
Be HEAR Now.


Call us at 641 209-1083, to learn about volunteering ops.