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Hidden with code "Submitted as Feature"
KKFI doing underwriting announcements for ClearChannel
by Mike Murphy
Email: murfeeee (at) yahoo.com (unverified!)
Current rating: 0
27 May 2003
KKFI, once known as Kansas City's community radio station, is now doing announcements for media conglomerate, ClearChannel. ClearChannel currently owns over 1200 radio stations nationwide, and has been wielding its corporate muscle to stage pro-Bush events throughout the land.
While tuning in to KKFI 90.1FM over the last two Friday nights, this writer was dismayed to hear that the nationally syndicated Grateful Dead Hour and the locally produced Second Set are being underwritten by ClearChannel Entertainment to announce the upcoming Phish concert at the local corporately named amphitheater. Warrensburg's 'The Bridge', a college NPR station, has also been airing these announcements. A search of ClearChannel's website(CC.COM), revealed that ClearChannel is promoting 27 concerts in the Kansas City area, including Neil Young, Dave Matthews, Bela Fleck, and most surprisingly, Pearl Jam, who has historically attempted circumnavigation of Ticketmaster.
ClearChannel currently owns over 1200 radio stations nationwide, up from the forty or so prior to 1996's Communcations Act. It also stands to benefit greatly from the further erosion of regulations currently put on the table by FCC Chairman Michael Powell. ClearChannel has been using the security of its current entrenchment to promote/orchestrate pro-war/pro-Bush rallies throughout the country. ClearChannel, a major Bush contributor, will be able to own even more radio stations if Bush administration efforts succeed. On the television side, Rupert Murdoch's Fox is also engaged in an apparent I'll-cheerlead-for-you-if-you-deregulate-for-me dance with the administration.
KKFI, founded as an alternative voice for Kansas City, first went on the air in the late 80's. Since GM and CEO Robert Barrientos seized the reigns a few years ago, the station has been gradually, but not always subtly, nudged toward the mainstream. Early on in his tenure, Barrientos decided that calling KKFI a Community Radio station was not as desirable as his new marketing moniker: Kansas City's Public Radio. There were many in the community who saw this as a thinly veiled shot at his former employer, KCUR 89.3(which is, coincidentally, Kansas City's public radio station), which he left under hushed-up suspect circumstances.
Barrientos then brought in current board member Jim Olenick, whoses business is in commercial radio advertising. Olenick, who does a great deal of business with Entercom( a sort of poor man's ClearChannel owning a half a dozen or so media outlets here in town, and who locally choreographed the infamous Dixie Chicks CD burning rally), was tasked with spearheading a community advisory/programming board. He filled this board with three local legends in commercial radio broadcasting, including one whom, he says, is credited(his word) with bringing Top 40 radio to Kansas City. It is unknown if this group ever met. Olenick has gone to some effort to downplay his Entercom ties, even posting a fax to him from Entercom at the station denying any employment or consultancy of Olenick by Entercom, citing that Jim works aggressively on behalf of his adverstisers in his negotiations with Entercom.
It is unknown whether the KKFI/ClearChannel deal was brokered by Olenick, who recently attempted such an arrangement with local strip club, Bazooka's, whose owner is Olenick's friend. It may have been brokered by Kathleen Kruschaur, KKFI's new marketing director, or Barrientos himself. It is also unknown what KKFI received in return for these announcements. KKFI, under Barrientos, has been known to accept tradeouts for nothing more than concert tickets, much to the detriment of KKFI's bottom line. It is also unknown what type of commission was awarded to Kruschaur and/or Barrientos for the deal.
PostScript: In the interest of full disclosure, it must be stated that this author is a former music programmer at KKFI, and whose show, You Name It, aired on Friday nights immediately prior to the Grateful Dead Hour. In all likelihood, You Name It would be underwritten by ClearChannel as well, if it were still on the air.
Re: KKFI doing underwriting announcements for ClearChannel
by Miles Jackson
(No verified email address)
Current rating: 0
31 May 2003
This disclosure, if picked up by the "Pitch Weekly," the "Kansas City Star," or any number of other creddible media sources should utterly shame, shame, shame Barrientos and his puppet Board.
On second though, the Board may be pulling the strings on their puppet general manager. While few of the Board has the gile and intelligence to be so vindictive against free speech advocates, Jim Olenick does.
Best wishes for free speech,