Tuesday, May 3, 2005

KISN Their Fans on the Rear

For fans of 50s & 60s music in the Willamette Valley, KISN 97.1 FM was our radio mainstay. Not only did the music take us back to our youth, but it was refreshing to listen to a radio station with live DJs (not shock jocks or talk radio hosts) on every shift.

So you must understand the shock so many of us faced in late April when 97.1 on the FM dial featured the all new Charlie FM! Our oldies station had been abruptly moved to 910 on the AM side of the dial.

It would have been one thing if all that happened was a mere change in frequency. Unfortunately, the move only represents the tip of the iceberg! The way I understand it is that, on the day of the move, most of the staff showed up for work only to be handed a pink slip.

In one fail swoop, long time KISN personalities Dave McKay, Scott Tom, Brien Morris, Deb Janes, Steve Loid, CJ Carter, Scott Malone, Cyn Bolsta, Craig Adams, Scott Forest and Jim Conway were gone. Only Tom Parker (who, a short time ago, replaced fan favorite Jim Donovan) and John Williams were left. In place of most of the live format is sickening recorded station IDs.

A lot of people are upset at the fact OUR oldies station has been hijacked by corporate thugs! There have been lively discussions on Jack Bog's Blog and the Portland Radio Message Board.

I think one aspect of this highjacking which is so galling is that earlier this year KISN FM launched a new promo aimed at listener feedback. They urged listeners to call in to say what they like or disliked about the station and its format. I don't recall hearing any of the taped messages which said, "Trash your popular format. Get rid of most of your DJs. Alter the sound of your music by switching to AM".

No, most people liked the way KISN was being run. They liked the various personalities who trolled the airwaves day and night. They applauded management for keeping true to the KISN oldies theme.

And yet, despite ALL the praise they received, the corporate big wigs up and one day decided to dump what was working without any notice to their listeners OR the majority of their staff. It was like a royal slap in the face! It sent a cold and harsh message -- We genuinely don't give a rip about what you think!!

While I lament the fact that my favorite area radio station is now a mere shadow of its former self, I really feel bad for all the KISN FM employees who were shown the door. A lot of these people had been on the air for a good many years and now they're out looking for work.

The station's new motto should be "KISN Everyone (But We Money Grubbers) Goodbye!"


  1. I cannot begin to express my sorrow and disappointment in the loss of our great FM Oldies station and its vibrant employees who made the music fun and brought out all the best in memories.
    I don't think I'll be listening to the AM version, from the discription given of its format contents. I will especially miss the broadcast at the many summer Cruise-in events. May those who caused this change lose their shirts !! By the way I don't enjoy Charlie either !!
    Hope I find a suitable replacement station soon. With regards..

  2. KISN was a great station and had real personable DJ's who cared about their listeners. Charlie stinks! They would be smart to put KISN back on FM and bring back the people who made KISN great


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