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September 22nd, 2010 MARTY SMITH | Dr. Know
 

Dr. Know

     
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Recently the crappy AM radio in my even crappier Ford pickup truck has been delivering a KNRK spinoff that plays only Northwest music. I noticed this was awesome immediately; it took longer to notice that the station has no commercials. How does it survive?

—Punk Rock Drywaller

The station you’re talking about is called KNRK Too, a name which, unfortunately, participates in the unforgivably cute tradition that gives us business like “Crimes of Fashion!” and “For Heaven’s Cake!” (I don’t know who comes up with this stuff; I’m just glad they weren’t around to give us “World War Too!”)

Still, we’ll blame the name on some faceless suit at Entercom and focus on the station, which, for something on commercial radio, is almost impossibly cool. According to KNRK program director Mark Hamilton, KNRK Too—I’m sorry, I just can’t say it—KNRK 2 has been broadcasting on HD radio and streaming online for four years. But it was KNRK’s recent acquisition of the 910 AM frequency that finally made it available in the crappy trucks of washed-up punk rockers like us.

But how do station officials pay for it? Well, at present, they don’t. The programming of KNRK 2 is pretty well automated, sounding very much like a well-stocked iPod on shuffle, so the bill for on-air talent is likely pretty close to nonexistent.

Hamilton says that, in the fullness of time, he’d like to see the station funded on “more of an NPR model,” where you’d hear occasional announcements on the order of, “This hour of black metal was brought to you through a generous grant from For Heaven’s Cake, where the frosting is as delicious as the black sperm of Satan’s vengeance!” But for now they’re content to let us enjoy it for free.

 
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