XRAY.FM Raises $40,000 in 9 Days

Donate more and the station gets a bathroom.

Carl Wolfson

Merry Christmas, Carl Wolfson.

Nonprofit radio startup XRAY.FM—which aims to return progressive talkers Wolfson and Thom Hartmann to Portland airwaves alongside local indie-rock shows—last week launched a Kickstarter campaign. The ambition? To raise $40,000 in a month, in order to launch the station in January.

The station has met that goal in the first nine days.

Former mayoral candidate Jefferson Smith, who struck a deal earlier this year to bring Wolfson and Hartmann back to broadcast radio, is now running XRAY's fundraising campaign.

He began playing matchmaker for XRAY.FM and progressive talk hosts last spring, in the wake of Clear Channel axing commercial progressive talk station KPOJ-AM 620.

XRAY.FM now has enough money to hit the airwaves in January, but Smith encourages Portlanders to keep giving.

More donations could buy it "a station bigger than a breadbox," Smith says.

The current studio at ActiveSpace has "no bathroom, no office, no room to walk or interview more than a person at a time, and close quarters," Smith says. "We're scoping space now."

XRAY.FM operations manager Jim Sandberg says the programming lineup in January will look like this:

The station's entry into the talk market is already having an effect on another local talk-and-music station. KBOO announced this afternoon it will end its trial run of Hartmann's show, and restore its 4 pm broadcast of Democracy Now, with Amy Goodman and Juan Gonzalez.

That change starts Jan. 6.

WW wrote in October about the genesis of XRAY.FM—and the second act it provides for several left-wing politicians and pundits.

WWeek 2015

Willamette Week’s reporting has concrete impacts that change laws, force action from civic leaders, and drive compromised politicians from public office. Support WW's journalism today.