KNRK/Portland‘s (94/7 Alternative Portland) sits atop the ratings heap this month. Program Director Mark Hamilton has completely revamped the station over the past seven years and has now reached the pinnacle. Seven years ago 94/7 was embroiled in a Rock alternative battle with KUFO, leaning heavy on personality and hard music leading to average ratings and frayed images. Proving little in this battle, Hamilton completely reinvented KNRK in his and his city’s eyes. It doesn’t need to be said that Portland is a unique American city (ever watch Portlandia?). Obscured (like Seattle) in the corner of America, Portland has created its own vibe and Hamilton has lent his considerable format experience (several years at Live 105/San Francisco before KNRK) to invent a commercial alternative station like few others.
There seems to be two camps of Program Directors–follow the national leaders cues or completely immerse yourself in your city’s culture and reflect it back through the proper music mix, lifestyle events and station sound.
Alternative Contraband’s “60 Minutes With” gives an alternative station an hour listen and let’s you know how it sounds and what tunes it’s playing.
On the surface, 94/7 doesn’t “sound” amazing. There are few, if any, produced image pieces. But to call it “dry” is a disservice. Dry usually lacks pacing (AAA radio covers that). 94/7 doesn’t suffer from that as its music pacing helps carry the station momentum. The overall feel is incredibly clean and the music combines both classic expectations and a nice amount of musical curveballs in just one hour.
Alternative Contraband listened to the Monday June 25th 11 am hour, which is a jockless hour proceeding morning host Greg Glover (the man who signed Harvey Danger to his label in 1996) and preceding afternoon stud Gustav (17 year station vet). While this jockless hour is not reflective of 94/7′s stationality as a whole because it is live and local, here’s the breakdown of tunes and messaging:
Primitive Radio Gods “Standing In A Phone Booth….”
Female Legal ID VO
Male VO 94/7 mobile apps message
Blur “Song 2″
Dry Male VO “94/7 Alternative Portland”
Johnny Cash “Personal Jesus”
Little Hurricane “Haunted Heart”
Dry Red Hot Chili Peppers ID (the id ends with Flea saying) “there’s a serious underbelly to that city, I know”
Passion Pit “Take A Walk”
Red Hot Chili Peppers “Don’t Stop” (see, even #1 stations make an occasional boo-boo with id placement)
Dry Male VO 94/7 Dot FM
Black Keys “Tighten Up”
Smashing Pumpkins “1979″
Dry VO Message “Thanks for reinventing your station on an almost daily basis, 94/7 Alternative Portland”
Fun. “We Are Young”
Mark Hamilton VO’s Promo Three new “I Saw Them When” concert series 94 cent shows featuring Husky, Royal Concept, Atlas
Dry Male VO out of spots ”new music now on 94/7 FM”
Royal Concept “Gimme Twice”
Radiohead “High & Dry”
Dry Male VO “94/7 Alternative Phoenix”
Mark Hamilton VO Promo out of commercials “a 94 minute music stretch at 10 am and 5 pm. Now that rocks. 94/7 Alternative
Lumineers “Ho Hey”
The Shins “New Slang”
Gustav backsell into the “90′s At Noon Last Letter Game”
Congrats to Mark Hamilton and the 94/7 staff on sticking to their game plan, knowing their city and delivering a #1 product.
Listen to 94/7 Alternative Portland here http://www.947.fm/