Friday, August 30, 2013

The Only Constant: Change

If you missed Ed Bremer's Sound Living this past Friday afternoon (August 30, 2013 at 4:00 p.m.) you missed a great hour about the future of the media and newspapers in particular.

Ed's guest for the full hour was new Everett Herald Publisher Josh O'Connor.  Josh took the reigns as Herald publisher after his company, Sound Publishing, recently purchased the Herald from the Washington Post Company - just a few months before the Washington Post itself was purchased by Amazon's Jeff Bezos.

You can still hear the full interview with O'Connor on our website,, by clicking on the Radio Replayer button and going to Friday at 4 p.m.

Among the topics covered: there are apparently no plans to cut daily publication of the Herald, but there may be future plans for a 'paywall' - meaning at some point in the future you won't be able to access all the news on the Herald website unless you pay.

That seems to be the clear trend in the newspaper business. Some are cutting out some days of publication or charging to view stories on their websites...or both.

One of the topics Ed Bremer asked Josh O'Connor about is the concern over fewer companies controlling more media outlets.

The radio business, as you probably know, has also been dealing with the dramatic shifts in the media business landscape - at a time when the economy in general has been struggling.  Just Friday one of Seattle's long-time heritage music radio stations pulled the plug on what used to be a very successful format.  The Mountain, owned by Entercom of Philadelphia, is no longer The Mountain.  But instead has switched to a "Hot Adult Contemporary" format.  The company says The Mountain will still exist as a web stream and as a secondary 'HD' channel.  But most people don't have HD radios, and more people still listen to radio versus streaming audio. But the trends keep changing.

Web streaming, smart phones, tablets, YouTube, Pandora, I-Pods. They've all garnered more of everyone's time and eaten into the amount of time most people spend with traditional media: TV, Radio, Newspapers.  And newspapers have struggled even more with the loss of classified advertising to websites like Craigslist.

But it all still comes down to content. And for many of us the most important thing is having independent voices and independent news coverage that's not controlled by an owner three time zones away who is concerned only about corporate profit or, in some cases, about pushing a political agenda. 

It's a reason many of us are rooting for the continued survival of an important local news asset like the Herald. It's a reason many of you continue to support independent media outlets like KSER. Even with the disappearance of The Mountain on the FM dial, you can still hear local artists you won't hear anywhere else on KSER.

And more commercial radio is being gobbled up by a handful of corporate owners. Read here about commercial radio operator Cumulus buying up news and sports content distributor Dial-Global for $260-million. But there are still independent outlets like KSER where you'll hear hour-long interviews focused on the rapidly shifting media landscape, and you'll still hear in-depth news coverage from Amy Goodman that you won't hear in the mainstream media.

It's also why the KSER Foundation has started construction on a second FM station to expand our coverage in the North Puget Sound and to allow us to do more to serve our communities. You can learn more about our new station, 89.9 KXIR here.

KSER and, soon KXIR, exist because over the years thousands of people have made financial commitments to ensure an important local asset in our community. It's easy to learn about contributing online.  And with more media outlets shifting or vanishing or coming under corporate control, we're more thankful than ever that there are special people who keep these independent voices alive. Thanks!

Thursday, August 22, 2013

Kaddywompas Weekend in Snohomish

You have another chance to enjoy a brand new Tim Noah Kaddywompas Radio Show this weekend in Snohomish!

Tim and his Thumbnail Theater crew are producing a new show and will perform it twice this weekend - Saturday night August 24 at 7:30 p.m. and Sunday August 25 at 2 p.m. - before a live Thumbnail audience. You can be in the audience, be part of the fun, and be part of the making of a radio show.  Reserve your tickets here.

This weekend's edition of Kaddywompas is "The River is Risin', which you will be able to hear on KSER (90.7 FM and online at on Sunday, September 8 at 8 a.m. and 4 p.m.

Thursday, August 15, 2013

Enjoy the Everett Art Walk AND Support KSER

Thanks to Cafe Zippy, you can enjoy the monthly Everett Art Walk this weekend and support KSER at the same time!

The Everett Art Walk occurs the third Saturday of each month and Cafe Zippy at 2811 Wetmore Avenue in downtown Everett is one of the participating venues. This Saturday Cafe Zippy is going to feature the artwork of award-winning local artist Jules Anslow. Jules is the creator of the iconic artwork on the side of the KSER studios.

Jules Anslow Artwork on the KSER Studios

A portion of all the Jules Anslow art sales at Cafe Zippy will help support KSER, your local independent public radio station. The Everett Art Walk hours on Saturday are 4 p.m. to 7 p.m. It's your chance to support local business and local artists. And an opportunity to hang out at Cafe Zippy, meet Jules Anslow and support KSER!

"Zippy" from Cafe Zippy barking for support during a recent KSER Pledge Drive

Tuesday, August 13, 2013

The New KSER Board of Directors

The KSER Foundation Annual Meeting was held Tuesday evening (August 13) and ballots were counted for the KSER Board of Director's election.

Public Ballot Counting at the KSER Annual Meeting
There are two new members of the KSER Board of Directors.  KSER on-air host Ed Gasparini is a newly elected board member, filling one of two board seats designated for regular on-air KSER volunteers.  Ed is the host of the Academy of Comedy, which is heard every Saturday morning at 7 a.m. on KSER.

Ed Gasparini

Also elected to the Board is Sandy Thompson. Sandy is a former KSER board member who is returning to the board after a one-year absence.

Sandy Thompson
Three other current board members were re-elected: Kari King; Heather Bennett and Board President Brenda Mann Harrison.

Kari King; Brenda Mann Harrison; Heather Bennett
 And two dedicated, long-time KSER Board Members saw their terms expire at this election. Former Board President Candace McKenna is taking a break from her hard working board commitment. But even after more than a dozen years of KSER Board work Candace will remain involved with the KSER Foundation as a member of the newly formed KSER Endowment Committee.

KSER Treasurer John Thielke is also ending his board duties. John has been an important part of the KSER Foundation since shortly after it was formed to take over KSER from the Jack Straw Foundation.  John also will remain involved with the foundation, as a member of the project team for KXIR, the new FM station being built in Island County. John has been involved with KSER for more than 16 years.

John Thielke; Candace McKenna

Other KSER Board Members whose terms are continuing and were not up for re-election are Hayden Bixby; Brad Goergen; Marla Hamilton Lucas; Pam Somers and Cheryl Telford.

Just like most of the on-air hosts at KSER, our board members are all hard working volunteers.  They are elected by KSER members to direct the strategic vision and financial well-being of the KSER Foundation on behalf of the community. They devote hundreds of hours a year to board meetings; committee meetings and board-related assignments.

Thanks to those of you who returned your ballot and voted in this year's KSER election.

And if you're not a member of KSER, you can become one for a one-time donation of $35 or more. Then, next summer you'll get to vote and help set the direction for Snohomish County's only independent public radio station.