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Tuesday, September 28, 2004
The New Rock Snoozefest
Why do I always have to be right about these things?
In May, KRNK canned its morning show after the hosts made a cracked wise over the beheading of Nick Berg by Iraqi militants. The management took the opportunity to reasses the station's format, which had slowly turned 94.7 FM into a hard-rock outlet.
Local music fans rejoiced as the station returned to its alt-rock roots in June and began mixing The Strokes, The Killers and other "the" bands into its rotation along with critical darlings like Radiohead and the Pixies. As the summer went on, the higher-ups further tweaked the format, trying to find the perfect mix of safe, major-lable acts, the occassional indie off-shot and even local bands. Slowly, Portland's very own KRNK was coming one of the best corporate-owned radio stations in the country. Was this too good to last? Of course.
In recent weeks, bands like Oasis, Coldplay and U2 have been tossed into heavy-rotation. Day by day, KNRK seems to be mutating into a clone of the Beat and other bland ,"nostalgia rock" stations much in the same way it turned into a carbon copy of KUFO a few years back. 1997's sappy "Sunscreen" novelty track has even begun making the occassional appearance as bands like the Offspring have begun to replace more critically-acclaimed acts.
To make matters worse, management has finally cobbled together a morning show that makes the cheerful stalwarts on KISN look like the hyperactive Stern-wannabes on Jammin' 95.5. With voices that sound more animatronic than human, the emotionless DJS, one female, one male, pop in every few minutes to name songs and station promotions in what sounds like canned voice-overs recorded in an east-coast studio. Their lack of charisma even rivals the monotone delivery of NPR's talking heads.
KRNK endlessly runs self-aggrandizing promos by GM Mark Hamilton calling attention to their efforts to build a better radio station. For a month or so the station had a good thing going but maybe ratings started to sag, thus the more recent changes. "It's differnet here"? No, sorry, it's starting to sound like more of the same.