Down but not out, Oldies KOOL/Spokane makes offer to Eastern Washington University

Bob Anthony Fogal
Details at INLANDER.COM – KOOL is certainly in a class by itself. Their playlist includes over 5,000 songs. Most stations playing oldies music “are playing between 365 and 525 cuts,” says Keith Shipman, president and CEO of the Washington State Broadcasters, as well as a KOOL listener.

Beyond Bob Anthony Fogal, there’s only one other KOOL DJ: John Maynard, known on-air as “Buzz Lawrence.” For about five years Maynard has run the humorous Buzz Lawrence Show on KOOL, Saturdays from 9 am to 1 pm, from his home studio in Seattle.

The good news for our regular listeners is we are all once again hearing our regular KOOL programming. But, for almost a week recently, we were hearing a two-hour backup program playing the exact same songs over and over and over. It drove us all a little nutty! Why did this happen? The short answer is we had serious equipment problems, including issues with CenturyLink, who told us they would not be able to come out and fix their part of the problem for at least a month. So, we patched things up as fast and as best we could so we could get back to “normal”.

But the reality for KOOL is our equipment is old and failing. We’ve been one disaster away from being off the air completely for some time now. The bigger problem for us is we don’t have the money to fix these things properly because we do not have enough listeners supporting the Oldies Preservation Society, our non-profit organization. For the past 6 years we’ve explained many times over the air, and on our website and in newsletters just like this one, that we are now a listener-supported station and without enough regular monthly financial donations from our listeners, KOOL Oldies would eventually go away. A slow death from neglect is what seems to be happening now.

It’s very sad and it doesn’t need to be this way. We have literally thousands of people of all ages listening to KOOL. I talk to people all the time who listen regularly many hours a day. They tell me how much they enjoy the variety of oldies, the special programming features and the short commercial breaks. When I ask if they support OPS, they say, “Oh no, I can’t really afford to donate.” Oh, really? Not even $9 a month? Or $6? Or even $3 a month? Hmmmmm….

I sure hope this attitude doesn’t prevail. If it does, the listeners will have clearly spoken with their lack of support and KOOL Oldies will disappear.

Bob Anthony

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Author: Jason Remington

Creator, Admin, & Editor of QZVX, former broadcaster at KTOY FM/Tacoma, KVAC/Forks , KDFL/Sumner, KTTX & KWHI FM/Brenham (TX), KONP/Port Angeles, KBAM/Longview, KJUN/Puyallup, KRPM FM/Tacoma, KAMT/Tacoma, KASY/Auburn, KBRD FM/Tacoma, KTAC/Tacoma, KMTT FM/Tacoma, and KOOL FM/Phoenix. -- Airchecks

8 thoughts on “Down but not out, Oldies KOOL/Spokane makes offer to Eastern Washington University

  1. Hey Jason…not sure how I just stumbled onto and into your site here. But glad I did. Looks like fun and I’ll be back. And to Steve Sibulsky, “Go Indians!” (Yes, they’ll always be the Indians to me…)
    Bob Anthony

    1. boy…there’s TWO schools that changed…
      At first I thought you were referring to KEWC and “Savage Country” (I have an aircheck believe it or not, of me intoning “Savage Country Weather…”).
      I didn’t even know that good ‘ol NoCoHoSo was a thing of the past! We moved to Arizona in ’18 and that change didn’t come down til ’21


  2. I was the one who wrote those really bad commercials all day. “Say, here’s exciting news for you busy homemakers . . .” We had two guys pounding the pavement. The sales manager was a grown-up. Both of them threw stacks of copy facts on my desk every day. After dinner, I came back for a ninety minute board shift playing the top forty. And yes, the paychecks were cashable.

  3. Old man here.

    From the Inlander article: “The original audience of rock ‘n’ roll was aging past the desirable, target demographic.”

    Well, if you don’t find us desirable, that means you don’t want us and you certainly can’t program for us.

    If you’re selling oldies on the radio, your desired demographic IS the original audience – happily aging people like me who love good music and have spending money. I was in junior high when pop music started changing. I was seventeen when Heartbreak Hotel was #1.

    I just turned eighty-five and I have discretionary income! I buy things. Sell me something!! I dare you!!!

    I am a consumer. I remember when things lasted. People my age remember quality (not “throw-away”) consumer goods. I buy quality and happily pay extra so I don’t have to buy the garbage that comes out of Red China.

    Since I retired, I’ve bought numerous hard-cover books, auto parts, hand tools and power tools, a lawn mower, a washer, a dryer, a dishwasher and a Roomba. I frequently buy adult beverages. I buy furniture. I go out to eat. I bought a stereo system and a new computer. Everything for my dogs including expensive vet care. Plus everything else that keeps us running from day to day.

    There is money to be made from old people.

    I was born a radio listener in 1939. The radio was always on. I bought my first record in 1949, an oldie from ’29! I bought records every week for forty years; big band, pop, MOR, C & W, R & R, R & B, jazz etc. Two or three 45s every week and LPs when I could afford them. And I always listened to the radio until it wasn’t fun anymore.

    If there was a station today with friendly conversational deejays to keep me company and give me a few laughs, and they played songs from a huge library of music, no more than two songs without opening the mike, every song that hit the top 200 in its genre from about 1951 to 1968, I’d give it a whirl. No more than two minutes of commercials in a break. Local PSAs. Occasional requests if they fit in. Local news on the half hour and network news on the hour. Old-time jingles to keep the mood!

    1. I think you described many of us. We are the aging demographic. Well, so sorry. The issue is SELLING AIRTIME. The stations I worked at had from two to six people that hit the streets, called on the clients, put in paperwork for co-op national ads, and wrote really bad commercials. The stations made money, staff members got paid.

      1. Here’s something they could advertise that would catch this consumer’s ear.

        slow fashion: noun. a movement among clothing producers and consumers that emphasizes eco-friendly, well-made clothing, maintenance and repair of garments to extend their lifespan, and a general reduction of one’s consumption of new clothing items.

        📝 This term is used in contrast with fast fashion. The fast/slow framing is perhaps best known for its use in the distinction between fast food and slow food, but it will likely continue to be applied in other contexts where there is interest in sustainable practices.

        I still wear an Eddie Bauer (former Seattle maker of quality clothing) goose down parka purchased in 1991. It’s still as good as new.

        I have two warm jackets, a rain jacket, and a tufted vest I bought from Lands’ End thirty or forty years ago. All look like new. Their own employees were the models in their catalog. Not the latest, preppiest, and trendiest? GOOD!

        Just try to find something that’s not from Red China. We’ve been indoctrinated to believe that “buy it, use it, toss it in the trash, repeat” is the American way.

  4. This headline doesn’t quite make sense until you read the whole Inlander story…
    KEWC was my first radio station-1968-1969! And Bob Fogal was a classmate at North Central High School!
    He made it big in the southern radio markets, while I stayed closer to home with gigs in Great Falls and Seattle-Tacoma!

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