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Thursday, April 21, 2005

KISN FM goodbye

Well, shave my legs and call me Betty! The oldies station on your Portland radio dial, KISN-FM, is no more. It's been moved to AM 910, and something called "Charlie FM" is in its old place at 97.1 FM. Charlie claims to play "everything," but so far that seems to be defined as music by white people from the 1980s and early '90s. "Everything" from Billy Squier to Billy Idol. With no live DJs.

So now for Motown, early Beatles, etc., we must listen to it the tinny old AM way. I knew KISN was in trouble when they started playing '70s music in the mix. Now they're banished to nursing home territory. Ouch.

Hey, "Charlie" just played "Maggie May." That's soul music, ain't it?

Comments (50)

Terrestrial radio is dying a slow death. With Satellite, ipods and the internet, I don't think AM/FM radio is going to be with us much longer.

Anybody remember the original KISN's frequency on AM? I can't come up with it, but before KINK hit the FM band, it was all we listened to.

Great. Cause I just don't hear "Rio" enough on the other stations that play 80s music.

Even more interesting is who KISN replaced -- MAX 910. Okay, so the "Talk Radio for Guys" moniker was really lame, but the station had a couple of super cool locally-originated programs: The Rick Emerson Show ( and News @ Ground Zero/Ground Zero ( Here's hoping these shows find a new home on the dial, and SOON!

Actually, Justin, KNRK (94.7) seems to be bucking that trend locally...

The original KISN was also at 910 AM. It had a billboard on Airport Way in the 1960s and early 1970s that read "We've been KISN your wife: catch us at 910 AM."

They (and by "they" I mean "we, but I'm speaking from a place somewhat removed from the actual decision-making process here") apparently decided that a) MAX-910 wasn't going anywhere, Emerson-or-no (and I personally like the guy and what he was doing); b) KKSN-FM couldn't keep going as it was (and the attempt at "adjusting the time scale" to include more recent material didn't pan out like they'd hoped); and c) it wasn't worth chasing down the original KISN-AM calls (they're available, last I heard... just not the -FM side).

The less said about Charlie, the better.

Okay, no, I can't resist: You know the adage about how only a fool fights a multi-front war? We're now fighting ourselves (on the FM and AM dials, no less) and at least two other FM signals in town, one of them rather well established. Of all the things I thought we'd do with the chance to launch a "new" FM format, going hardcore MOR was not at all what I expected. Oi vey.

Thanks Isaac... now I remember "ninety one kay eye ess en"...

Yeah, Charlie sounds like KGON's baby sister.

That's just great, I'm going to have to reprogram my stereo now.

In the car I had in college (and still have, but will be selling soon) I had three FM "Band" settings, which basically meant I could store 6 different stations on each "Band". I was living in Eugene at the Time, but frequently was heading up I-5 and over the pass to Bend, so one band set to Eugene stations, one to Bend, and one to Portland stations (because I could get Portland stations before I even hit Corvallis on I-5) so when I was on the road I could easily get 6 good stations from the area. KISN was one of those stations, because my mom would force us to listen to it every time we went to Portland as kids, and it just kind of stuck (and, obviously, it's good music).

Ah yes, back in those late 50's days it was KISN 91 wonderful and they broadcast from the NE corner of 10th and West Burnside where the late Tom Murphy spun his 45's from behind a pair of Huge windows for all to see as they drove past.

Imagine trying that today and all the bullet proof glass that would be needed.

What's with all the guy names for stations now, anyway? Isn't there also a new one that's primarily comedy (AM, I think) called Johnson?

(no, I'm not joking...)

If you've never heard him deliver the news, Tim Riley was among the best in town. His wry delivery at the top of the hour during Imus will be missed. Fortunately he has a news blog It reads just like one of his newscasts. Well worth checking out.

Not so much KGON's sister as The Buzz's aunt, I'd say... and one can only guess what the people at The Mix are thinking right now, hearing all that 80s music coming out of the Bancroft Building studios.

But what about the Phil Hendrie show?? I hope that migrates over the Johnson 910 or something. One of the funniest shows ever.

I don't like music from the 80's and 90's, that takes care of charlie. As for 910 AM its signal doesn't make it 60 miles west, so what the hell do you do now?

Anybody remember the original KISN's frequency on AM? I can't come up with it, but before KINK hit the FM band, it was all we listened to.

Posted by: Dave Lister at April 21, 2005 02:45 PM

Hey Dave. How old are you? Maybe that is why you don't remember it??? The Radio Station was located on 10th and Burnside back in the days when cruising was not illegal! Big plate glass window in which you could see the DJ doing his thing. It was awesome. Hamburger joints had waitresses on roller skates, not blades, and delivered you food to your window. Yaws was the "drive in restaurant" of choice. Ask "Wolf Man Jack" of The American Graffiti movie who was a hit DJ in California just who Pat Pattee, Whitey Coker, Buss Bar, Bryan Roberts, Gary Mack, Tom Michaels and Don something or other were.

I remember driving by their DJ window, honking the horn on my 56 Chevy Hardtop, waving, and having the DJ talk to me live on the air about my ride. Had the tunes cranked up on my AM radio with the reverberation unit going on the rear speakers and straight sound out of the front speakers. Cool stuff for back then. Not a lot of people had one of those. Did you know that Dave "Records" Stone of today’s KKSN was one of the Original "Kisn Good Guys" and is still with the current rendition of the station when it changed from KISN to KKSN and went to FM from AM. Seems ironic that it is now going to go back to AM at the same number location it came from in, I think 1976.

Did you know "The Original KISN Good Guys" did two tours of duty during the Vietnam War and survived the TET offensive (along with me)? Listen to their broadcast April 30th, which will be their 46th anniversary broadcast and you "may" just hear the "Records" man tell how they did that.

However, like you, I have been a little confused about this "Charlie" radio business because "Charlie” was the "Bad Guy" in Vietnam. Charlie was the enemy of everything that was Good! Hopefully, that stigma won't apply to the Oldies but Goodies. Playing "Everything" isn't necessarily a "Goodie" thing in my opinion. That is like Tim Allen of Tool Time saying, "If it ain't broke you can probably still fix it!" He was an American Hero to most of us but he screwed up everything he ever tried to fix!

I think this change, this move, is about money. That is why businesses do what they do. They have to make a buck or they fold. So maybe their trying to make a buck and save our favorite station is a GOOD thing. I would sure hate to lose KISN all together.........................

Personally, I have only listened to Charlie for a few days and I must say that I honestly won't be listening any more as long as there is a KISN somewhere. Actually, I won't be listening even if there isn't a KISN somewhere! Thank God for CD's (which used to be 45's spun live by the DJ not some digital remixer) !!!!!!!


Does anyone know if the Don Imus show has been picked up locally? Even though it's gotten increasingly top heavy with commercials over the years the interviews and parodies made it an enjoyable diversion during the commute.

I grew up with Kisn, and my life is not ever going to be the same without it. What happened to real life DJ's? Why didn't they ask us what we wanted? I certainly will not listen to charlie over Kisn, and I miss Deb James in the morning!!!!!!!

Just happened to read this before meeting with my mom, an avid KISN fan. When I said something about being sorry to hear that the station was gone, she looked at me puzzled, but then muttered something about "Charlie" and that the music they've suddenly started playing is crap. I said, "Yeah, ya gotta turn to 910 AM." When her favorite music magically appeared once she switched over, she was on the phone to her friends to tell them the news. So, now half the 50-something ladies of Milwaukie know thanks to you, Jack Bog. :)

Actually, there's a bit more poignancy to this story. One of her friends is a bus driver for developmentally disabled kids, one of whom is a big fan of KISN (as is my brother with Down Syndrome). He's been despondent lately as nobody understood why the station wasn't playing the music he likes. However, come Monday this bus driver will now know where to tune the dial. :)

Kisn has gone from First Class to below Low Class. I can not stand Charlie. Kisn sent a letter to there Loyal KISN Listeners but they do not care about their Listeners at all. I live 24 miles from Portland and I can not get 910 at all. All KISN did was screw up everyones life and they do not care. This is no way to run a business. If and when KISN comes back to FM then I will Listen.

I am very mad that KISN FM was moved to AM. I find Charly FM dull and boring. I did not like the 80's music all that well and I do not 90's music at all. KISN was easy to listn to and wake up to in the morning. I really like the morning show with Jim and Deb in the morning. They seam to perk me up in the morning. Charly FM really stinks like a dead skunk!! Bad move for KISN!!! I really enjoy the weather reports and the traffic reports. KISN AM does not come in on my clock radio. KISN FM really ROCKED!!

Listening to KISN am this morning, Tom mentioned that they're also broadcasting at 1390am. And that that would probably be a better choice for those south of downtown.

I have lost count at the amount of emails and phone call I’ve received asking what can be done. Asking how the fans can get their morning fix of Rick! (And their night shot of Clyde)

That’s when the idea hit…

Morning fix!

Dropping the idea of busted radios and smelly cans of rotting tuna… I, your friendly neighborhood Geek and the lovely Joni ask that if you REALLY want to phyiscally display your anger and dismay to Entercom follow these simple steps.

1 – Take any coffee mug. (I know there are some new unused KISN FM97.1 mugs lying about).
2 – Place a note within said mug saying anything you want… But, try to be civil and make sure you say… “I need my fix. I need Rick Emerson, Tim Riley, and Clyde Lewis back on the air”.
3 – Place both note and mug in a box and mail it down to the following:

Entercom Portland
ATTN: Jack Hutchison
700 SW Bancroft St.
Portland, OR 97238

This also goes for all the KISN fans. Entercom has also greatly disregarded your enjoyment of KISN FM...

Don't let corporate radio pigeon hole what you listen to!

I'm SO bummed- one of only two "car radio" stations I like went all AM on us. Charlie SUCKS!! Bring KISN back to FM!!

Speaking of radio. Anyone esle disapointed to lose Mark Maron and Morning Sedition from 6-9am on 620 KPOJ? I miss him so much......

I really enjoyed listening to the music mix from Charlie FM. I like it when they play different styles of music. Keep up the good work, Charlie FM!

It makes me feel rotton that KISN is not where my dial has been set to for so very many years. Now it has the same name as me, and it makes me sick. And as everyone knows what its like to get AM to come in on the raido, Weather conditions, Posistion you raido is faceing, in or out of a car, whose moving around, hold your left arm up right leg out the door. Then mabye you might get to hear something through the static! BRING BACK OUR FM KISN RAIDO an say GOODBYE CHARLIE YOU GIVE ME THE BLUES!!!!!!!!!!!!!

I'm wondering with Roger about Don Imus. No other station has picked him up?

Please give us Rick, Tim, Clyde, Don & Mike, Leykis BACK.
I was really hoping is was all gonna be moved to FM. Why not FM talk in portland?
Please just put them back on, my radio is not even worth listening to anymore.

Tom Murphy will be sad to hear he is no longer with us. Up until about a year ago, he did mornings at Super 62.

97.1 Charlie FM sucks. I listened to it on Friday, and that was the last time. I 'de-memorized' from my radio. No more. I also found out the the entire KISN air staff, with the exception of Tom Parker and John Williams, were fired Thursday, April 21, at 2pm, at almost the same time 97.1 Charlie FM came into being. That is unfortunate, because it is the personalities that make help make the station what it is. I feel that Entercom Portland made a huge mistake by doing this. If anything, they should have put 97.1 Charlie FM on a empty frequency on the AM dial, or not put it on at all, and left things like they were, because that format worked. Everyone should get together and start calling and emailing Entercom Portland and let them know how dissatified we are about the change, and to bring back the KISN air staff they fired. Perhaps if Entercom Portland gets enough phone calls and emails about the bad move they made, a light bulb will come on, and they will put it back the way is was prior to April 21.

My 2 cents worth,


I am sad to see KISN move, but at least it's not GONE, waht's so wrong w/AM?? With that said, I LOVE CHARLIE!! Wow, what fun it is to hear such a GREAT variety of songs throughout the day. For the first time music while working is fun and exciting. I don't know how many times I've caught myself saying, "Oh I love this song!", or "I haven't heard this in forever!"

Thank you, 97.1 Charlie FM you make my day.

My AM is not picking up KISN. And while I like some of the 70's songs, I do not like Charlie! Change back!!!!!!


Oh my!!! What has happened to Portland radio? Charlie 97.1 FM; give me a break!!!!

How about the good ole' days of KISN FM? Remember 1988? You know..Danny Davis and Robin Slade in the morning, Mike Tanner in the afternoon.

And my all-time favorite KISN FM radio talent EVER...Tim "Gonzo" Gordon in the evenings. I remember his "Top 6 at 6" like it happened an hour and twenty minutes ago (just now 7:20PM here on the West what good memories.

That was when radio was fun in Portland.

I want those days back today. As far as I am concerned, I am going to stop listening to radio till I get good and drunk. Then and only then, I will only listen to Craig Adams, where ever he winds he has been a part-time mainstay at KISN FM since they went on the air on the FM dial...I think.

It has been hard to keep track of all the airstaff over there because of all the changes over the years. What were they up to; fifteen Program Directors in the past 17 years? Now THAT'S a way to run a radio station....INTO THE GROUND APPARENTLY.

Wow. Seventeen years and a million plays of 'A Hard Day's Night' and it's all 'Dust in the Wind.' 'Nothin' But a Heartache' for all you groovy guys and gals layin on your backs in your black slacks drivin' those Cadillacs... The KISN-FM 'Hello Goodbye'...Well they said you was high-class, well that was just a lie. Don't forget 'The Insane' Rich Wayne...he and 'Gonzo' (!) teamed up for the best insane midnight drive show of the late 80s. If you haven't heard it, perhaps tapes are available.

Charlie-FM? Corporate-FM is more like it. Outside lookin' in is more like it; not like the old days when you were at the mercy of a hum-buggin' Mars-flyin' wanna-be frat boy. Hooooy Boy! The team of the late 80s was smokin' fer sure, fer sure. Don't forget John Hugill, Johnny Venture, JJ Jeffries, 'Sleepy' Gene Harris...those were the good oldies days!

Well, at least I've got my 10000 song MP3 collection. Who needs radio?

oh gosh...yes I LOVED that late night show that those guys did. I was the funniest radio program that I had ever heard. I worked in a tv repair shop and I would turn them on every night...i think it was at 10 or 11, maybe even at midnight. I would laugh till my nobs fell off.

They had all kinds of guests, and the beer line. That was where people would call in and order a beer and a pizza from the radio station (I think)...not sure but it was hilarious.

I thought Danny Davis was one of the worst radio morning DJ's I EVER heard...and that KACKLING laugh that Robin Slayd had was enough to make me puke.

Anyway what they have done now to KISN is right in line with what all the corporate idiots are doing...and it is ALL FOR MONEY!!!!! If you don't believe me, check out this link >>>

Those BASTARDS don't care about listeners OR their advertisers. Point in fact, what do you think the loyal KISN FM advertisers think today?

I agree with the last dude, I am glad he has his 1000 song MP3 collection. I don't know what good that does me, but right on.

Sorry....some how that link didn't get copied into my last comment. If you want to see what the radio butt-holes really care about, go check out the article at this link. (

You gotta love capitalism.

I'm surprised no one has mentioned KISN's predecessor - I think it was KVAN. The first day KISN was on the air they played something called "Gonna start a revolution". This was played steady for 24 hours. Seems to me it was in the spring of 1960.
Or am I hallucinating?

"Want someone to really feel for in all this? The exec charged with putting a happy spin on this demographic dance is Erin Hubert. Before joining Entercom, the radio giant, she was civic spinmeister . . . for the Blazers." Jonathan Nicholas,

I cannot stand the JailBlazers in any way, shape or form, including those crappy commercials. So now it appears the idiot who created the Blazer commercials is now in charge of KISN.

It's all about profits and not people.

after only 5 days The coffee Cup Crusade has scnt over 1000 mugs to jack huctchison for more info

OK..kisn was ok..not great...they stuck with a few songs, mostly sixies and they could have REALLY made it an 'oldies' station by adding more and more 50's rock and 60's garage....not sad to see that go.

As for Charlie---honestly, i have given up on radio for the last 4 years (even though Kink would warrant a listen now and then) ----i heard about the format change...i had it on all last night,and all's really a great format!!! it's old top 40 style like when i listened to in high school in the early 70's--- to have different sounds all together is really cool. radio got away from that in the 90's....granted, when they add on air staff, it will change..but.. corporate america knows what sells, and the format is where the 'buying power' is.

i love POWER POP... this is what Charlie is...

This is a crazy biz decison on the part of the corp structure. Another reason why the FCC should of never allowed these clusters to exist.
Their pockets must of been lined big time for that ruling. I'm only happy that for a few years I was able to work in radio during the time LOCAL people operated stations. Sure they too made off the wall decisons based on trends....but this one is a loser in my opinion BIG TIME. If they want to fight Xm-Sirrus-Ipods-web listening....Make it live...make it local & goddammit make it interesting. My hat gets the nod to the folks at KINK who FOUGHT to keep it live-local & interesting with many bennies to the BOSS...The listener. Just look at their time spent listening & AQH. Very impressive. They would not get those numbers in a million years on automation. No way. Thats my 2 cents. Rock on.

I've read quite a few comments on how people miss KISN and hate CHARLIE, etc....but I miss the country station on 910! When there was nothing on the fm stations...or when they were yelling their ads at me (which happens a lot), I would switch to 910 fm and listen to good old country (like I grew up with in Montana). Now where's that gone??

> but I miss the country station on 910!

You're not talking about the classic country format that used to be on 970? It was too bad that the station's owners (CBS/Infinity) never spent much in promoting the station. If they had, more people might have listened. Let's see how long the "Johnson" comedy format lasts, as it doesn't seem to have any promotions behind it.

FM Talk? I don't think that's going to happen. MAX 910 wasn't that big a success, and neither was "Guy Talk 1010," a few years ago. With this format's poor track record, I don't think it's likely that anyone would gamble putting it on FM, which the industry today considers more valuable.

Charlie SUCKS. Instead of playing everything, as they state, they play nothing. Bring back KISN-FM

The only good thing about Max 910 going off the air is we never have to listen to another minute of The John and Jack show. They were awful.

Charlie is an insult to all Portlanders.

To the Owners and Managers of KISN Raido:

I would like to say that what you did by making KISN an A.M. Station was RUDE,UNCARING and INCOMPREHENSABLE. We have been listeners since KISN was located on West Burnside. Thru all of your growing pains and now you do this. Not only can we not receive the A.M signal but when we do get it is covered with static or a bleed over from another station. If you ever put it back on the F.M. side send me an email. By swithing KISN with Charlie was a big mistake. Raido has come a long way. Why change something that has worked for years. I now have to listen to KWJJ the Wolf as that is the only station that we receive.

PLEASE PUT KISN BACK ON 97.1. My raido station will never be on 97.1 the Charlie!!!!!!!

I Think That We Should Protest!
I also think charlie sucks, And someone should do something about it


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Conundrum, White 2013
St. Francis, Sonoma Cabernet 2012

The Occasional Book

Marc Maron - Waiting for the Punch
Phil Stanford - Rose City Vice
Kenneth R. Feinberg - What is Life Worth?
Kent Haruf - Our Souls at Night
Peter Carey - True History of the Kelly Gang
Suzanne Collins - The Hunger Games
Amy Stewart - Girl Waits With Gun
Philip Roth - The Plot Against America
Norm Macdonald - Based on a True Story
Christopher Buckley - Boomsday
Ryan Holiday - The Obstacle is the Way
Ruth Sepetys - Between Shades of Gray
Richard Adams - Watership Down
Claire Vaye Watkins - Gold Fame Citrus
Markus Zusak - I am the Messenger
Anthony Doerr - All the Light We Cannot See
James Joyce - Dubliners
Cheryl Strayed - Torch
William Golding - Lord of the Flies
Saul Bellow - Mister Sammler's Planet
Phil Stanford - White House Call Girl
John Kaplan & Jon R. Waltz - The Trial of Jack Ruby
Kent Haruf - Eventide
David Halberstam - Summer of '49
Norman Mailer - The Naked and the Dead
Maria DermoČ—t - The Ten Thousand Things
William Faulkner - As I Lay Dying
Markus Zusak - The Book Thief
Christopher Buckley - Thank You for Smoking
William Shakespeare - Othello
Joseph Conrad - Heart of Darkness
Bill Bryson - A Short History of Nearly Everything
Cheryl Strayed - Tiny Beautiful Things
Sara Varon - Bake Sale
Stephen King - 11/22/63
Paul Goldstein - Errors and Omissions
Mark Twain - A Connecticut Yankee in King Arthur's Court
Steve Martin - Born Standing Up: A Comic's Life
Beverly Cleary - A Girl from Yamhill, a Memoir
Kent Haruf - Plainsong
Hope Larson - A Wrinkle in Time, the Graphic Novel
Rudyard Kipling - Kim
Peter Ames Carlin - Bruce
Fran Cannon Slayton - When the Whistle Blows
Neil Young - Waging Heavy Peace
Mark Bego - Aretha Franklin, the Queen of Soul (2012 ed.)
Jenny Lawson - Let's Pretend This Never Happened
J.D. Salinger - Franny and Zooey
Charles Dickens - A Christmas Carol
Timothy Egan - The Big Burn
Deborah Eisenberg - Transactions in a Foreign Currency
Kurt Vonnegut Jr. - Slaughterhouse Five
Kathryn Lance - Pandora's Genes
Cheryl Strayed - Wild
Fyodor Dostoyevsky - The Brothers Karamazov
Jack London - The House of Pride, and Other Tales of Hawaii
Jack Walker - The Extraordinary Rendition of Vincent Dellamaria
Colum McCann - Let the Great World Spin
Niccolò Machiavelli - The Prince
Harper Lee - To Kill a Mockingbird
Emma McLaughlin & Nicola Kraus - The Nanny Diaries
Brian Selznick - The Invention of Hugo Cabret
Sharon Creech - Walk Two Moons
Keith Richards - Life
F. Sionil Jose - Dusk
Natalie Babbitt - Tuck Everlasting
Justin Halpern - S#*t My Dad Says
Mark Herrmann - The Curmudgeon's Guide to Practicing Law
Barry Glassner - The Gospel of Food
Phil Stanford - The Peyton-Allan Files
Jesse Katz - The Opposite Field
Evelyn Waugh - Brideshead Revisited
J.K. Rowling - Harry Potter and the Sorcerer's Stone
David Sedaris - Holidays on Ice
Donald Miller - A Million Miles in a Thousand Years
Mitch Albom - Have a Little Faith
C.S. Lewis - The Magician's Nephew
F. Scott Fitzgerald - The Great Gatsby
William Shakespeare - A Midsummer Night's Dream
Ivan Doig - Bucking the Sun
Penda Diakité - I Lost My Tooth in Africa
Grace Lin - The Year of the Rat
Oscar Hijuelos - Mr. Ives' Christmas
Madeline L'Engle - A Wrinkle in Time
Steven Hart - The Last Three Miles
David Sedaris - Me Talk Pretty One Day
Karen Armstrong - The Spiral Staircase
Charles Larson - The Portland Murders
Adrian Wojnarowski - The Miracle of St. Anthony
William H. Colby - Long Goodbye
Steven D. Stark - Meet the Beatles
Phil Stanford - Portland Confidential
Rick Moody - Garden State
Jonathan Schwartz - All in Good Time
David Sedaris - Dress Your Family in Corduroy and Denim
Anthony Holden - Big Deal
Robert J. Spitzer - The Spirit of Leadership
James McManus - Positively Fifth Street
Jeff Noon - Vurt

Road Work

Miles run year to date: 5
At this date last year: 3
Total run in 2017: 113
In 2016: 155
In 2015: 271
In 2014: 401
In 2013: 257
In 2012: 129
In 2011: 113
In 2010: 125
In 2009: 67
In 2008: 28
In 2007: 113
In 2006: 100
In 2005: 149
In 2004: 204
In 2003: 269

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