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Are you ready for Whole Foods radio?

by Bruce Dickson Tuesday, Jul. 10, 2007 at 1:37 PM 310.287.2813

As much as we all like parts of KPFK, it really is time to start a green-themed radio station, advertisor-supported by strictly green business. Additional funding by fund drives is also possible. Whole Foods and Co-op America are named as likely principals.

Abstract: Whole Foods and Co-op America could easily form a NATIONAL green-themed FM and Internet radio network. Funding provided by strictly green-themed advertisers such as Whole Foods, etc. Much content from Pacifica archives would be useful.

Letter sent to Co-op America in early 2007. Anyone know who to contact there who's interested?

Hi, I see a marketing opening Co-op America can exploit. A confluence of aspects and dynamics leads me to suggest that a Co-op America radio station is a good business move for you now. This is a big idea; I'll present some pieces of it below.

A co-op America radio station/network makes sense because:

- you already have a green pages to draw on for advertisers

- content is no problem. 12 hours a day could easily come from the Pacifica archives and a lesser fraction from NPR/PRI archives

- the model of conventional corporate advertising is not helping the planet. Co-op America radio can help the planet.

- the model of listener-supported/sponsored radio (Pacifica) is no longer necessary. Sufficient green biz exists to support a radio station activity.

- As a long time listener interested in public radio funding, I believe KPFK (Southern Calif.) has met or exceeded its fund drive goal in EVERY ONE OF ITS FUND DRIVES for the last five and, I believe, for virtually every fund drive in the past 20 years. Listener sponsorship is plan B if advertising and underwriting by green biz falls short of operating costs. Adequate and sufficient listener sponsorship appears to be a sure thing in the So. Cal. market, based on the history of KPFK and the NPR affiliates.

You may ask, why isn't Bruce presenting this to Pacifica (KPFK & WBAI)? The reason is Pacifica, for all the good it does, is too political and rigid to do anything new. The only way Pacifica could expand is by changing its mission and its charter. I'm afraid this would create one of the most drastic scenarios of the futility of putting new wine in old wine skins (the old bacteria in the old wine skins are not compatible with the new bacteria of the new wine. The bag explodes).

The group process at KPFK could be massively straightened out by expanding to spin off a second station in the same market. Viewing the politics of the situation, this is not going to happen. Pacifica/KPFK has consistently driven off its most talented people. They remains very attached to a "people's struggle of the poor and downtrodden." This make it difficult for them to claim a success identity in the green-themed or any other marketplace.

Whole Foods and to a lesser degree, Co-op America have moved to success identities in the marketplace.

A green-themed, advertiser supported radio network should NOT resemble Air America. It must follow the So. Cal. NPR affiliate tenor and pacing. No one I know listens to Air America I suspect because the mentality of Am talk show radio (“more STIMULATING radio”) is unhealthy, no matter what the subject. “Stimulation” is also a code word for consumerism. Co-op America Radio would resemble much more "Whole Foods Radio" and of course they could be another underwriter and sponsor.

Needed research - some topics to investigate towards a plan:

- Worthwhile do do pilot one hour daily show to sell to NPR, PRI, Sirius Radio?

- What's involved in buying a station license?

- Enlist Whole Foods as a media partner and/or investor immediately.

- What can we learn from the failures of KPFK and Air America?

- Re-selling shows to Sirius, PRI, NPR as an additional income stream.

Some interesting show proposals.

Whole-child parenting

Natural cosmetics

Cooperative radioactive - it's radio-active

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