Today I received an email from KEXP. I found this odd because, a.) I’d never gotten one from them before, though I’m on their mailing list; b.) it was from their dj; and c.) it pointed me to a place where I could read about the mis-management and salary controversy going on in their establishment.
Seattle is all aflutter about salaries at KEXP, the hallmark indie rock public radio station. As the station struggles to become independent after an initial infusion of cash from Microsoft billionaire Paul Allen, it has made a few financial missteps. But that hasn’t stopped it from paying their AM guy, John in the Morning, a $120,000 salary. Which is less than he’d make on commercial radio, but is pretty hefty for a 30-ish indie rock lover in Seattle.
In is, in fact, more than Nic Harcourt makes at KCRW, according to the station’s 2004 tax returns. Harcourt, who is music director in addition to hosting his morning music slot, made a little over $100,000 last year. Across town at KPCC, talk guy Larry Mantle did a little better, with a $115,000 salary.
Our poor guys. We almost feel sorry for them.
If you go here you can read an in-depth post at a forum about KEXP/KCMU basically screwing you (and their workers) over.
Wikipedia has a good history of KEXP that might break your heart. Nothing but a past of doing things that’ll make them more profitable.
I haven’t really given any of this time to soak in, but I still love KEXP. It’s one of my three favorite stations in America (KCRW, KEXP and WFMU) and I can’t completely hate them, even if all these things are true. But just the same, this is a strange situation. Things seem so much more simple at WRFL. All volunteer staff (except a slighly paid manager) and occasional grants from businesses in Lexington.