Save KPIG! – An Open Letter To Mapleton Communications



I’m a regular KPIG listener. I live in Tacoma, WA, and listen to the internet stream. I’ve been a regular listener pretty much since KPIG went live online. In the 70’s, I lived in the Santa Cruz area and was a big fan of KFAT.

I’d like to register a protest concerning Mapleton’s decision to do away with live DJ’s at KPIG on the overnight shift.
KPIG is the last of what sadly is a dying breed – a radio station run by actual human beings, rather than programmed by computer-generated playlists with voice-over’s from talent located on the East Coast or wherever.

The reason KPIG has been so successful is that it fills a unique niche – there really aren’t any other stations where the DJ’s actually choose much of what gets played. This is the last living remnant of “Free-Form FM” radio, a style popularized in the 60’s and 70’s which has since faded.

I particularly like the fact that the DJ’s often play a lot of cross-genre music, not always sticking to a pure Americana format. Perhaps Laura Ellen deliberately designed the Americana genre loose to accommodate DJ choices? If so, that was a brilliant stroke.

But the balance of radio is a ClearChannel wasteland.

It seems the majority of radio today is mainly of the “satellite radio,” variety – which is sanitized, homogenized, filtered, and re-packaged – to the point where every station, regardless of genre, sounds almost completely the same. All playing the same 40 songs (of whatever genre) over and over and over and over…

I abhor that kind of radio. I refuse to listen.

If you do away with live DJ’s, then you’ve destroyed the one element that makes KPIG unique. KPIG would become just another radio station. It would lose that quirky, eccentric, unpredictable goodness that makes KPIG what it is.

I am aware of the realities of running a business. Perhaps you could cut executive/clerical/administrative staff, instead? Have everyone in management tighten their belts?

Or, another possibility might be offering a live, CD quality stream on a subscription basis. NOT Real Player. If that venture failed in the past, it was because of the bloatware/spyware/malware that Real builds into all their products – I refuse to install any Real product on all of my computers. The period when the internet stream was offered only on Real was the only time I have stopped listening to KPIG.

But surely there are other stream-casters that you could work with? Put up a CD quality stream with a company other than Real and I’ll buy a monthly subscription – and I’m sure many others will as well.

Thanks for bringing KPIG to the world. Please don’t tear down what Laura built!


Mike Pellegrini
Tacoma, WA