About Nanook

I'm 54 years old, male, married. Graduated from Nathan Hale high school in 1977. I've taken various college courses in topics of interest but never pursued a degree. I started a BBS in 1982, that grew into a Unix Timeshare in 1985, then an Internet Service Provider in 1992, which remains Eskimo North today (http://www.eskimo.com).

Heather Wade on Midnight In The Desert

     I was not optimistic about the ability for another host to pull it off with respect to Midnight in the Desert, but I have to say Heather Wade is capable of a decent interview.

     She doesn’t have the voice of Art Bell, nor the sense of humor.  But she is intelligent and scientifically literate and able to ask good questions of the guest so I am finding her not unpleasant to listen to, unlike the competition.

Art Bell Reward

     This posted on Heather Wade Midnight in the Desert Fan Club on December 20th:

This is from Art yesterday:

I will offer $20,000.00 to anybody providing information leading to the Arrest and Conviction of the person or persons responsible for the Stalking Terror resulting in my Leaving the air from MITD.

Art Bell

     I’m glad to see him make this offer.  I hope it has the intended effect of bringing this person or persons to justice.  We all know fans wouldn’t have to be paid for this but hopefully it will motivate some non-fans to provide the necessary information and soon.

     I would love to see Art Bell return to the air but I fear it can only happen if it happens while the dark matter digital radio network is still financially viable and while it still has the contracted stations.  If it fails, nobody is going to ever be willing to stick their neck out financially to make it happen again.


Back in the day, mid-60’s, KJR’s market share approached 35% with their top-40 format.  Today that kind of market share is unheard of for a music station.  KJR is an AM Seattle station on 950 KHz.  Today it is a sports radio format.

The Internet, cable, satellite, podcasts, all competing have resulted in a degree of specialization that did not exist 40-50 years ago and really has killed broadcasting and replaced it with narrowcasting.  It’s not the same now when you listen and you know the experience is shared by only a few that share your interests.

There was magic in those days when there were a good number of clear channels where a station just went forever.  KJR didn’t have the power that clear channel stations had, they ran 5Kw directional at night, but they still were widely heard.  Part of the reason is that they had their antenna on Harbor Island, which was just a few feet above sea-level in a salt-water area so ground conductivity was excellent.

When I was a teenager (40 years ago), I ran a bootleg radio station and used to go down to KJR to scrounge old equipment which was often given to us or sold for almost nothing.  The folks there were very nice.  The engineers let me sit in on proof of performance testing, actually at KISW, which helped me to learn what was involved as I was working towards a 1st phone at the time.

Most music format stations have moved to FM, and most clear channels got turned into minority stations, and digital has created so much hash from the powerful stations that weaker adjacent stations are lost in the hash.  The magic is gone, the fun is gone, it’s a lost era.

Art Bell Quits Again

     After threats and gunfire and other assorted bad things happening, Art Bell has once again called it quits and is ending his broadcast.

     Wish I could say I was surprised but I am sad none the less.  I do understand that his family is at risk and I understand why he needs to do this.  However, if I were in his shoes I think I’d move back to the Philippines, he’s always expressed that he enjoyed living in Asia, and broadcast from there.

     I’m sure the Coast to Coast folks are jumping for joy.  They’re back to not having any real competition once again.

     Today, December 11th, 2015, is his last broadcast.

KRAB Archive

     I’ve added a link in the side bar to the KRAB archive at http://www.krab.fm/.  This was provided by a comment to an earlier post.

     The archives main page features an excellent color picture of KRAB from the street (Roosevelt).  I used to live about two blocks from this.  Glad that some aspects have been preserved.

Profane Material

     The FCC defines profane material as “including language so grossly offensive to members of the public who actually hear it as to amount to a nuisance.” Like indecency, profane speech is prohibited on broadcast radio and television between 6 a.m. and 10 p.m.

     This ought to keep Rush Limbaugh off the air during those hours.


     Here is a section of the old tower with a ton of stuff mounted on it.  I can see at least a dozen cell antennas, a bunch of microwave dishes, vertical UHF and VHF antennas (look like police and/or fire stuff), and various others.  While they’re not still broadcasting from this tower (though it is my understanding it can serve as a backup for KCMS), they’re sure making good use of it.


KRAB History

     I ran across this very excellent article on the history of KRAB radio, written by Jack Caldbick, and thought I’d share it.  I grew up two blocks from this station and spent quite a lot of time there in my youth.  I’m really sorry it didn’t survive as it was a quintessential representation of radio counter-culture and a significant contribution to the community.


KCMS / KCIS Old Tower

     This is the old tower where KCIS, formerly known as KGDN 630AM, and KCMS formerly KBIQ 105.3 FM, used to transmit from at the Kings Garden campus, part of Crista Ministries, in now Shoreline Washington.

     In the early 1970’s, KBIQ was one of the most powerful FM stations on the West Coast, transmitting with an effective radiated power of 240Kw. Now they are transmitting from cougar mountain with a mere 54Kw.

     The AM station used to be daytime only, and that massive tower had a seemingly small (compared to the tower) ceramic insulator at the base supporting all that weight but insulating it so that it could serve as an AM transmitting antenna as well as a tower for the FM antennas.

     I do not know if the insulator is still there. It can no longer serve as an AM antenna because a directional array was required to protect other stations at night. I wasn’t able to find a public vantage point where I could see the base of the antenna anymore.  And they have a plethora of other antennas on the tower that didn’t used to be there, cellular antennas, microwave antennas, and others.