About this project
**UPDATE** To Portland:
((NOTE: SCROLL DOWN FOR NEW T-SHIRT DESIGNS))
We’ve said a lot of “please” during this campaign. Right now, what we’re feeling is “thank you.”
When we hit the first goal, the next step was clear: get a better studio. As we approached that stretch goal, we talked about what do next.
“Bigger and bigger!” actually didn’t feel right. We know we’re not going to be one of those commercial stations promising 10 MILLION WATTS OF UNMITIGATED POWER! And we don’t want to suggest we are. We’re taking inspiration from stations like KEXP, which started out as a 10 Watt signal (we’re starting about the same humble size, with proposals for growth.) And in the information age, if we’re successful at curating great content, we know that our reach is effectively the Internet-possessing world.
“An even bigger studio” also didn’t sound right. We will now get the studio we need. It should work for 2-3 years, and then we can see if we need to expand.
We also knew that we still have a lot of work to do. (We’ve looked at annual budgets of other successful community stations, and they range from $100,000 to $1,000,000 annually. We’re hoping to be somewhere in the $260,000 range. But those operations go beyond the Kickstarter.)
As we talked, we realized that what we are feeling isn't grabby or grasping or acquisitive. What we're feeling is gratitude. Gratitude for living in a city that supports community projects. Gratitude for the show hosts and DJ's who have content and voices worth sharing. Gratitude for all of you.
So here’s what we came up with:
We’re grateful to Portland, and we want to show that gratitude in a way that matters. We’re going to find people in the community that are doing things we’re grateful for. We’re going to produce a year-long series of segments on the people and organizations and movements that our city is thankful for, and then air them so that Portland can share in the gratitude.
We talked about saying “If we reach $100,000, we’ll do this extra new cool thing.” But here’s the truth: we decided to do it anyway. We are going to work to be our best selves. To build the best thing we can. A lot of us are new at this. We will stumble. And then we will do everything we can the next day. Our relationship with you can’t be one of perfection. It can be one of effort and commitment to celebrate the best and most distinctive parts of our favorite city in the world.
So, if we get to $90,000 (or $100,000), here’s what we promise: We will do everything we can. If we don’t raise a penny more, here’s what we promise: We will do everything we can. We would love to hit new stretch goals by the end of the Kickstarter Friday. And yes, every dollar we raise will be eminently useful. But rather than having our new announcement being something the money will do for the station, we are working on what the station can do for the community.
Thank you, Portland.
*UPDATE* To all of our backers, Community Partners, and fans:
We are now setting our sights on $80,000 by the end of our campaign. If we reach $80,000 by January 17th, we will be able to build a real studio to house XRAY.fm. Our current studio is not much bigger than a bread oven (and almost as hot in the summer). With a new studio, we could bring in more special guests, broadcast live music, and better amplify the best of Portland. It will be a place where people who care about independent media can come to share ideas and build community. If we do make it to our $80,000 stretch goal, every backer who pledges at the $75 level or above will be invited to visit our new studio once it’s finished.
When we started this Kickstarter campaign, we had high hopes that you would support us. We hoped that our community would come together and help us build a radio station that reflects Portland. What we have seen from all of you has exceeded all of our hopes. Thank you all so much for getting us this far.
We realize now that our original goal of $40,000 was modest. We set out to put together a budget that's as lean as possible. We had to make sure that we could make good on our promise of launching a new FM radio station in Portland, even if we had to struggle. To stay that lean, we have made some choices that are frankly pretty scrappy (and a little bit quaint). Because of your overwhelming support for XRAY.fm, we are daring to dream bigger.
We have opened up some special new backer reward levels. Please go check them out. We have also opened up some underwriting backer rewards for businesses and organizations that want to contribute to XRAY.fm and be recognized live on the air for their contribution. If you know any businesses that might be interested, please tell them to visit this Kickstarter.
Thank you all for your support so far. Let’s get to $80,000 and give XRAY.fm a home!
Why this Matters
Of the 23 FM radio stations on the Portland radio dial, the majority are owned and programmed by three companies: Clear Channel, Entercom, and Alpha Broadcasting. What gets left out? Some of the best music and ideas. Many amazing music curators are set aside in favor of standard playlists handed down from central command. After the 2012 Election, the conglomerates have been slashing progressive talk radio stations across the West Coast. Portland recently lost KPOJ, its leading outlet for progressive talk.
Portland is distinctive; our radio should be distinctive too. XRAY.FM will shine a light on the best parts of the city that we love, amplifying its voices and sounds. We will be a station for people who live in Portland, people everywhere who love Portland, and people who love the idea of progressive radio, wherever they are. XRAY.FM will start the day with a powerful lineup of talk programming that rolls into expertly curated sets of music. XRAY will broadcast locally at KXRY FM, and stream online worldwide at XRAY.FM.
What is XRAY?
Beginning in January 2014, XRAY.FM will broadcast 24/7 radio to the Portland metro area, and stream online to the world.
We believe that a station that’s all music wouldn’t be as smart as Portland, and a station that’s all talk wouldn’t be as beautiful as Portland. Our daytime programming will bring you engaging talk programs, while our evenings and weekends will feature Portland’s best DJs spinning their favorite music. With XRAY.FM, you get the best of both worlds.
This Kickstarter will give us what we need to get the station up and transmitting. Hardware, software, construction, and licensing. All the costs that we need to pay one time and up front. Our project is to build a station and get it on the air, and once it's there we hope that its ongoing business costs will be supported by the community.
The Return of Carl and Thom
In 2012 when Clear Channel ended KPOJ’s progressive talk radio station in Portland, our community lost two of the most popular progressive talk hosts our we ever had - Carl Wolfson and Thom Hartmann. XRAY’s launch will reunite and broadcast those two. Carl Wolfson connects Oregon’s listeners with their elected representatives, while adding a sharp wit to his progressive perspective on the news. Thom Hartmann’s thoughtful coverage of politics and current events will return (live and in full) to Portland, its original home.
To Portland. To the World.
We are a lot more than just politics; you are too. XRAY.FM will source great local content and bring it to the community and beyond. Food, history, comedy, music, and game changers. Northwest icons Cort and Bobby will return to FM with “Welcome to that Whole Thing.” The groundbreaking Lund Report will bring you health policy news. Carla Axtman from Blue Oregon and former KPOJ wildcard Adam Klugman will report current events. Bitch Media will bring their feminist perspective to pop culture with Popaganda. Listeners will enjoy Kickass Oregon History's take on our past. We will innovate with new shows, including programs from Native American voices, a Non-Profit Hour, a “Millennial Retort” focusing on next generation doers, and a food report from Feast co-founders Carrie Welch and Mike Thelin. Plus a bunch more stuff we’ll announce later. (As a supporter, you’ll get to hear about new announcements first, of course.) XRAY.FM will put a boom mic to the best of Portland.
Intricately Curated Music
XRAY features highly curated, independent, and rare music from all over the world. We've secured 75+ of Portland’s best working DJs, record collectors, label heads, venue bookers and genre experts to play music that is unheard anywhere else on the dial. Our DJs build their own setlists and curate their own shows from their own record crates. Though a wide variety of genres are featured on XRAY, we strive to create a cohesive listening experience that mirrors and reinforces Portland’s vibrant music scene. Whether showcasing ‘70s Brazilian psychedelia or indie rock, soul or punk, outlaw country or hip-hop, our programming leaves the music snobbery behind, and focuses on the joy of discovery and community.
XRAY.FM will also serve as a platform for education and outreach. We will provide our model to other community radio projects around the nation, helping them to jump-start or grow their own stations. We’ll engage with local students, giving them an inside look of how our station is run and what local radio can mean for a community. We want to show people that radio is accessible to everyone, not just advertising executives and media conglomerates.
Making it to our funding goal would make us amazingly happy, but if you can help us reach our stretch goals, we can do even more.
$40,000 -- Funded! **Achieved!**
Thank you all! XRAY.FM will go on the air and online thanks to your support!
$55,000 -- Supercharge the Station! **Achieved!**
If we make it to this level of funding, we'll be able to bring even more XRAY.FM to even more people. We will boost our streaming bandwidth so that more fans can listen online. We will invest in a better location for our second transmitter, spreading our signal farther and wider. Finally, we will develop a smartphone app so that you can easily enjoy the station wherever you are.
$80,000 -- A New Studio for XRAY.fm
If we make it to $80,000 by the end of the campaign, we will be able to build out a better studio to house XRAY.fm. With a new studio, we could bring in more special guests, throw parties, and broadcast live music from a space all our own. If we reach this stretch goal, every backer at the $75 level and above will be invited to visit the new studio once it’s finished.
Your contribution will bring you a progressive radio station that reflects the values and culture of this city. The pledge rewards are explained below. Most of these great prizes have been donated by local businesses who are partnering with XRAY.FM. Dozens of businesses have come together to help build XRAY.FM in ways large and small, we consider them our allies and we call them our Community Partners. Check out our website to see the businesses that are helping us build the station by becoming our Community Partners.
One of our show hosts or DJs will make you something special. Maybe it’ll be a mix tape? Maybe it’ll be a mashup movie poster? Maybe a commentary track for their favorite movie? Whatever little slice of XRAY.fm you get, it will be dedicated to you. Because these take a little longer to make, we’ll have to deliver them in April. We will send you a list of a few options to choose from, depending on what our show hosts make for you. We got this idea from the wonderful people over at WFMU New Jersey.
All underwriting spots will be at least 10 seconds in length. We will provide production for spots. We reserve the right to give you back your money if you are trying to promote something terrible on XRAY.fm (doesn’t seem very likely, but we still have to say it). The language of underwriting spots is subject so some FCC restrictions, and we will work with you to make sure the spot is up to code.
AT XRAY.fm, we try to follow the ancient words of wisdom, “don’t be a jerk.” So we won’t jerk you around with your underwriting spots. We want to make sure that you are happy with the exposure they are getting as a thank-you for your gift. We also recognize that anyone giving at this stage is giving because they want to support the growth of this new thing. We appreciate that support.
We appreciate it so much that we will immortalize all of the underwriters that sign up with the station in the launch phase, giving you a permanent place on our website as a Founding Sponsor with your logo.
The XRAY.FM launch party will feature special guest MC Carl Wolfson and some of the best DJs XRAY.FM has to offer. **UPDATE** We are so excited to announce that we will be having our launch party at Mississippi Studios, and that Ural Thomas & The Pain will performing. We will announce more great acts soon.
The XRAY.FM tote bags will be printed in Portland by Morel Ink.
The coffee in the XRAY.FM gift bags is from local roasters including Stumptown, Ristretto, Coava, Extracto, Water Ave., and Café Vita, and more.
The Book Lovers’ Package will feature local author Liz Crain’s Toro Bravo: Stories. Recipes. No Bull., a subscription to Believer magazine, and other acclaimed titles from our station partners and hosts.
The Music Lovers’ Package will feature some of the same records that our DJs will be spinning. Legendary northwest music labels like Kill Rock Stars, Sub Pop, Brave, Relapse, Magic Marker, Party Damage, Tender Loving Empire, Fluff & Gravy, Amigo/Amiga and Mississippi Records have shared their vinyls with us.The guest passes in the Music Lovers’ Package are to top music venues where XRAY DJs play: Holocene, Doug Fir, and Mississippi Studios.
The VIP dinner, personal DJ, and XRAY.FM Party prizes are subject to some scheduling and location restrictions.
The signed gold and platinum records are designed by XRAY.FM and are presented mounted and framed, with a special thank you message from the station. Details and customization will be arranged with each individual backer.
Add-on: Do you really love the Book Lovers’ or Music Lovers’ package from the $250 level, but want to give us even more support? You can add a Book Lover’s package or Music Lovers’ package to any level above $250 by adding $200 to your contribution.
**UPDATE** THREE shirt designs (and the tote!)
Because we love you all so much, you will be able to choose between these three fine t-shirts as part of your reward at the $50 and up. Some t-shirt color options will be available at the end of the campaign.
These shirts brought to you by local designer Karl Hugo.
Want to do more?
Because we are a community radio station, we need to be fueled by our community (both in and outside of Portland). This Kickstarter campaign will cover our launch costs, but running a station takes a lot more than that. We need to build a broad foundation of monthly members if this radio station is going to keep broadcasting the best content Portland has to offer.
We need all of you who are excited about this station to get involved directly, as monthly members, as volunteers, and as hosts of XRAY Fundraising parties. This Kickstarter campaign will give us what we need to get the station off the ground and on the air, but we will need sustained support from our community to keep it up and broadcasting. We will share with all of our supporters more information about how you can help XRAY.FM become a sustainable, permanent part of the Portland community.
Some of the People Behind XRAY.FM
It will take a community to build this station, and it has taken a growing community to get it this far. Jenny is a lawyer and rock guitarist. Tim makes games and studies gratitude. Zak has done 10 years in radio. Aaron started Dig-a-Pony bar and curates music. Jimbo spins wax of hot soul cuts. Jefferson is a nonprofit entrepreneur.
Jacobson cooked up Sizzle Pie and Relapse Records. Rodney has a finance background. Brown co-started Bunk. Cortlandt leads ad sales efforts for large media outfits. Maryam built Tiga Bar and the Beach Street Parlor.
Helen’s radio days go back to early Pacifica. Harold does organizational psychology for innovative and big companies. Max Woodbury’s Murderball is legendary. Blanks and Travis are web-slingers. Mark is a media maestro. Noftle’s name rhymes with…not very much.
Simmons is a master roadie…and was here before almost all of us. Erica does marketing better than we do. Except she sorta is us. Phil is quite handsome. Amy mixed song and democracy with Music for America. Todd is a Johnny Appleseed of planting stations…and letting them fruit.
Nena is the little girl in the video. Keith is the voice; he’s a molecular biologist. (No, not God. Or Sam Eliot.) George is a puggle. And Jay Winebrenner is the truth.
Risks and challenges
Making a radio station isn't cheap. Your contribution will help us with the fixed costs of launching the station. We need an antenna and the money to get it put up. We need a couple of computers and the software to make them hum. We need mixing boards and microphones. We need turntables and a few more records to spin. Thanks to our allies in the community radio movement, we already have an FCC license to broadcast. That’s a big deal! Now we need your help getting the rest of the way to a real live radio station launch.
Most of the radio stations in this country are owned by five media conglomerates. Independent radio is a strong, but small movement that will need a lot of support from communities to thrive. Along with our allies at radio stations all over the country, we will show that this can work.
We have a lot to learn. What we learn we’ll share with other stations starting up in other places. We hope to build a model that can help strengthen a movement around small local stations around the country. In an important sense, this is not just about one station or one town. This is about democracy working better, the media working better, and places playing to their distinctive strengths, not merely their vanilla denominator.Learn about accountability on Kickstarter
Radio lives. In the garden, in the car, in the kitchen, and at the workplace, millions of people listen to good-old-fashioned broadcast radio every day. And online content providers can find great value in a broadcast signal to introduce their content to a wide audience. With your help, we will show that FM radio can remain relevant, entertaining, and informative in the digital age through a combination of great content and more ways to listen, including our mobile app and streaming at XRAY.FM.
We aim to be on the air as soon as possible after this Kickstarter. That means early 2014.
People far and wide will be able to hear us streaming on the Internet. For people outside the audaciously humble reach of our broadcast signal, we will need to work closely with our community allies to construct a network of partner radio stations that will carry shared content far and wide. We’ve already begun to build that network.
Yes! We are working with the Media Institute for Social Change to launch this project, and as a 501(c)(3) they will issue a tax receipt to all backers who request it once this project is completed.
Your tax receipt will be for the value of the donation, minus the fair market value of the goods and services that you receive (your backer reward).
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