ASTORIA — On March 11, it was business as usual in the KMUN studio. The annual Spring Membership Drive started with the programmers talking up the station in the hopes that listeners would call and donate what they could to the yearly operations budget for the “best little radio station in the world.”
Two days later, it became clear something bigger was brewing and the focus was shifted to providing information on rapidly changing conditions from the covid-19 pandemic. Station Manager Graham Nystrom closed the station and sent volunteers and staff home to shelter in place.
With just $23,000 towards the goal of $67,000, Membership Director Janet Fryberger put on her thinking cap and started a quieter drive featuring creative air spots sending listeners to the website for donating possibilities. Listeners heard the message and responded.
Now, just two months after starting a 10-day drive, KMUN has reached and exceeded its goal with over $71,000 in donations and 91 new members.
“I knew we would hit our goal eventually,” Fryberger said in a press release. “I’m thrilled to pieces that we did so in only two months. I cannot express enough gratitude to listeners, members, staff, programmers, board and volunteers. They all came through in spades.”
As a non-commercial broadcaster, Coast Community Radio operates its three local stations by relying on funds from the community it serves. KMUN at 91.9fm is the flagship station in its 37th year based in Astoria. Its format includes local news, public affairs and an eclectic mix of locally hosted music shows along with programs from NPR and other independent sources. Sister station KTCB 89.5fm carries the KMUN broadcast to listeners in Tillamook, while KCPB, the third station at 90.9fm, broadcasts a separate mix of news and classical music.