Friday, October 15, 2010

Clint Eastwood on KRML

It's not every radio station that gets to be in a major motion picture. In the film Play Misty for Me, 1410 KRML-AM is the radio station where Clint Eastwood plays a DJ harassed by a caller who wants him to play "Misty" for her. The KRML-AM studio appears in the movie. They even still have the DJ console that Clint used in the film.
Broadcasting from Carmel-by-the-Sea, KRML has filled the airwaves of Carmel, Santa Cruz, Salinas, and the Monterrey Bay with quality programming since 1957.  In January this year it was reported the station was up for sale. Various publications put the price at anywhere from 1 to 1.8 million dollars. [It's worth it] It's record collection is up for sale separately for $400,000.  [It's not worth it.] This is the second time it's been for sale in the last 5 years. Wisdom broadcasting attempted to negotiate a partnership with the city of Carmel-by-the-Sea to use KRML as an emergency broadcast station.  But the city could not acquire the grant money to make it happen.

At it's peak, it was a mult-platform media company much like WXPN. The arrangement was so novel they were profiled in the book: The specialty shop: how to create your own unique and profitable retail business By Dorothy Finell. They had a jazz museum, a retail store, and a  concert venue. They broadcast on 1410 AM and 3 FM repeaters encircling the Monterrey-Salinas-Santa Cruz metro.  Then something went wrong. Earlier this year KRML closed its retail shop, The Jazz and Blues Co. Then they began broadcasting at reduced wattage. The newspaper the Monterey County Weekly wrote:
 “The former radio station studio and jazz store on Carmel’s San Carlos Street are shuttered. The phone line is out of service, and the website’s 'listen online' link is defunct. But like a Hollywood ghost that sings beyond the grave, KRML radio continues broadcasting jazz 24/7 on 1410 AM.”
Reports in April had Owner David  Kimball on the verge of personal bankruptcy.  The part of the Eastwood building that housed the station featured in Clint Eastwood's movie Play Misty For Me is vacant. The lender keeping them afloat, the Monterey County Bank, was pressuring (helping) Kimball to find a buyer.Things were looking bad and KRML lacked the funds to build a new studio a reserved location on Dolores Street. The stations Operations Manager George Fuller is manually changing the programming at the transmitter on Rio Road. Here they are 6 months later still limping forward. Maybe next year the money will come. You can donate here.