KRML of Carmel, California – Trailblazer for Independent Commercial Radio Stations

Jeff White at the helm of KRML - Photo © 2016 Donna Balancia
Jeff White at the helm of KRML - Photo © 2016 Donna Balancia

Young Program Director Gives Station New Life

KRML - Photo © 2016 Donna Balancia
KRML – Photo © 2016 Donna Balancia



CARMEL, Calif. — KRML is a good example of what a radio station can be.

Program Director Jeff White puts together a nice mix of popular and alternative music and finds the common ground for listeners.

“We play music that young people like but also we play classics so that we can capture a variety of listeners,” White said.

Jeff White at the helm of KRML - Photo © 2016 Donna Balancia
Jeff White at the helm of KRML – Photo © 2016 Donna Balancia

One recent afternoon the crew — which consists of a few beer-lovers, a wine promoter, a young musician and a marketing guy — broadcast live from Peter B’s Brew Pub in downtown Monterey.

Having the capability to broadcast from remote locations — even if that location is behind the barrels of a brewery — is important, White says, in establishing a real bond with the listeners.

“When you’re in a radio station hidden away, nobody can relate to who you are and what you’re trying to do,” he says. “So we bring our radio out to the listeners.”

And hidden away may be an understatement.  KRML is located beyond the tennis courts on the property of the Carmel Valley Athletic Club — far from the hustle-bustle of any city or even downtown Monterey.

White is pretty clever.  He has a background in small-town radio in North Carolina, worked at world-renowned Paradigm Agency, where he worked on contracts, and took that knowledge and returned to radio when he was offered the opportunity at KRML.

KRML: A Not-So-Hidden Gem - Photo © 2016 Donna Balancia
KRML: A Hidden Gem – Photo © 2016 Donna Balancia

“To do this you have to have the passion,” White said. “You have to love it and you have to have good relationships.”

In addition to playing music from the likes of everyone from The Decemberists to The Who, White interviews local people at the station, with one recent session including a rep from Monterey Wines.

“It’s local, local, local,” he said. “It’s something we can offer that other radio stations can’t.

“We have people who work at KRML who are active in the community at a time when some commercial stations don’t even have a human at the controls.”

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