WW+KR In Portland

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While internet radio isn't in itself revolutionary, Wieden + Kennedy is hoping a light approach will help its new station, WK Radio, keep the agency culture woven tight between its seven global offices on three continents.

Initiated early this year, the project is the brainchild of Janice Grube, formerly a creative assistant at the agency.

Grube, who toured with her band Watsonville Patio for nine years, brought her neighbor, Radio Sloan, along. In addition to the fitting name, Sloan is the guitarist in Peaches' live band and played on a record for Le Tigre as well as with her own band, The Need. She acts as the station's engineer while Grube is program director.

Grube says she clued Sloan in to her idea and the musical friends developed the concept. "It was something we got really excited about, and we hammered out all of the logistics together for about two months before we presented it to Dan," Grube says. "We got the green light in September, then went right into a testing phase, and we launched the site on January 5th.

Sloan and Grube are WK Radio's only full-time staff, along with an intern, Shannon O'Brien, and report to Bill Davenport as part of the agency's branded content arm, W+K Entertainment. The team works out of two offices, one a broadcast studio, the other an editing area. They also have an area for live performances.

Programming varies, and includes a morning show, employee spotlights, special guest appearances (today, the station interviewed Beautiful Losers director Aaron Rose) and a shuffle-y music mix, WK Radio Jukebox.

Grube and Sloan are getting help from other quarters of the agency. Shayla Hason, the shop's music supervisor, works the morning show as DJ Safi, and the digital department and art studio helped develop the site.

The intention is for each office to eventually contribute to the station's programming. "The goal is to have each office eventually share the broadcasting hours," Grube says. "We thought it would be great to have a Global internet radio station to showcase all of the amazing arts and culture within each office and their communities. We also thought it would be cool to have each office curate the music we're exposed to."

So far, only the New York office has picked up slack, with a program about curating your Netflix queue, but London creative director Tony Davidson appeared to talk about his recent book, and honchos John Jay, David Kennedy and Dan Wieden have all done segments and recounted agency lore.

WK Radio studio from left to right: Radio Sloan, DJ Safi, Shannon, O'Brien, Bill Davenport and Janice Grube
WK Radio studio from left to right: Radio Sloan, DJ Safi, Shannon, O'Brien, Bill Davenport and Janice Grube
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