Keener13.com Turns 15!

In June of 2002, Steve Schram and Scott Westerman were doing what they loved best: Staying up late and listening to WKNR airchecks. It was a habit that began when they first met at Michigan State University in the ’70s, but, as individuals their love for Keener had taken root a decade earlier, on that October evening in 1963 when WKMH took on new call letters and a new format.

They didn’t know it then, but WKNR and the people who worked there, would set the standard for every future step in their professional careers. “How would Keener have done it,” became the question they would ask themselves as their own broadcasting adventures took shape. And now, as the clock passed 2AM, one of them, neither can remember which, came up with the idea of a creating website celebrating their favorite Detroit radio station.

It didn’t take long to pull together the beginnings of what would become the largest collection of Keener memorabilia in existence. And on July 1, Keener13.com launched.

Since then, virtually every significant personality heard on WKNR has contributed something to the collection. The aircheck archive has been a source for researchers studying Detroit’s 60s history as Keener reflected it. Keener13.com has been referenced in television documentaries and in Andru Reeve’s famous, Turn Me On Dead Man – The Beatles and Paul McCartney Death Hoax. We’ve amassed a nearly complete collection of every WKNR Music Guide. There’s the “Inside Keener” library of weekly staff memos that chronicled the comings and goings. And the Keener photo gallery is filled with the famous faces we associated with the voices we knew so well.

This website has spawned a number of celebratory events. For two summers, we were honored to produce special broadcasts on Keeners 1310 Khz frequency during the Woodward Dream Cruise. A collectable series of Keener Podcasts were created. Keener personalities were honored celebrities in a series of Detroit Radio Reunions over the years. And in the summer of 2014, we were proud to participate in a reunion of many of the original Keener Keymen in New York City.

Along the way, Steve and Scott have occasionally taken to this space to mark key events in the lives of the Keener generation. We’ve said goodbye to some who have left us too soon, remembered moments in popular culture that shaped our attitudes about the world around us and shared the backstory on some of the personalities that are indelibly connected to the soundtrack of our lives.

6 years ago, Keener13.com surpassed the lifetime of WKNR itself. We marked that event by launching the Keener Facebook Group and entering into the world of social media that would have been a significant, audience participation dimension of the station’s personality, had it existed back in the day.

Scott Westerman & Steve Schram

The Keener13.com project has been a labor of love, a reminder of ¬†how radio, at it’s best, could connect with an audience in an affirming, life changing way. A common statement made by everyone we’ve talked to who was connected with WKNR was that it was a defining moment in their lives. We share that sentiment.

And at every turn, we have been grateful for the essential contributions of people like you, folks who were touched by the Keener Magic and were willing to share your stories with us.

Thank you, for a decade and a half of great memories, and for making every season, Keener season!

Jul 2nd, 2017 | Posted in Keener
  1. Frank Hartge
    Jul 2nd, 2017 at 14:29 | #1

    Bravo, Scott and Steve! Your launch of Keener13.com coincided, to the day, with a major disruption in my professional life, and, much as the radio station brought comfort during the trials of teenage-dom, the website has been a very welcome refuge and source of entertainment and nostalgia the last several years. I’m glad that I have been able to contribute a few items to the archives along the way. Here’s to the next 15 years, and many more!

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