A Two-Elk Pileup’s Causing Big Delays…

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Outside magazine, January 1996

A Two-Elk Pileup’s Causing Big Delays…
By Todd Balf and Paul Kvinta (with Brooke DeNisco, Martin Forstenzer, and Eileen Hansen)

In what could be shaping up as a battle of the homespun heavyweights, Charles Kuralt has procured a radio station on Garrison Keillor’s turf. Broadcasting from WELY in the Boundary Waters town of Ely, Minnesota, Kuralt’s “End of the Road Radio” mixes “wilderness traffic reports” and polka music with a reggae hour hosted by the town veterinarian and equipment reviews by resident
polar explorer Paul Schurke. Though Kuralt himself has taken the mike just once, there’s already talk of national syndication. But not all WELY listeners are pleased. Of Kuralt’s decision to phase out Lawrence Welk in favor of woozy tunes from the likes of Pat Metheny, one older resident complained, “It’s dope-smoking music.”

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