Wednesday, December 21, 2016




The video below is a public service message about drinking and driving. The lesson of this video is:

When you think you are ready to drive, 
you might actually be above the legal level of intoxication.


This video is me on December 31, 1985 being “drunk on the air.” I was working at ths time at KTOQ, a Country music station in Rapid City, South Dakota. KTOQ was owned, in part, by NPR News anchor Tom Brokaw.

“Drunk on the air” is a frequent public service program used to demonstrate the danger of driving while impaired. KTOQ got a local liquor distributor to sponsor the event. City cops and state troopers were on hand to measure my blood alcohol content and have me perform various sobriety tests. I insisted on a large bottle of good scotch. After four hours, I have consumed 8.5 tall glasses of hootch.

KEVN-TV, then the local NBC affiliate, covered “drunk on the air” with a live broadcast during the 6:00pm news. Then the unexpected happened.

Tuesday, December 20, 2016


What is on your entertainment menu for tonight? If you are in the Denver area your choices would include going to Vinyl Night at the Denver Kush Club where they are passing out free “joint cards.” Such is life in Colorado where recreational use of marijuana is legal.

Mike Henry
Several other states now have legal recreational pot, but no state has gone as mainstream than Colorado. One of the leading entrepreneurs is Mike Henry, best known as the “music discovery” strategist and consultant for commercial and noncommercial Triple A music stations nationwide.

Henry and business partner Dino Ianni, a fellow radio guy, opened WeedStreeam [link] in 2014. They call WeedStream “the world’s first entertainment and multi-platform company targeting the legalized cannabis community.” In addition to being a for-profit business, WeedStream is a tireless advocate of legalized medicinal and recreational marijuana as a positive influence on society.


One of WeedStream’s most important components is WeedStream Radio, a 24/7 curated streaming music and information. Listeners click on the WeedStream icon to open the custom WeedStream player. The audio feed is provided by The Stream Guys. WeedStream is available via iHeartRadio, TuneIn, iTunes Radio and other providers.

Listen to WeedStream Radio at [link].

WeedStream Radio’s music format (sample playlist on the right) is mainly comprised of current indie rock and plenty of stoner favorites from all eras. Listeners hear ways to interact with the station including invitations to become a WeedStream “Bud.”

WeedStream Radio plays over 130 currents. Most the tracks are from 2000 to now. Henry calls WeedStream Radio “a new music discovery machine.”


Mike Henry & His Kids In the WeedSteamer

Beyond entertainment and advocacy, WeedStream is a family business. 

All four of Henry’s adult children work for WeedStream in one way or another. Ianni’s son, Dino, Jr., works in sales.

In a recent interview, Henry described the family’s involvement:

MIKE HENRY: My 28 year old daughter Michelle is our Marketing Director. 

My 26-year old daughter Rachel is WeedStream Radio’s “voice,” plus she hosts live events and is an on-camera talent. My 25 year old son Matt joins the Stream Team when school and work allow.

Boone Henry

My 24 year old son Boone is the jack-of-all-trades, serving as WeedStream Radio’s music director and assistant PD. Boone is also our promotions director.

WeedStream is truly a budding family business. It’s so rewarding for me to work with my kids every day on WeedStream and I’m proud of what they’ve learned and contributed to the project.


KEN: Possession of marijuana is still illegal under federal law and in most states. Has there been any blow back from Paragon’s clients or suppliers about your association with legal weed?

MIKE HENRY: No, I’ve not experienced any negative feedback from clients. Most think it’s a hoot. Running WeedStream Radio as an independent internet-only stream gives me even more hands-on and day-to-day experience to benefit my clients.

We are running a radio station just like my clients, so it really helps me help my clients more. Several clients have volunteered to voice commercials on WeedStream, which they seem to love to do and I appreciate.

KEN: Weedstream is a for-profit business. Are you making a profit?

Recent Denver Holiday Event
MIKE HENRY: It is for-profit but we are still a non-profit in terms of our bottom line results. I am investing in WeedStream as a long-term asset. We continue to adjust our business model to achieve sustainability. We have been finding more and more sponsors and partners every month.

KEN: Tell us more about WeedStream Radio:

MIKE HENRY: The station is a pure music play. Our promise to consumers is to be a great indie rock radio station. We play the coolest music on the planet and weed songs to complete the vibe of the cannabis culture.

KEN: How much online traffic does WeedStream Radio generate?

MIKE HENRY: Listening levels vary day to day, but it spikes on certain days on the calendar and when we are running promotions. On April 20th of this year (a/k/a “4/20” day), iHeartRadio used WeedStream as their featured radio station of the day, and we had 700,000 starts in one day.

Our average time spent listening is upwards of 45 minutes. When people tune in, they tend to listen for a long time. We have listeners from over 150 countries. WeedStream is a lifestyle  format, not a demographic target.

KEN: WeedStream gives back to the community. How do you put your mission into action?

The WeedSteamer
MIKE HENRY: We are an active supporter and participant in local organizations that advocate for medical users and patients. Military vets helped us renovate the Airstream trailer that became the WeedStreamer. The WeedStreamer helped raise money for Art of War, a local non-profit that supports soldiers with PTSD.

[The WeedSteamer is a silver 1974 Airstream trailer where guests sample new products selected by “budtenders.”]

We support the Cannabis Patients Alliance. We promoted a fundraiser for Realm With Care, an organization that is pioneering research into the healing ingredient in cannabis that have helped hundreds of young children avoid epileptic seizures. Families are moving to Colorado so their children can legally consume marijuana that stops their seizures.

Like the public radio stations I consult, WeedStream uses music and entertainment to get the community talking about our message and mission. Like the stations, we focus on the local scene and build from there.

KEN: Has the WeedStreamer ever be followed by the police?

MIKE HENRY: Yes, but nothing came of it because what are doing is legal, by the book, in Colorado.

Monday, December 19, 2016


SPARK! will be taking a holiday break starting this Wednesday. New posts will resume on Monday, January 2, 2017. Please join us tomorrow for a special report about consultant Mike Henry’s WeedStream project in Denver.


If everything goes as planned, listeners in Los Angeles and Minneapolis-St, Paul will soon be able to receive stronger more robust signals of American Public Media (APM) stations. APM is installing MaxxCasting technology, a system that boosts transmission through buildings, tunnels, and small hills. It also mediates interfering signals and multipath issues found “urban office canyons.”

The MaxxCasting System combines radio signals and cellular technology to enable FM stations using boosters to enhance their signals. It creates mini boosters on cell towers that are low to the ground.  

MaxxCasting technology was developed by GeoBroadcast Solutions, LLC [link], in association with Harris Broadcasting.

How effective is MaxxCasting? GeoBroadcast claims it will bring more listeners and money for commercial stations.  The GeoBroadcast chart on the right shows the possible benefits of MaxxCasting: 11% growth in market share and 12% more potential listeners. GeoBroadcast does not provide a list of stations using the MaxxCasting System for proprietary and competitive reasons.

KEN SAYS: One of the reasons for APM’s success over four decades is the attention it has paid to the basics of broadcasting. This starts with having the best possible signals. In Minnesota, APM station signals cover almost every inch of the state. In Los Angeles APM’s KPCC gets maximum penetration by transmitting the 600-watt signal in mono. We recently reported [link] on KPCC’s new boosters to get steady coverage for listeners in West LA.


I was pleased to read Tyler Falk’s report in Current [link] that WAMU has extended the deadline to February to accommodate a potential buyer for Bluegrass Country’sHD channel and streaming audio service.

The Bluegrass Country Foundation, a community group, announced the pending deal on their website [link]:

UPDATE (4pm December 8, 2016) 

WAMU Management and members of the Bluegrass Country Foundation Board of Directors have been working diligently on ways to make the transfer of programming work. Initially, the deadline was January 1, 2017. Once we started working on the engineering, programming and legal details, we quickly realized it would be almost impossible to meet that January 1 deadline.

This afternoon, Jeff Ludin of the Bluegrass Country Foundation and members of WAMU Management held a teleconference and agreed to set a new deadline of Monday, February 6, 2017 so all the necessary details can be ironed out.

Hopefully, we can then realize the transfer of programming. Until then, programming on WAMU’s Bluegrass Country will continue. Thank you for your patience and understanding. Keep your fingers crossed as we continue to work on your behalf. — Katy Daley, Program Director and Morning Host, WAMU’s Bluegrass Country

Bluegrass Country Foundation still needs to raise more money and complete the agreement with WAMU. The foundation says it needs another $50,000. Negotiations with the third-party owner of a translator at 105.5 FM (where most people now hear Bluegrass Country) are also continuing.

The new deadline to culminate the agreement is February 6th, 2017.

In previous reports [link] we have cautioned that the acquisition of Bluegrass Country’s HD channel, streaming audio and intellectual property is very risky, particularly if it won’t continue to be heard on 105.5 FM. We wish the buyers well and hope Bluegrass Country continues to serve DC area listeners for many years.


Friday, December 16, 2016


WFMT Radio Network [link], based in Chicago, will begin distributing a new version of The Jazz Network to stations nationwide on January 10, 2017, according to a blog post by Robert Feder of The Chicago Tribune [link].

WFMT is already a proven Jazz distributor. In 1990s WFMT Radio Network began distributing Jazz with Bob Parlocha. Pariocha died suddenly in March 2015. Since then WFMT has been featuring hosts Greg Bridges & Lee Thomas.

WFMT claims that over 300 stations are currently carrying service. Almost all of the stations are noncoms that use the service to fill lunar hours on Friday and Saturday nights.

Now WFMT is debuting something bigger and bolder: Four hosts from the Chicago area providing 12 hours nightly of mainstream Jazz programming. The new hosts are:

Chicago Tribune photo
• Jazz vocalist and educator Dee Alexander

• Jazz radio host John Hill

• Long-time WFMT and WGN radio host Dave Schwan

• Jazz critic, GRAMMY® Award-winning liner note writer and former WBEZ Jazz host Neil Tesser

The Jazz Network is being marketed as an economical turnkey option for stations. Here is the sales pitch:

Designed for you and your listeners, all Jazz Network hours can be fully customized as your local program product. The service includes flexible hourly modules, with optional internal covered breaks which allow for news, ID’s, local promotion, funding credits or commercials, and customized continuity with a local sound.

The Jazz Network, like other WFMT Radio Network services and programs, is being distributed via PRX.


The Jazz Network will be competing in an uncertain and changing Jazz syndication marketplace. Jazz music stations like WBGO in NYC and KKJZ in LA continue to do very well in Nielsen Audio PPM ratings. They are successful at underwriting and pledging. These stations are best known for their live, local hosts and intense focus on the local music scene. 

Format focusing – specializing in one type of programming such as 24/7 NPR and local news – also decreased the number of stations carrying part time Jazz.  Case-in-point: WBEZ in Chicago which dropped Jazz to air news 24/7.

The hottest thing going at the moment is Jazz 24 [link] from the newly empowered KNKX (formerly KPLU) in Seattle-Tacoma.  Joey Cohn and company are making Jazz 24 available via streaming audio.

Another syndicator providing Jazz to noncom stations is PubMusic Jazz [link]. It is a 24/7 Jazz format distributed on the Public Radio Satellite System (PRSS). It is easy to combine with local station automation. PubMusic Jazz is the brainchild of Chuck Leavens, a well-known and liked producer who was with WDUQ-FM, Pittsburgh, before the station was sold and dropped Jazz programming. WDUQ is now NPR News station WESA.

On the PubMusic Jazz website, they claim carriage in Detroit (WRCJ), Philadelphia (WRTI), Charlotte (WFAE) and Grand Rapids (WGVU). So PubMusic Jazz controls a lot of radio shelf space at a low price.

A “mystery factor” is JazzWorks from WESA [link]. When WDUQ was sold the new owners agreed to provide a Jazz syndicated music service.  I went to the website for JazzWorks and found almost no information about the syndicated format. It apparently is carried on one of WESA’s HD channels and looks like it is on WUCF in Orlando, but who knows for sure. You can hear the truly obtuse and uninformative demo for JazzWorks at [link].

Thursday, December 15, 2016


Texas NPR News stations are about to get the chance to air a second statewide talk and interview program. KERA, Dallas, is making its signature news/talk/interview show Think to Texas stations beginning January 2, 2017. It will be available live weekdays from 1pm – 2pm.

Think [link] joins KUT’s terrific weekday program Texas Standard [link] in statewide distribution. KERA’s move provides further evidence that the best new public radio programming is coming from stations and regional collaborations. The three major public radio networks have virtually no new programs in their pipelines.

As you know, Texas has a unique and deep sense of place. Some folks consider Texas to be a separate country within America. Both KERA and KUT are taking advantage of this phenomenon by super-serving Texas listeners. They are providing new services other stations should emulate.

Think is a two-hour program.  As of January, hour one from Noon to 1pm will be a local show on KERA.  The second hour, 1pm to 2pm will be available statewide. According to an article in Dallas Magazine [link], other Texas stations planning to air Think include KUT, KUHF in Houston, KSTX in San Antonio and KWBU in Waco.

KUT’s Texas Standard is now heard (see the map on the right) in at least 21 Texas markets stretching from El Paso to Beaumont and Lubbock to Corpus Christi. This is extraordinary visibility and confirms the appeal of Texas homegrown programming for Texas stations. 

Both programs are part of the Texas Station Collaborative, a Corporation for Public Broadcasting (CPB) supported initiative. The initiative is designed to connect the newsrooms of the state’s four largest public radio stations: KERA in North Texas, KUT in Austin, Texas Public Radio in San Antonio and Houston Public Media. (Thank you Bruce Theriault.)

Krys Boyd

Think’s host and managing editor Krys Boyd, composed a Haiku message to celebrate the new statewide distribution:

Folks across Texas
DO care about big ideas.
Lines are open now.


One of public radio’s heritage Classical music stations, WHRO in Norfolk [link] is currently searching for a new classical music host. WHRO and sister NPR News station WHRV are considered innovative stations with a growing digital presence. 

WHRO is seeking an on-air host with a professional, conversational, warm and inviting style. WHRO is seeking a storyteller who strives more of an entertainer than a teacher.
For more information contact Heather Mazzoni at

Wednesday, December 14, 2016


In early December we featured an interesting question raised by Pierre Bouvard on his blog [link] about why commercial radio seems to get cut out of ad buys placed by New Your City ad agencies. 

Bouvard’s theory is that buyers in NYC don’t listen to radio when they commute to and from work.  Instead they use public transportation (subways, etc.) where they don’t hear radio. Bouvard believes that ad buyers don’t buy time on radio because they don’t listen it themselves despite considerable evidence to the contrary.

Bouvard used the chart on the left to make his point. It shows the proportion of people who use public transportation versus people commuting in cars. The data comes from the US Census Bureau. As you can see, the commuting pattern is much different for NYC than the other nine markets listed and the national average.

Based on this info I wondered aloud whether people who work at foundations that provide public media funding might also follow the same trend. After all many foundations are located in Manhattan. Some are in the same zip code as ad agency media buyers and likely also ride the subway to get to and from work.

I decided to see what proportion of foundations that are major financial supporters of NPR are in NYC. I looked at a list of NPR’s foundation funders and randomly chose ten foundations whose names are well known to NPR listeners.

Five of the ten are located in New York, often within short walking distance from the big ad agencies. The remaining five are in the Bay Area, Miami, Chicago, Indianapolis and, of course, the Walton clan is in Arkansas. Can we assume that folks at the NYC foundations, perhaps the Program Officer for your program or project, also commutes to work on the  subway, not in a vehicle with a radio?

Now comes new research from NuVoodoo Media Services [link], that probes Bouvard’s theory. NuVoodoo (pronounced: new voodoo) is a good company with a lousy name that specializes in quick turn-around perceptual research.

NuVoodoo surveyed 423 advertising decision-makers nationwide, included marketing executives, media buyers and planners, ad executives, creative directors and business owners to test the validity of Bouvard’s theory. The study found that ad buyers who don’t listen to AM/FM radio during their commute to work are about half as likely to include radio in their ad plans.

On the other hand, media decision makers who commute by car are 75% more likely to have radio in their media plans than their public transit colleagues.

This is not proof of causality but it is a close correlation.

NuVoodoo opined that media buyers must realize that most Americans commute by vehicles and do hear radio more than any other audio sources.

The findings bring up questions about how in touch New York media strategists are with the majority of the Americans.

Is the same true of Foundation folks based in New York? Maybe Jarl Mohn, CEO at NPR should commission research to find out.


I just saw an interesting interview [link] with Eric Langner, the head of Public Media Company, by my friend John Schoenberger, Triple A reporter for All Access Media about public media video site VuHaus [link].

Here are some highlights from John’s post:

SCHOENBERGER: Give us an overview of what VuHaus mission is all about.

Eric Langner

LANGNER: VuHaus is a collaboration of the country's leading public radio music stations, and through our growing national music network, we are helping to launch the careers of emerging artists in markets all over the country, while providing our audiences with a new music discovery destination to learn about the amazing talent that our station partners are working so hard to uncover.

SCHOENBERGER: How did you get involved?

LANGNER: VuHaus is managed by my employer, Public Media Company, and over the past 12 years, I've been fortunate to work with most of the VuHaus stations in various capacities. So as VuHaus' brand manager, Mike Henry, and I developed the original VuHaus concept, there was already a long history in place with the founding stations' GMs, and also with the Corporation for Public Broadcasting, which has been a generous supporter of VuHaus from the beginning.

John Schoenberger
SCHOENBERGER: You are a year-and-a-half in now, tell us how VuHaus is doing.

LANGNER: From the very beginning, VuHaus was incredibly fortunate to attract an amazing and committed team of professionals who bring deep expertise in the music and digital space. As a result, we have been able to attract and build out our network by adding a great group of mission-focused stations that share our commitment to artists and music discovery. We recently launched our 14th partner in Houston, and have another seven stations that are getting ready to join our collaboration. Each of these stations have PDs, MDs and producers that are literally experts at spotting and developing talent in their communities. So with each new station that we add, the VuHaus network benefits from this very active human curation, which means we are persistently introducing our audience to new and amazing artists from every corner of the country.

SCHOENBERGER: What have been some of your biggest challenges?

LANGNER: As with most start-ups in the media space, we are doing our best to navigate an environment that seems to be in constant flux, and dominated by just a handful of massive companies. We feel great about our non-profit mission to develop the careers of emerging artists and to become a premier destination for music discovery. And there is no denying the quality of the incredible and exclusive performances that our stations are producing on a daily basis. Our challenge is in letting more people know what we are up to and encouraging them to engage with us and our content.

SCHOENBERGER: VuHaus has gotten two grants from CPB. What other sources of income keep the service going?

LANGNER: VuHaus' revenues are derived from three sources: philanthropy, station fees and sponsors. In addition to CPB, we have received generous support from the Wyncote Foundation and the FJC Foundation. And through sponsors, we have been able to support our costs to live stream our stage at SXSW and other live music events around the country.

SCHOENBERGER: Tell us about the new Song Of The Day initiative and how it is reaching beyond the current participating stations.

LANGNER: We launched Song of the Day with the goal of increasing exposure for our artists by providing all CPB-supported public broadcasters with a fully-curated daily feature. We already have more than 35 stations participating, and each day, our PD, Mark Abuzzahab, selects a different performance that is then distributed to them through our embeddable player. The stations are then able to promote these artists on their social channels to drive new and younger audiences to their websites to see these videos. On occasion, instead of featuring a song, we offer a live webcast of a concert, which we are planning to do again next year for our SXSW stage.

SCHOENBERGER: VuHaus has started doing live streaming events. Has that boosted site views?

LANGNER: We love live streaming! Yes, live streaming does boost traffic, but more than that, it offers a great opportunity for us to work directly with the artists and labels to promote and drive attention to these performances. We are doing four to five live streaming events each week, and this brings an exciting energy and suddenness to the experience we offer to our audience.

SCHOENBERGER: VuHaus initially launched with radio stations only but, of late, you have expanded the type of media companies that are involved. Tell us about the evolution.

LANGNER: This is a really exciting new trend to watch in public media. Public broadcasters have limited shelf space in their broadcast schedule -- there's only 24 hours in a day. However, there are a growing number of public television stations and public radio news stations that are also committed to supporting local artists and becoming a resource for their local music ecosystems - this is a critical space that commercial media has abandoned.
So we were really excited to add station partners like WGBH (Boston), Oregon Public Broadcasting, West Virginia Public Broadcasting, Vermont Public Radio and Houston Public Media, which are all known for their news and information and/or PBS programming, but are also doing amazing work developing emerging artists. It's our hope that VuHaus, and the experiences of these stations, serves as a catalyst for an even greater number of public stations to consider deepening their coverage of the local music scenes in their communities.

SCHOENBERGER: How is the cooperation of the participating stations/media groups evolving?

LANGNER: Unlike news stations, which have NPR, and public television stations, which have PBS, the music stations had no national organizing principal before VuHaus. So although our initial focus was on aggregating and curating video content, we have quickly grown to fill this void. We are now working hard with our stations to deepen our collaboration through concerted efforts around fundraising, marketing, live events, and music rights.

SCHOENBERGER: What lies in the future for VuHaus?

LANGNER: We have several new initiatives that we are developing that we are really excited about. Unfortunately, they remain top secret! But I promise they will include hundreds of new and amazing performances from some of the most promising bands emerging across the American musical  landscape.

Tuesday, December 13, 2016


Earlier in December KDNK [link] in the Rocky Mountain community of Glenwood Springs, Colorado fired station manager Steve Skinner. Skinner had been GM of KDNK for over eleven years. No reason was given for the termination at the time.

Last week the Glenwood Springs Post-Independent [link] published the details that led to Skinner’s dismissal: KDNK’s finances are deep in the red and revenue is far lower than mid fiscal year projections. According to a member of KDNK’s governing board, the losses could top $67,000 by the end of the fiscal year in June 2017.  Fortunately, KDNK reports it has about $166,000 in reserves, so this is not an existential crisis. But, in time, it could become one.

One reason for KDNK’s shortfall is intense competition for limited listener dollars with Aspen Public Radio KAJX [link] located in nearby (as the eagle flies) Aspen. Both stations air NPR News magazines. During its other broadcast hours KDNK airs a checker-board of specialty programs. KAJX airs an uncluttered schedule of news, info and entertainment. The result of KAJX’s focused programming appears to have cost KDNK listeners and supporters.

KDNK began in the late 1970s and KAJX began in the late 1980s. Both stations began as homegrown efforts.  As time has gone by both stations have expanded their service areas with translators and repeaters. KAJX repeater KCJX puts a city-grade signal into Glenwood Springs. In additional to local signals, KDNK and KAJX also compete with translators for KCFR and KVOD from Denver and KUNC from Greeley. The year round population for both towns combined is less than 80,000. So, the competition is pretty intense.

Over the years KDNK has stayed about the same financial size. In 2015 their revenue was $471,000.  On the other hand, KAJX has kept growing every year. Their most recent annual revenue (2014) was $1,339,000. In some ways the situation is similar to KAZU and the late KUSP in Santa Cruz. However, KDNK is a much better operated station than KUSP.

If KDNK’s revenue downturn continues to fall, their Corporation for Public Broadcasting (CPB) funding may be in jeopardy.  CPB requires a minimum of $300,000 annual local funding to qualify for support. CPB provided KDNK around $120,000 for FY 2016. According to news sources, KDNK's projected revenue for this year is about $30,000 below the required amount.

Local observers say that KDNK's current weaknesses are due to its income issues, employee and volunteer turnover, the lack of audience research and a lack of consensus on strategy for the future of station.

Though KDNK says it does not want to be "like Aspen Public Radio," no one is certain what that actually means. It appears the key question is: What can KDNK do to find more revenue without selling out?

KDNK is hoping the station can tap into online services, make its programming more mobile friendly and leverage large donations and planned giving from current listeners. Of course, many noncom stations say they want to do these things but the actual outcomes vary.

Meanwhile KDNK is search for a new manager. The gig pays $55,000 to $60,000 and the deadline for applications is January 9, 2017. More information is at [link].


As some of you may know, I have been experiencing declining vision since my right eye was injured in a botched surgical procedure in 2003. An increasing amount of my time is now being spent on learning about (and coping with) low vision. Low vision is the term I use to describe life between blindness and normal site. An estimated five million Americans are in the same situation as me.

You can see my blog WELCOME TO LOW VISION at [link]. Thank you for caring.

Monday, December 12, 2016


A little over a year ago KUNV, Las Vegas, was in the final phase of discussions with Nevada Public Radio (NVPR) to consolidate operations in Las Vegas. At the time observers expected the plan to be approved. The reason for the change was the university’s desire to discontinue subsidizing the station. KUNV has reportedly been loosing money as long as locals can remember.

The Las Vegas Sun reported last week [link] that UNLV officials have agreed to keep the student-run radio station independent for now, ending a yearlong battle. The deal had been on hold since UNLV students and community volunteers protested at a regents meeting in late December of 2015.

Though the proposed consolidation made financial sense and promised much larger audience potential, the basis of UNLV’s decision was an internal university turf war. KUNV is under the control of UNLV’s School of Journalism. Joel Lieberman, interim director of the j-school, gleefully told The Sun after the decision:

“The radio station has been part of the school of journalism for a long time. It’s essential to have a radio component [for our program]. We realized that (the public radio deal) wasn’t what we wanted to do. The most important thing is greater student integration into the radio station.”

KUNV [link] has been a part time jazz voice for over 30 years. KUNV’s annual operating budget is around $600,000, small for a city the size of Las Vegas. NVPR’s annual budget is over $7 million. NVPR operates KNPR (NPR News) and KCNV (Classical). Rumor has it that NVPR planned on flipping KUNV’s format to full time Triple A. 

It was hard to see a downside in the proposed plan. UNLV could have had higher visibility with a professional air sound. UNLV would have been able to put money now going to KUNV into its core educational mission.

Nevada Public Radio CEO Flo Rogers

I predict we haven’t heard the last of this deal. It just makes too much sense. Perhaps after a couple of years, UNLV will still be subsidizing KUNV. NVPR CEO Flo Rogers knows that noncom Triple A could do very well in Vegas. Rogers was on the staff of alt rock 91X in San Diego before moving into public radio.


Triple A WBJB 90.5 The Night [link] in Brookdale, New Jersey doesn’t get as much attention as other Triple A noncoms in bigger cities like WXPN and WFUV. But The Night has been providing live music and the latest tunes for the Asbury Park area for almost two decades.  

Last week at the annual Asbury Park Music Awards ceremony, held at The Stone Pony nightclub, The Night was named Top Radio Station in Support of Live Music. On-air personality Megan O’Shea was also named Top Radio Personality in Support of Live Music and while long-time 90.5 The Night host Rich Robinson received the prestigious Living Legend Award.

WBJB station manager Thomas Brennan, said following the ceremony:

“Having all of this great local music to play and all of these local venues to experience live music in makes it easy for us to promote all that is happening on the Jersey Shore. I am humbled by the win for the station and the wins [by] my coworkers.

Bruce Springsteen Visits 90.5 The Night

Expectations have always been high for The Night because the station is the favorite station for Asbury Park resident Bruce Springsteen. The Boss has helped generate support for The Night. There is classic live Springsteen in-studio performance on WBJB from 2006 is at [link].

WBJB’s brand name, 90.5 The Night, was inspired by Springsteen’s song Darkness on the Edge of Town.

The Night hosts a variety of free local concerts and community events, including the annual Songwriters on the Beach program during the summer. It is a free concert series that pairs local musicians with national acts. Songwriters on the Beach was nominated for the Asbury Park Music Awards’ Best Thing to Happen in 2016 award.