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.

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