Friday, April 14, 2017


On Wednesday (4/12) Nevada Public Radio launched Triple A KVNV “NV89” in Reno.  

 NV89 [link] emerged as a fully formed “Discover Music” source that promises:

No Commercials. Local Bands. Your Generation's Public Radio.

Mike Henry

NV89’s debut makes a terrific first impression. The beginning of NV89 reminds me of the start of 105.5 The Colorado Sound on Colorado’s Front Range about a year ago. Both stations were developed and are consulted by Mike Henry from Paragon Media Strategies [link]. Both appeared like magic for maximum buzz – first there was nothing, then presto, here a new music source you’ve always wanted.  Brilliant, Mr. Henry.

As I write this post, I am listening to morning personality Malayna Joy. NV89 sounds urgent, fresh and warm.  The music is a 50/50 mix of new tracks (I’ve heard new released tunes from Ryan Adams, Beck and the New Pornagraphers) and recent oldies and re-currents.  Malayna, who is live, is a smart companion, unobtrusive.

Willobee Carlan
NV89’s PD is Willobee Carlan, who has deep roots in Reno. Carlan programmed and/or worked on-air at commercial stations in New York City, Austin, Santa Barbara and Phoenix. He also has worked with major record labels and in artist management.

In addition to Malayna Joy, NV89 hosts include Gia DeSantis (KROQ, LA), Jake Wagner and Steve Masters (Live 105, San Francisco). NV89 also airs State of Nevada, the franchise-defining talk and interview show that originates at KNPR, Las Vegas. It airs weekdays from 9am to 10am.


Last November we reported [link] that Las Vegas based Nevada Public Radio had acquired 89.1 FM KJIV, Sun Valley, a suburb of Reno, for $550,000. Most observers (me included) thought the new station would be a 24/7 repeater of NPR News station KNPR, setting up a statewide news presence.

In that post, we opined:

I have just one question for Nevada Public Radio:  Why spend so much money ($550,000) to acquire a voice in Reno? 

The Reno-Sparks metro has around 400,000 residents and seems to be well served at present by NPR News KUNR and Classical KNCJ. Maybe the long-term goal for Nevada Public Radio entering Reno is to establish a new format such as Triple A.  Or, maybe there is Nevada gold secretly buried under the ground at the transmitter sight.

Now it turns out that the Nevada gold was NV89. When I wrote those words in November, I didn’t know that the plan to create NV89 was already in motion.

Nevada Public Radio is run by Flo Rogers, once a host at legendary Modern Rock station 91X in San Diego. Before moving to Las Vegas, Rogers paid her noncom dues at KRPS-FM in Pittsburg, Kansas. She has proven to be a wise and forward thinking public radio manager.  Nevada Public Radio operates KNPR (NPR News), KCNV (Classical) and Desert Companion, a weekly arts and culture publication and website [link]. Desert Companion's print circulation is over 55,000.


Perhaps Nevada Public Radio’s ultimate goal is to add a third format, Triple A, in Las Vegas.  NV89 is already on in Vegas via KNPR’s HD-3 channel. If they can acquire a well-placed translator, they will have an instant Triple A station on FM. Then NV89 will be a player in Nevada’s two biggest markets.

Last year Nevada Public Radio was rebuffed in their attempt to bring Jazz station KUNV into their shop.  Congratulations to all involved.  You make me proud to be in public media.


No doubt the new NV89 will be the buzz at the upcoming 17th Annual NONCOMMvention in Philadelphia May 17 – 19 [link]. If you want to attend (and I highly recommend it) early bird registration ends April 24th.

You can see the complete schedule for the NONCOMM here.

The 2017 NON-COMMvention will kick off with an opening party at 4pm on Thursday (5/16).  After that, there will be 56-hours of meetings and artist performances and/or intervews that include Dan Auerbach, Blondie, The Pixies, Paul Shaffer and the World’s Most Dangerous Band and many, many more.

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