Tuesday, July 27, 2010


Flew into Las Vegas Sunday night and it's 109 degrees here in the dark. It makes me question why there is a major metropolitan area here. It's the 28th largest city in America as of last year, up dramatically over the last 20 years.  It's nearly doubled in population in that time. I cannot fathom why. Las Vegas is market rank 33 if you are about your MSAs. you know I do.

There are no traditional college stations or community stations in Las Vegas leaving a great gaping void on their radio dial. Surprisingly it has bupkis for Pirate Radio. Andrew Yoder wrote a book called Pirate radio Broadcasts which catalogs those fun but illicit transmissions. It mentions Las Vegas once, and only because a Pirate in Alberta broadcast a recording of a commercial station from Vegas.  It's not inspiring. At the bottom of the dial is 88.1 KCEP an all Urban AC. It's housed in an old school house.  They play a little gospel on the weekends but the rest is pretty commercial and predictable. I cant get too excited about it.  It leaves us with NPR courtesy of KNPR 88.9. Then just up the dial a bit KNCV 89.7 runs classical. It's a lot of syndicated programming, but strangely KNPR carries a couple odd ball shows like Vinyl Cafe, a CBC production.

91.5 KUNV runs Jazz all day. Jazz and Classical are the safe havens of public radio programming.Of the two I prefer Jazz, more specifically swing , and Bebop neither of which seem to get any airtime on KUNV. However, their The Jazz Legends Preservation Project warrants mention. they are conducting a series of interviews with local Jazz musicians to help to preserve and maintain jazz music.  KJUL up on 104.7 actually runs nostalgia with a decent and fairly respectable playlist. They spin your Ratpack singles which is appropriate for sin City but also your Petula Clark's, and some straight-laced oldies like Bobby Darin and even the Lettermen.

On the AM band pickings are still slim. 790 KBET-AM which supposedly flipped to Sports was still running country oldies when I tuned in.  KSHP-AM 1400 what's supposed to be an all-shopping station was running sports talk. Even that was a let down.