Nevada Public Radio was incorporated in December 1975 as an independent, non-profit corporation. KNPR signed on the air March 24th 1980. We were Nevada’s First NPR affiliate, in the early years Morning Edition and All Things Considered aired alongside classical music, jazz, bluegrass, radio drama, blues, folk music and more. In December 1980 we moved into newly constructed studios in the parking lot of Sam’s Town thanks to the generosity of Sam and Bill Boyd.
In 1998 broadcast operations moved to a custom built facility on the campus of The College of Southern Nevada thanks to a major grant from the Donald W Reynolds Foundation. This move signaled the beginning of significant expansion of radio service in broadcast to more of Nevada and adjacent counties in Utah, Arizona and California. Coinciding with rapid population growth in the Southern Nevada region, Nevada Public Radio grew in relevance and reach as the dominant NPR news station for Nevada, signature public radio entertainment, classical music, magazine production and the delivery of that content in emerging formats online.
Nevada Public Radio now operates a non-commercial, radio broadcast network comprised of seven stations, KNPR-FM Las Vegas (88.9), KCNV-FM Las Vegas (89.7), KTPH-FM Tonopah (91.7), KLNR-FM Panaca (91.7), KWPR-FM Lund/Ely (88.7), KSGU-FM St George (90.3), KLKR-FM Elko (89.3), plus nine rural translators.
A volunteer governing board including founder and Director Emeritus, Lamar Marchese oversees Nevada Public Radio. The Community Advisory board is also a valued component in achieving the mission of Nevada Public Radio:
Nevada Public Radio will enhance the quality of life and foster civic engagement by informing, educating and inspiring our growing audiences.
Since those humble beginnings, Nevada Public Radio has grown to be one of the state’s premier non-profit organizations, recognized as a leader in broadcast excellence, technical innovation and outstanding stewardship of donor funds. Nevada Public Radio has won numerous national awards for broadcast program production and more recently excellence in publishing.
The staff is comprised of 39 full-time staff, plus part time and contract employees, and fundraising volunteers.
Nevada Public Radio is committed to producing relevant content that meets the information needs of the communities we serve. To compliment the national and international offerings produced by NPR, APM and PRI, our own production KNPR’s State of Nevada is a nationally recognized public affairs program that creates a venue for dialog on the issues that matter to our region. Launched with a $500,000 grant of the Corporation for Public Broadcasting, KNPR’s State of Nevada has been honored locally and nationally for program excellence including the ACE Award from the Public Radio Program Directors Association.
Desert Companion is the monthly city regional magazine honored with multiple “Maggie” awards for publishing, design and editorial excellence. Reporting, smart writing and service journalism shines along with lifestyle and cultural profiles. The magazine extends the public media core values of independent editorial integrity into the magazine space reaching a broader demographic than traditional broadcast.
KNPR’s State of Nevada, Desert Companion and our network produced offerings are all supported and extended with a dynamic online presence at KNPR.org and related websites that represent an evolving area for content production, marketing and membership/corporate support opportunities.
Selected Milestones in our NVPR history:
KNPR News 88.9 participated in NPR’s “Spark” project and experienced a ratings increase as a result of the nationwide coordinated effort to promote Morning Edition supported with an outdoor billboard campaign with the tagline “Wake Up Your Smart”.
In spring we rolled out a converged website that brings together news, classical and Desert Companion magazine digital delivery and HD program streams, resulting in strong growth engagement through page views, unique visitors and online listening all outpacing the national average.
President Barack Obama was a first-time on air caller when Harry Reid announced his retirement on KNPR’s State of Nevada in March. The on air event delivered national media coverage and broke news of Reid’s preferred successor.
KNPR was one of the first wave of stations on Apple’s I Tunes Radio and a leader in participating with the NPR One App with a local newscast since its launch in July.
Desert Companion magazine hosted their Restaurant Awards, annual Photo Competition and the first ever “Rita Las Vegas” promotion and continued with received another honor from the “Maggies.”
In fall we repeated our Three Square food bank social benefit premium with the support of the Bennett Family Foundation and AARP resulting in 84,000+ meals donated.
Tim Bavington was our first “artist in residence” and created the “Unknown Pleasures” design for member thank you gifts.
NVPR closed 2015 with a three -month rolling average weekly cume of 137,400 and year over year afternoon drive increase was one of the highest in the nation. Online listening now accounts for about 10% of total listening hours. 55,000 monthly unique visitors to all websites.
An event partnership with The Smith Center for the world premiere of The Tempest directed by Teller and music from Tom Waits was a sellout among a busy calendar of benefit events.
CEO Flo Rogers co-chaired the national search for NPR’s new CEO leading to the hire of Jarl Mohn.
The “Maggies” honored Desert Companion for the April 2013 cover. The first-ever Family special edition was published in April 2014
KNPR’s State of Nevada won 2 Electronic Media Awards for best radio program and locally produced talk program, bringing the total number of EMA awards won by NVPR in the last 10 years to 39.
We launched the Sustaining Member Matching fund which began a surge in sustaining membership participation; also inaugurated the Three Square partnership with the Bennett Family Foundation to give the option of donating meals in lieu of thank you gifts contributing 39,000 meals in the fall drive.
On November 15, a record-breaking 869 cars participated in the 7th semi-annual Nevada Public Radio Recycling Day, new this year we collected unused medication with a total of recyclables 61,622 lbs
NVPR closed 2014 with a three-month rolling average cume of 144,900 reflecting some particularly strong classical numbers; 54,000 monthly unique visitors to all websites.
Partnered with The Smith Center to present Reinventing Radio: An Evening with Ira Glass.
Inaugural Desert Companion “Focus on Nevada” photo contest.
With the generous cooperation of Greg Lee and the Eureka Casino Resort, on July 16th we installed a new KNPR translator on 88.1 FM to serve Mesquite. Located on the roof of the Eureka Resort and Casino.
KNPR’s State of Nevada provides a quotable moment from Senator Harry Reid that goes viral informing the reporting of Politico, CNN and The New York Times, as well as making the front page of several high-profile blogs: most notably The Huffington Post.
November 17th, Nevada Public Radio held another popular Recycling Day.
Through a partnership with Above Marketing Group, we fed billboards with our news Twitter feeds in front of drivers around the valley – breaking news and program details gave timely information and a great reason to tune in to News 88.9 KNPR.
The first-ever Nevada Public Radio Recycling and Document Destruction Day was held on Saturday, April 7th
Desert Companion won the Maggie award for Best Editorial Layout/Consumer (DC, April 2011 15 Hikes (practically) In Your Own Backyard).
Desert Companion held its first ever Restaurant Awards presentation luncheon at Gordon Ramsay Steak.
November 3rd Nevada Public Radio was presented with the “Crystal Bookmark” an honor given to an organization that has advanced the cause of literacy and literature in the valley.
In the Electronic Media Awards, for the 9th time KNPR won “best documentary” and the 5th EMA award for KNPR’s State of Nevada. The audience dashboard in October had a total NvPR cumulative audience of 131,000.
KNPR audience increase +16.97% compared to 2010
KCNV audience increase +15% compared to 2010
The BBC World Service presented three nights of live broadcasts from Las Vegas, with appearances by the host on KNPR’s State of Nevada.
KNPR’s State of Nevada wins “best talk show” in the Electronic Media Awards and a Fronteras report recognized as “best news story”.
Desert Companion is honored with 3rd “Maggie” Award and wins 13 awards at the Nevada Press Awards. Desert Companion on Tour is a new opportunity to connect with readers and listeners on location. DC Reader survey reveals a spending power of $8 Billion among our readership.
NPR’s Linda Wertheimer attracts an audience of 700 for her lecture at the Saltman Center for Conflict Resolution in September.
Fall pledge drive breaks record with $505,000 raised.
$230,000 was raised for The Anniversary Fund with donors honored j2 the home of John Klai and Jon Sparer’s spectacular j2 residence in The Ridges. General Manager Flo Rogers was elected to the NPR Board of Member Directors.
News 88.9 KNPR is the most-listened to talk station in Las Vegas AM or FM according to Arbitron research.
Inaugural Western States Public Radio Online Auction. Spring membership campaign breaks record with $469,817 raised.
Desert Companion is honored with 2nd “Maggie” Award for best consumer quarterly and 9 awards at the 2010 Better Magazine Awards.
NVPR joins the Fronteras project.
KNPR’s SoN crossed the 11Million mark in audio downloads since the start of the program
March 24th 2010 Nevada Public Radio is 30 years on air.
2009 NVPR participates in national foreclosure crisis campaign with extensive on air news coverage. KNPR's audience is now at an all-time high. News 88.9 KNPR has averaged a weekly Arbitron-estimated audience of 121,900 listeners, almost exactly 50% more than during the same period twelve months before. Nevada Public Radio’s Desert Companion honored with a Maggie Award for best quarterly publication NVPR’s Third New York Festival medal (bronze) for the series Belonging Las Vegas. NVPR honored by Western Region of American Institute of Architects for contributions to the profession October 18th.
2008 Nevada Public Radio goes HD providing multicast channels of classical, Spanish language, eclectic music and an alternate news/information channel. Desert Companion expands to four editions.
Election year coverage includes first ever statewide broadcast and simulcasts with KCEP.
Las Vegas Electronic Media awards for Community Connections and KNPR’s State of Nevada.
Donald W Reynolds makes an additional endowment gift of $904,000
2007 KNPR’s State of Nevada wins national PRPD ACE Award. Nevada Community Foundation provides the largest single operational grant for KNPR’s State of Nevada - $407,950 over two years.
RetiringFounder and General Manager Lamar Marchese and wife Patricia Marchese honored at a gala held at Green Valley Ranch resort for tributes and celebrations of the contributions to civic life
2006 Nevada Public Radio expands publishing to three annual magazines under the new title Desert Companion.
2005 First Nevada Public Radio “podcast” Friday February 11th.
2004 Nevada Public Radio celebrates its 25th anniversary. The Public Radio Program Directors Association honors Classical 89.7. Nevada Public Radio receives grant funding from the Las Vegas Centennial Commission to host NPR’s Talk of the Nation. KNPR ranked in the top 10% nationwide of public radio stations by CPB survey in audience service and financial performance.
2003 October 31st the long standing goal of dividing into two distinct FM stations is realized: KNPR 89.5 FM moves to 88.9 FM as the “all news” NPR station and Classical 89.7 signs on. KNPR’s State of Nevada launches on day one.
2000 An endowment campaign raised $2.2 million to provide NPR with permanent resources to maintain the broadcast facility.
1998 KNPR signs on the air from Reynolds Broadcast Center Friday, July 10, 1998, from the campus of the Community College of Southern Nevada which provided land on a 99 year rent free lease.
1996 Donald W Reynolds Foundation awards KNPR $4.5 million for construction of the Donald W. Reynolds Broadcast Center.
1994 KNPR On-line begins.
1983 Four Queens Jazz Night from Las Vegas begins national distribution by American Public Radio network – the series runs for many years and garners international honors
1980 KNPR signed on the air March 24th 1980 from temporary studios in The Silverbowl stadium. In December, we moved into newly constructed studios in the parking lot of Sam’s Town thanks to the generosity of Sam and Bill Boyd.
1975 Nevada Public Radio was incorporated in December 1975 as an independent, non-profit corporation.