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Statement From NVPR Regarding Prospective Management Agreement with UNLV/KUNV


An update as reported by the Las Vegas Business Press 2/22/16

In 2014, the President’s office at University of Nevada Las Vegas (UNLV) invited Nevada Public Radio (NVPR) to present a proposal for a management agreement to operate KUNV 91.5 FM. The proposal focused on increasing the audience service and financial prospects* of the FM station, which is licensed to the Nevada System of Higher Education (NSHE) Board of Regents.

After 20 months of research and independent data gathering, we negotiated an agreement with UNLV.  Approval of that agreement was on the agenda at the December 4, 2015 meeting of the Board of Regents. The agenda item is tabled for now.

Since the agreement has attracted media attention, we thought you may want to know more about the proposed management agreement with UNLV.

There is no sale or transfer of the license from NSHE to NVPR. The first term of the agreement runs through the end of the current license period, October 2021.

The agreement with UNLV calls for NVPR to assume all technical and operating costs of KUNV, giving the station the very best chance to become financially viable. To do this, NVPR would realize some economies of scale in the “back office” functions of public radio administration. UNLV would invest its current $200,000+ annual subsidy of KUNV into other educational objectives.

NVPR would research and create an all-new contemporary music format that appeals to an audience more closely aligned with UNLV’s student demographic, one that is younger and more diverse than the typical NPR audience. Such a music format would include many of the musical styles currently on the air at 91.5 FM, including local artists.

So, why would Nevada Public Radio take on those investments? Being relevant to a millennial audience is a priority for public radio nationwide. NPR news and our culturally enriching content has become a vital part of the lives of millions of Americans and we want that to continue into a next generation.  Given the opportunity to partner with UNLV, we would work on shared goals: to be relevant to a millennial audience on air and online, grow the audience and outreach of the station among current students, alums and potential students, and bring KUNV into the upward momentum of UNLV.  

NVPR is the only organization that is qualified and ready to enter a management agreement with UNLV. (You can read more about the leadership of CEO Flo Rogers below).

The direct educational component of the agreement establishes baseline paid internship positions. We will be able to form new sequences of internship opportunities in our dynamic KNPR and Desert Companion editorial departments and through NPR’s national training programs. 

We anticipate those student opportunities would flourish rapidly from that baseline to include video production, digital media and marketing. Our NVPR journalists and producers will be an ongoing resource to department instructors. We would be eligible to participate in an exciting digital video music performance project that would showcase local artists to public radio music stations nationwide, and many other opportunities only available through our NPR affiliation.

These benefits would be in addition to the current curricula at UNLV for journalism and broadcast students. The HD-2 student channel would remain a traditional college radio experience and a platform for student assignments. It also represents a ‘homegrown’ talent pipeline for current and future paid positions.  91.5FM and HD-2 would continue to originate from studios at Greenspun Hall to foster interaction between professionals, faculty and students.

As more and more listening takes place via mobile devices and “smart” in-car entertainment systems, the distinction between “main channel” and HD side channels becomes irrelevant. Each stream has equal prominence and benefits from the cross promotion between all our public media channels. 91.5 HD-3 would remain in a traditional jazz format with a completely different jazz service also available on KCNV HD-2 at 89.7FM.

If you have any further questions about the proposal, please email and you’ll receive a personal update.

We will continue our conversations with UNLV as they evaluate the best course of action for the license they operate on behalf of the NSHE Board of Regents. NVPR’s management and Board are enthusiastic participants in any effort to realize the full potential and privilege of operating a non-commercial, educational public radio license.

Items in the public record pertaining to this matter can be found at the NSHE website:

*About Corporation for Public Broadcasting funding:

Qualified public radio stations that meet audience service criteria are eligible to receive funding from the Corporation for Public Broadcasting (CPB). KUNV has not met CPB thresholds for audience service for more than five years. When CPB funding ends, a station becomes responsible for other costs such as streaming and music rights that were covered by grant eligibility and in Nevada a station will not receive a full stipend from the State public broadcasting appropriation.

The CPB’s audience service criteria are the national standard for whether a radio or TV station is providing enough community service to earn a portion of the appropriation made by Congress for public broadcasting each year.

Of course there are other criteria for success including the use of a station for training by an educational institution, or other goals a license holder may have such as a commitment to a specific kind of programming.

About Nevada Public Radio

Nevada Public Radio (NVPR) was established in 1975 as an independent, not-for-profit, public benefit corporation. NVPR signed on the air in 1980 with one station serving the Las Vegas area as Nevada's first National Public Radio (NPR(r)) affiliate station.  For more than three decades, NVPR has remained true to its mission to enhance the quality of life and foster civic engagement by informing, educating and inspiring a growing audience through public media – including content on air, in print and online. NVPR's broadcast network includes two FM stations serving the Las Vegas metropolitan area - News 88.9 KNPR and Classical KCNV 89.7. Combined with five associate stations, 10 translator stations and associated HD digital channels, NVPR serves a geographical area of more than 66,000 square miles including parts of California, Utah and Arizona. NVPR is the publisher of the award-winning Desert Companion monthly magazine and the producer of KNPR’s State of Nevada. Further information is available at, and

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