KUNV, the University of Nevada, Las Vegas' public radio station, adjusted its programming this week to capitalize on its status as Southern Nevada's jazz station, according to General Manager Don Fuller.
KUNV, 91.5 FM, is now broadcasting jazz around the clock, Monday through Friday, Fuller said. The weekends remain home to a variety of programs, including folk, blues, bluegrass, reggae, and Spanish-language shows.
"This change is good for UNLV and good for Las Vegas," Fuller said, explaining that, other than KUNV, there are no radio stations dedicated to jazz in Southern Nevada.
The move to jazz-around-the-clock has resulted in the elimination of the station's alternative rock show, "Rock Ave.," Fuller said, adding that he realizes the move has not been popular with some of the program's fans and DJs.
"It is partly a matter of survival," Fuller said. "When the alternative rock programming began on KUNV, none of the other stations in Southern Nevada was playing that kind of music. But in the last few years a number of local stations have cut into that market. The listener share and funding support for alternative rock on KUNV has been dropping steadily. That is very important to a station that depends almost entirely on listener support."
Diverse radio programming is still available to Southern Nevada listeners, Fuller said. "The difference is that now the diversity is across the FM and AM bands."
Fuller said changes at the station have enhanced its ability to provide an educational experience for student interns. Thanks to an investment by the university, the station now has up-to-date equipment comparable to that used in commercial stations. With the new involvement by the Hank Greenspun School of Communication, there is better guidance for interns and more opportunities for on-the-air, technical, and management internships.
In addition to serving the community through public affairs programming, the station is also investigating ways to provide the public more information about opportunities at UNLV.
"KUNV is a valuable resource to the university and the community, and we believe it is important to use this resource to benefit as many people as possible," Fuller said, explaining that new radio broadcast licenses are very difficult to obtain. "We are maximizing this asset by finding a niche and filling it. In this community, that niche is jazz."