Listeners tuning in to KUNR 88.7 FM Friday morning at 9 a.m. witnessed radio history for the Silver State. KUNR, the university's public-radio station, in partnership with public-radio counterpart KNPR in Las Vegas, introduced State of Nevada, a groundbreaking new statewide broadcast.
State of Nevada addresses issues of importance across the state, including the economy, water, the environment and government. KUNR's northern Nevada host Brian Bahouth wants listeners to hear what people in the state are talking about, and engage them in developing this conversation further.
"All around our region, the same stories repeat: Water. Roads. Air quality. Education. These are common issues we all have, so in some senses, this show will unite the whole region," Bahouth said. "Our goal is to explore similarities and differences, and share information on common issues."
State of Nevada will be hosted live from both the KUNR studios in Reno and KNPR in Las Vegas. Each show consists of focused discussion time with the week's guests in the north and south, with input from callers throughout the show.
The program is the first time the two public-radio broadcasters serving Nevada have worked together to develop programming. This weekly statewide broadcast is an expansion of KNPR's daily Las Vegas-based program, and provides a forum to discuss key political and social issues important to Nevada residents during the upcoming election year.
The inaugural broadcast Friday features the mayors of the state's major urban population centers, Bob Cashell of Reno and Oscar Goodman of Las Vegas. "On zoning issues, countless times we hear people say 'We don't want to be like Vegas.' This gives us a chance to talk about what that means, and what lessons we can learn from each other," Bahouth said.
Bahouth, State of Nevada's northern host, is a news veteran with experience as a reporter, editor and news director at stations across the West. He has also produced feature reports for NPR, Voice of America, Radio High Country News and other networks. Bahouth created KUNR's weekly afternoon call-in show, the High Desert Forum. Dave Berns of KNPR, also a veteran journalist, hosts the show in southern Nevada.
State of Nevada can be heard Fridays at 9 a.m. on KUNR 88.7 FM. The show will also be broadcast to KUNR's rural translator network across northern Nevada and northeastern California. The show airs in southern Nevada on KNPR 88.9 FM and its translators. Each station streams broadcasts online as well. Listeners statewide can call in live during the show to (877) 275-5677 toll free.