New Reno radio station targets 35- to 65-year-olds

The voice of community radio in Northern Nevada will be expanding with programming for adults, young adults and bilingual residents on a new station.

Pending Federal Communications Commission approval, station KJIV will broadcast on 89.5 FM from southeast Reno, a joint effort among Truckee Meadows Community College, Sierra Nevada Community Access Television and High Sierra Community Radio. Officials must raise $150,000 for more equipment.

"We have a great deal of equipment already," said Les Smith, SNCAT executive director. "The final pieces of the puzzle are the components we need to send the signal through the air as a broadcast signal."

TMCC and SNCAT have been broadcasting the first program offerings this month over the Internet at and on Charter Digital Cable Channel 16 daily between noon and 5 p.m.

"There is a void in the radio market here for true community radio," Smith said.

The station will reach out to late baby boomers and early Generation X-ers, Smith said.

"We want to get guys who grew up on rock 'n' roll," he said. "There's nothing on the radio that provides for them."

On Tuesday, veteran Nevada television newsman Tad Dunbar was the guest on host Andrew Barbano's "Barbwire" call-in show, available online and on the air in a simulcast.

Other current programming includes an eclectic blues program hosted by Roger Slugg.

The station plans to add programming for high school and college students and bilingual programming in English and Spanish.

"It would bridge the Hispanic and Anglo communities that I don't want to see kept separated," Smith said.

For now, the station's workforce is all volunteer. Staffers have come from other radio stations and the community.

"When we get the FM station going, it's going to be another tool in our multimedia box," KJIV station manager Willie Albright said.

The station's programming also helps TMCC achieve a long-term goal to offer a broadcast communications degree, said Michael Rainey, dean of workforce development and continuing education.