Carson City has a new voice.
The capital’s first community radio station, KNVC-FM went live on the air this past weekend.
The station, which broadcasts at 95.1 on the dial, is the brainchild of Joe McCarthy, longtime former director of the Brewery Arts Center and Brian Bahouth, a veteran public radio manager with experience in Colorado and California as well as Nevada.
The idea, said McCarthy, is “to provide Carson City with a community radio station.” “We’re really focused on hyper-local,” said Bahouth adding they’ll provide air time for all ideas.
“We’re not going to be labeled one or the other,” said McCarthy. He said KNVC will be a forum for positive discussion of a wide variety of issues political, social and otherwise.
For now, the programming is mostly music with some packaged shows. But the goal, according to McCarthy, is “to bring to the community voices that otherwise aren’t heard.”
And, with an antenna tower and transmitter on Duck Hill, he said they can be reached all the way from Washoe County through Eagle Valley and into the Carson Valley south of town.
They’re already attracting people who are developing unique, local programming. Roger Moellendorf, the former Carson City Parks and Recreation Director, is developing a program about the parks and trails in this area.
Deana Hoover is putting together a series of interviews with area artists of all genres from music and theater to painting, sculpture and even cosplay, which features players wearing costumes often representing comic book, science fiction or adventure characters. She said her first program will happen in February.
“We were really focused to get us on the air,” Bahouth said. “Now we are able to raise money.”
Public radio, like public television, relies on listeners for much of the support they need to operate. McCarthy said that’s a three-way mix. First, listener support through memberships and donations. Then underwriters in the community — businesses willing to back the station. Finally, he said they’ll be seeking help from the “institutional base” that McCarthy said is a fancy term for grants.
Bahouth said they have probably invested about $30,000 of their own money in the project thus far. But McCarthy said none of this would’ve happened without support from the Brewery Arts Center and, in particular, Carson Tahoe Regional Medical Center, which owns the Adams House. Through their “enormous generosity,” he said CTH has provided vital support so far including leasing space there for a dollar a year.
For now, their licensing is through BAC but in the near future, McCarthy said they’ll get ownership of the station.
McCatrhy said they started the project about a year ago when the BAC was about to let a building permit lapse. Over the past year, he said they have created a radio station inside the historic Adams House on Minnesota Street.
“Brian has literally built this radio station from scratch,” he said.