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KPTL says it is rebuilding

Jim Scripps, Appeal Staff Writer

The new owners of Carson City radio station KPTL say the company is at the beginning of a rebuilding period following the loss of another one of Carson City’s on-air voices.

Dennis Butler, host of the afternoon 2-6 p.m. show, and coordinator of on-air operations, was recently let go by the company, a month after “Rockin’ Rev” Ken Haskins stopped producing his Saturday morning show.

Butler was replaced with station manager Jim Buckley.

“Our vision is to make KPTL more community minded in Carson City,” said Roy Williams, KPTL president and general manager. “The intention was always to make it that way.”

But in the rebuilding process, Silverado Broadcasting, KPTL’s parent company, has replaced a local weekday morning show with a syndicated show, taken Butler off the air in the afternoons and refused to negotiate a contract with Haskins, who ended a nearly 15-year stretch on local radio.

“From 2 to 6, I did a live show where we used a play list and took requests,” Butler said. “And when they let me go, that ended.”

Other shows that have recently been axed include Guy Rocha’s “History for the Lunch Bunch,” “Craig (Swope) and Fred (James) in the Morning,” high school athletics and Don Quilici’s fishing report.

Butler said his firing was officially related to a snafu with an advertisement that he ran unknowingly against the company’s wishes.

Williams said he was not comfortable commenting on the station’s personnel issues, but did say the company’s has shifted its focus from growing Reno radio station Q102, to reinvigorating KPTL.

The station intends to stick to the oldies format — with “Imus in the Morning,” a syndicated talk show. The station also intends to involve local public officials in programming, and cover high school sports.

Meanwhile Butler, a former long-haul trucker, is on the hunt for another job in radio and Haskins hopes to play his oldies favorites on local radio.

In a June interview, Haskins said “I’d love to be able to continue the show and would like to give priority to Carson City, but if they’re not interested, and they don’t seem to be, then I’ll go where I can continue my show.”