Evil Light Update

Not long ago I contacted Sharon Zadra regarding the dangerous, obnoxious and illegal electronic billboard just north of Damonte on 395.

So what did Sharon say about this matter? Well, Sharon had someone else contact me regarding this issue. I couldn’t help but think how nice it would be if I had someone to do my job for me, but I digress.

I was contacted by Barbara DiCianno with the following information:

“In researching your question about the electronic billboard on the 395 Interchange, Planning Staff has advised that the sign in question is on Reno-Sparks Indian Colony property and was approved by that agency. Reno City Council will be reviewing revisions to the electronic billboard ordinance for signs located within the City of Reno jurisdiction.

“Please let me know if I can provide additional information. Thank you for your involvement in our community.”

So basically, if I read that right, the Reno-Sparks Indian Colony is not beholden to local laws and can do whatever they want even if it impacts the non-Colony land around them. Does that mean that terrorists can throw grenades onto the freeway as long as they do it from Colony property? I mean, the Colony agency would have to approve that, of course. If not, then where does the line get drawn? I know there’s always the tobacco and gaming stuff, but seriously, where’s the line? Illegal drugs? Illegal weapons?

I guess I just don’t understand when they have to obey local laws and when they don’t. Or is it tied to federal law? Now I’m just rambling, so I should get to the point. If someone chooses to go to Colony land – here or anywhere else – to gamble or buy tobacco, then that’s a choice that person makes. To use Colony land to impose an unsightly billboard to people who have no choice seems wrong, especially when the citizens of the community have voted and made their disdain for billboards clearly understood. When it’s commonly believed that there is a safety issue with these billboards and the City of Reno chooses to look the other way then it’s borderline reckless.

Dave Cook: Robo-caller!

Use your imagination and picture this scenario:

It’s been a long day. The kids are in bed and have finally gone to sleep. You’re winding down and starting to relax when the phone suddenly rings. It’s almost nine o’clock at night. For someone to be calling this late it must be something very important. By the time you get to the phone all the kids are now crying because the phone woke them up.

“Hello?”

It’s Dave Cook! Actually, it’s a recording of Dave Cook. You know, Dave Cook who is running for the hotly contested Nevada State Board of Education District 9 seat. He wants you to vote for him. He just paid a robot to call you at 9:00p to tell you to vote for him.

So, you hang up and jump on the internet to try to find out who Dave Cook is because he just woke up your kids with a late night  political solicitation on the phone. Of course, the first link that comes up is another person commenting on Mr. Cook’s use of “robo calls”. While the post is not complimentary nor critical, the comments are clearly not favorable.

Next, you decide to call Dave at home (you’ll wait until later in the evening, of course) but you can’t find his phone number. You finally find a number at TheVoterGuide.org, but it is listed as 775-85-1454. You don’t want to be a jerk to nine other people while trying to find the correct missing digit.

As a last resort, you send Dave a polite but blunt e-mail letting him know that calls at that hour are unacceptable and that he should not count on you to vote for him. He responds to your message the next day. Does he apologize? No. Does he acknowledge that robo calls may be an offensive campaigning method, especially in light of DoNotCall.gov‘s polularity? No. He sends the following message:

Brad,

If you send me your phone number, I’ll be glad to see that it is removed from the list.

Dave Cook

By now you may have guessed that this is not just the most interesting story you’ve ever read, but it actually happened just last Friday.

It would be silly to make a decision as a voter based solely on this experience, even though the hour of the call and the lack of apology bothered me. After researching this race a bit further I have been unable to determine who else is even running. Barbara J. Myers is definitely running – she’s the incumbent. I don’t know if Roy J. Casey is running or not. Apparently Myers barely won in 2000 against Dave Cook, who then the incumbent. Dave Cook ran against her again in 2004, but was handily defeated. He hasn’t been able to let go ever since.

So now, my analysis of the race. I read any information I could find and I can honestly say I agree more with Myers and I plan to vote for her. This decision is completely independent of any hostility that I feel toward Cook because of his campaigning strategy.

So, vote for Myers! And contact Dave Cook to let him know that you don’t want his campaign calls.

Note to Dave Cook: Expect one to two e-mails, assuming everyone who reads this e-mails you!

Radio Review Follow-up

Almost exactly one year ago I posted an entry about the Reno radio market, specifically as it relates to talk radio. It’s time to post a follow-up review with more blatantly biased commentary.

There have been some interesting trends, some which can easily be explained and others that cannot. Let’s work our way through the stations…

KBZZ (1270 AM) – KBZZ seems to have made some significant changes since I last researched their station. They still want to flirt too heavily with the FM morning show format to be taken seriously; HOWEVER, their ratings over the last three periods have gone from 1.7 to 2.1 to 2.4. Even though these numbers are not insignificant, their station still tends to shy away from a role that I would consider to be inclusive with common perceptions of talk radio. Then again, maybe this is their goal.

KJFK (1230 AM) – KJFK surprised me with their ratings. After suffering a recurring drop in their ratings they suddenly jumped from 1.3 to 1.7 and then fell back to 1.6. I’m not sure whether something happened to cause them to suddenly be more popular, or if they were previously suffering a slump that they have now rebounded from. It doesn’t really matter, though. This station appeals to a very specific audience – those with BDS and those who listen to people with BDS for entertainment.

KKFT (99.1 FM) – KKFT has been steadily growing for as long as I’ve been watching their numbers. They’ve gone from basically 0 market share to 1.6%. Each ratings period has shown at least a .3% increase. They’ve made some odd changes to their programming, but their current lineup is apparently paying off. More about their programming later…

KKOH (780 AM) – KOH continues to be top dog for all Reno radio with consistently >10% market share. They seem to have ups and downs, but they don’t see gains like the other stations do.

When I first started writing this post I was somewhat perplexed that KJFK is enjoying as much success as they are. It finally occurred to me that KJFK has a very good location to transmit from that should ensure good saturation through Reno. On the other hand, KKFT transmits with even lower power (on FM, even!) from Washoe Valley and yet still has the same market share as KJFK. I think anyone can listen to KJFK for any length of time to get an idea of what they’re about. I tried it once and felt very silly for not turning it off sooner. But that’s just me.

For KBZZ, adding personalities such as Cory Farley can either hurt or help their ratings. If Mr. Farley chooses to discuss more common fare then I’m sure he’ll be a good listen. His non-political writings can be very good, even downright hilarious at times. If he chooses to go into maniacal-leftie mode then he becomes a local version of the bizarrely vitriolic personalities from Air America. And believe me, when it comes to politics he can say some pretty awful things.

For me the most interesting competition is between KKFT and KOH. At first glance I’m sure it seems laughable that KKFT might affect KOH at all. I don’t think it would be smart for KOH to discount KKFT and I can guarantee that KOH keeps at least one eye on this competitor. To summarize I would like to briefly point out the good and bad that each station has going for them.

KOH – the good: KOH has some excellent programming, namely Rush Limbaugh and Sean Hannity. Plus, they have a strong local voice in Bill Manders. They have an extremely powerful signal, which means that in addition to Nevada you can listen to them in parts of California, Oregon and Idaho.

KOH – the bad: They are basically stagnant. When they do make changes it’s usually for the worse. For example, they eliminated Bill O’Reilly and when they added Mark Levin they only gave him one hour. I personally don’t agree with their choice to keep Michael Savage. He was interesting to listen to at first, but once the novelty wears off (usually one to two weeks) you crave something more. I’m not sure what I can say about Coast to Coast AM. To me it seems like it would only interest a very specific group, but they clearly have a huge audience for that type of show at that time to keep it on for 7 hours each night.

KKFT – the good: The best programming put together anywhere right now, in my opinion. I start listening with Laura Ingraham in the morning, which is followed by Glenn Beck, Dr. Laura, Lars Larson, Bill O’Reilly and Dennis Miller. Each one of these hosts is outstanding. I don’t typically hear their other hosts, so I can’t comment.

KKFT – the bad: Based in Carson City with a fairly low power signal. This means that unless you live on the very south side of Reno you probably aren’t going to get their signal. They no longer have a local host in the afternoon (what happened to Ira anyway?). Although they take an active stance on some significant issues, sometimes it’s a bit too much. For example, the Jeremiah Wright/Barack Obama ad they play is almost scary. Do they think a lot of Obama supporters are listening to their station? There may be a few. It was also a little strange that they spent so much airtime attacking Rudy Giuliani during the primary. I guess when you understand their pro-second-amendment stance it makes more sense. I personally don’t really care if they play their own ads for specific causes. It just seems a little weird.

Blinding Evil Light

This world is a terribly evil place. I was starkly reminded of this last night as I was leaving my house to get some groceries. Before I even left my street I could see a hideous flashing in the distance. This was particularly disturbing because previously our little neighborhood had been shielded from the obnoxious glow of downtown lights. Now, thanks to Clear Channel, we had our own little piece of downtown right in our own backyard! It was as if the gaming floor of the Peppermill had been transplanted right next door. The sign was painful to look at. Most disturbingly, though, was the fact that I was several miles away. Once you came closer to the sign (driving down the freeway, for example) it became blinding. I’m not exaggerating, either.

You may remember a few years back that the voters overwhelmingly voted to restrict the propagation of billboards. To sneak around the issue the billboard companies have torn down smaller, older billboards and in their place constructed much larger signs. Now, they are using electronic billboards. I thought electronic signs were illegal in Reno, but apparently not. The city council probably had another secret vote, much like when they approved Station Casinos’ plan privately after rejecting the plan publicly. It’s not quite that black and white, but you get the idea. Corruption abounds.

Since there is nothing I can do about it, I am simply going to list the companies that advertise on the electronic billboards and beg that you please do not patronize these businesses.

  • Boomtown Hotel and Casino
  • Charter
  • AT&T
  • Discovery Fellowship
  • Thermal Imaging Consultants, LLC
  • Dan Holmes Construction, LLC
  • ThermaDiagnostics, LTD
  • Gastroenterology Consultants, LTD
  • Women’s Self Defense (they don’t advertise what their business or organization is called)

Not everything on the billboard can be classified as evil. For example, there are ads for Secret Witness and Bring Bri Justice. Truly noble things to put on a billboard, but certainly the wrong medium. Also, Galena has an ad on the billboard. There isn’t a way to take business away from them so they fall into some unnamed category.

I would encourage you to take time to contact your city council member and let them know that you disapprove of billboards, especially electronic billboards.

Ira versus Bill

I find it interesting that the 3-6p time slot in Reno now finds two local hosts competing. 99.1 FM Talk features KOH-alumnus Ira Hansen against KOH‘s Bill Manders. Some of you may remember that Ira was fired from KOH after the Atlantis threatened to pull advertising because of comments he made during his show.

With KKFT seemingly on the rise I’m anxious to see if KOH continues to decline. I have to believe that having Ira back on the air will give them a significant boost. I was a big fan of Ira when he was on KOH, so I’m excited to see him sign-up with KKFT.

I’m excited to see this kind of head-to-head match-up and I have to give credit to Jerry Evans for making it happen. I think I’m going to give equal time to both Bill and Ira so that I can provide some type of educated analysis at some point in the future. As I’ve indicated before, I don’t listen to Manders’ show regularly, but this is more out of disdain for KOH than anything related to Manders. It’s probably time to give him a fair shake…

Reno’s Weak Talk Radio Market

When it comes to talk radio in Reno there are not many options. To the best of my knowledge there are four radio station in Reno: KKOH, KJFK, KBZZ and KKFT.

KBZZ (1270 AM) – We can automatically disqualify KBZZ because it isn’t really a talk station. It’s basically the equivalent of lame FM morning shows all day every day. I can only take so much of that kind of radio – zero to be exact.

KJFK (1230 AM) – This is the child of Air America, although they don’t say so on their webpage. They feature some of the Air America hosts such as Randi Rhodes, Thom Hartmann and Lionel. Their market share is barely over 1% and dropping. You can tune into the station at any time and hear bizarre ranting. You’ll discover within moments why they cannot hold their market share.

KKFT (99.1 FM) – KKFT is a strange one because they are based out of Carson City, but their FCC license is issued for Minden/Gardnerville. The signal in Reno is usually a little weak and the advertising is clearly aimed at Carson, Gardnerville and Minden listeners, although this seems to be changing. Their market share is about 1%, but seems to be growing fairly quickly. In the past three ratings periods they have gone from roughly 0% to .6% to 1%. I expect this trend to continue.

KKOH (780 AM) – KOH is clearly the powerhouse of all Reno radio, including ALL stations and not just talk. Their ratings are consitently well over 10% but they are slowly slipping away. They are down more than a full percent from the same ratings period a year ago.

So, back to the original point. The pickin’s are slim and seem to be slimming. KKOH – once the undisputed heavyweight champion – has been losing quality steadily for several years. The start of the decline happened in the late 90’s when Rusty Humphries arrived in Reno. This event sparked KOH’s Dark Ages, which they still have not recovered from. Another painful page from their book is “Reno’s Morning News with Ross and Monica”. This show consists of < 5 minutes of news per 1 hour of programming, endless crude and unfunny jokes and plenty of loud, fake laughing by Monica Jaye. I believe the largest nail in the coffin is Michael Savage. There are a few things keeping life in the coffin, which, unfortunately, is still nailed shut. Limbaugh and Hannity obviously buoy the station to keep their ratings high. The recent addition of Mark Levin is odd because they are only giving him one hour in the evening in order to extend Coast to Coast AM to 10pm instead of 11pm. Is Coast to Coast AM so incredibly popular that it needed to be bumped up? More on Levin in a moment…

KKFT is the station that could pull away a huge portion of KOH’s audience with the exception of the Hannity and Limbaugh hours. They have Dr. Laura, Laura Ingraham, Dennis Miller and Bill O’Reilly. Bill O’Reilly used to be on KOH, but for some strange reason KOH and KKFT traded Mark Levin and Bill O’Reilly. It was a good move for KKFT, but KOH hurt themselves by cutting Mark Levin down to an hour after the switch. KKFT recently brought Glenn Beck back into the lineup, which is probably their best move yet; however, the benefit of adding Glenn Beck is countered by the stupidity of removing him in the first place. As KKFT continues to target the Reno market they will undoubtedly impact KOH’s ratings significantly. Their weak signal in the Washoe Valley will be a big problem, but hopefully their continued success will allow them the grow into a more powerful signal, or perhaps even make the move to Reno.

My final comment pertains to drive-time listening. During the morning commute you can choose between Laura Ingraham and Ross and Monica. During the evening commute you can choose between Lars Larson and Bill Manders. The morning choice is a no-brainer. In the evening I think Lars Larson is a clear winner. I think Bill Manders is a good guy (definitely very genuine), but I just am not entertained by him. I’ve always wondered why KOH doesn’t put a stronger personality on during the commute times when they undoubtedly have the most listeners? For KOH it’s clear – by providing local programming during those hours they can increase their ad revenue by playing more ads. They are not restricted the way they would be by a national show. The perfect morning drive was when Glenn Beck was on KKFT during the morning drive. Why they took him off I’ll never know.

So, that’s basically why our market is weak in Reno. A little more shuffling and I think you’ll see KKFT become the powerhouse that KKOH is not ceasing to be.

A Glorious State

The purpose of this blog is twofold. First, this blog allows me to express opinion that I dare not put on my family-friendly blog. Second, I plan to put together a fairly extensive collection of Nevada photographs. This includes scenery, structures, wildlife and more.

This is seemingly a poor combination – a nice resource mixed with my mindless ramblings; however, I am master of my domain (so to speak) and thus the ramblings will commence.

My main focus now is to get the stylesheets and links working to my satisfaction, so don’t expect much until that happens.