After recent programming shifts that created more opportunities for UNLV students, university radio station KUNV might soon change again. President Len Jessup has requested approval of a management and programming agreement between UNLV and Nevada Public Radio, wherein NVPR would assume management, programming and operation of the station. If approved by the Board of Regents at the December meeting, the partnership would also feature a facility-use agreement for NVPR to utilize Greenspun Hall’s broadcast studio and office space.
According to a UNLV Board of Regents briefing paper, major goals of the partnership, which would last until at least October 2021, include “a significant increase in audience size, elimination of UNLV’s financial responsibility for the operation of the station, an increase in marketing of UNLV activities and programs, and continuity in meeting the academic needs of the university and its students.” The agreement would also provide undergraduate internships and graduate fellowships at the station and training opportunities with NVPR’s broadcast professionals.
“This partnership will provide NVPR an opportunity to address our goal of engaging younger and more diverse individuals in public media production and management,” Nevada Public Radio head Florence Rogers said by email. “Content will better reflect our community when we train, hire and appeal to a younger and more diverse audience.”
Models include a 15-year-old partnership between Pasadena City College and Southern California Public Radio, and a similar one struck between Ohio’s Miami University and Cincinnati Public Radio in 2009. According to the briefing paper, both higher-ed institutions were relieved of the financial responsibility of running their stations and received significant value in promotional underwriting. But the paper also includes arguments against the agreement, including a potential decrease in student opportunities at the station.
“It’s a win-win to create rich educational and paid opportunities for students interested in broadcast and digital media,” Rogers said, anticipating that the partnership will steadily increase opportunities and build a pipeline of talent for local media outlets that will offer more diverse viewpoints to consumers.