Wednesday, November 14, 2007

Las Vegas Talk Radio

"I'll tell you 'bout Texas Radio and the Big Beat
Soft drivin', slow and mad, like some new language ..."

- Jim Morrison (The Doors) from the LA Woman Album: "The Wasp (Texas Radio And The Big Beat)"

So I'm inspired by Jim Morrison's poetry to tell you 'bout Las Vegas Radio and "The Big Talk".

There are a small group of AM radio stations in Las Vegas Valley that compete for the talk radio market, but I only listen to two of them on a regular basis: KDWN (AM 720) and KXNT (AM 840).

A small group of talk radio host's voices speak into local Las Vegas microphones --- none of whom that I know of are left of center on the political spectrum. I would really like to hear the progressive voice here in Vegas, but nobody seems to command a show very long with a liberal agenda. Many "Hannitys" but few "Colmes". Why is this? Is continuously bashing Bush and the war not that entertaining? I have yet to understand why the people on Air America and such have such a limited audience. ( I look at their lineup and do not recognize one personality. ) But at the risk of getting into arguments about bringing back the Fairness Doctrine ( which I adamantly oppose ) I will just say that I still like hearing both sides of every issue whenever possible, but would still not want to constrain radio stations to be forced to give "equal time" to all issues. This is clearly against the American ideals of free expression ( no matter what Harry Reid & Hillary Clinton said recently about it! ). Let the free market and the first amendment have their way. ( If you are looking for a liberal voice, I personally think public radio already has it. )

My favorite local talents on these two stations consist of the weekday morning slot ( Heidi Harris on KDWN and Alan Stock on KXNT ) and weekday afternoons ( syndicated Jerry Doyle show on KDWN ).

Honorable mention goes to the legendary Art Bell, lately non-political or apolitical but with obvious libertarian overtones; officially retired in Pahrump, Nevada; but occasionally filling in for George Noorey on the late night syndicated Coast To Coast AM show ( which can be heard locally on KDWN 10PM - 2 AM). I am and have always been a fan of Art's, going back to the days when he broadcast from the KDWN studios on the second floor of the Plaza Hotel in downtown Las Vegas.

I'm sure I may have missed your favorite local radio personality, but that is what comments are for!

The story about how KDWN evolved from a quaint locals call in format to the conservative corporate behemoth it is today can be found in this wikipedia article.

The Local Lineup

  • Heidi Harris

    "Heidi Harris is a conservative radio talk host and columnist based in Las Vegas, Nevada. The 'Heidi Harris Show' airs weekday mornings on NewsTalk 720 KDWN 8:30AM-Noon ( A former professional singer, she began her radio career at KDWN in Las Vegas in 1998, moving to KXNT in 1999. Between 1999 and 2006, she hosted her own show, then teamed up with another KXNT host (Alan Stock) to create a new morning show. During their five year collaboration, the show won an Electronic Media Award, and the team was listed on Talkers' Magazine's "Heavy Hundred" (100 Most Influential Talk Show Hosts in America) three years in a row. In 2006, she left KXNT to resume her solo career.

    Heidi has appeared as a guest and commentator numerous times on the Fox News Channel and MSNBC. Her monthly column appears in Liberty Watch Magazine."

  • Alan Stock

    "Mornings on KXNT, Alan Stock discuss the issues of the day from a conservative perspective. Alan Stock recently appeared in Talkers Magazine as one of the 100 most important people in the talk radio market. Stock's co-host was Kerri Kasem until August 2007, who had replaced Heidi Harris in 2006."

  • Jerry Doyle

    "Weekdays from 3PM-6PM ET (12PM-3PM PT), Jerry Doyle airs the popular Jerry Doyle Show on the Talk Radio Network, though the show airs at different times in different markets. He differs from other conservative talk show hosts, such as Sean Hannity and Rush Limbaugh, in that his focus is not exclusively political.

    On his radio show he coined the phrase "Grapefruit Mentality", defined as the ability for the public to become interested in an object or person just because the media is paying attention to it. As an example, Doyle explains if there was a segment on the news every night with a television camera pointed at a grapefruit, people will eventually travel great distances just to see the grapefruit that was on TV.

    Other examples Doyle uses of Grapefruit Mentality are the images of the Virgin Mary on a grilled cheese and another Virgin Mary sighting on an overpass in Chicago. It can also refer to the public's fascination with celebrity court cases such as Michael Jackson and Robert Blake."

(All quotes above are from Wikipedia articles. )


Anonymous said...

On November 16-20, a daily web-travel series will be coming through Las Vegas. It's one of many stops on a two month roadtrip, called The Smart Show. While we already know and love the famous landmarks in Vegas, we're on a mission to find out what's "smart" about Vegas...something unusual and off-the beaten path. We'd love to get some insider tips on what makes the city so great.

We’re trying to get the word out as much as possible, so if you or your audience has any advice for us, you can email or visit and tell us where to go and what to see. We appreciate any wisdom you could impart.


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