At a time when some Alternative stations are being shut down, Tim Pohlman & Chris Maguire's Riviera Broadcast Group did their homework and saw the opportunity for a new one in Vegas – and it's generating quite a local buzz. Why? In true NeoRadio fashion, Area 108 is instilled with listener-generated values that had been missing from local radio. Congratulations to GM Ken Christensen, VP/Programming JJ Jeffries and their enthusiastic team – including our own Dave Beasing – on Area 108 being named ‘Best Radio Station' by Las Vegas Weekly's annual readers' poll. Not bad for a station that signed on only four months ago. This write-up in the magazine describes the spirit of NeoRadio better than we could, from a listener's perspective:
|Essay: Best Radio Station
Area 108 (KVGS 107.9-FM)
It's easy to be disappointed by radio; the people running the medium do most of the work for you. I mean, the worst thing about the cynical way Jack FM dresses up its tepid eclecticism as boomer-friend rebellion-lite ("We play what we want") is the fact that no one else even bothers. For proof, listen to almost any station, just not while using heavy machinery.
That said, aren't we sometimes too easily disappointed? Like the postal service, radio is an anachronism we're quick to dismiss but is, when you think about it, sorta remarkable: touch a button and your car fills with music. Free music. Even if that music sucks, it's still better than the sound of you singing a cappella. So it's a bonus that Area 108 doesn't suck, not even close. Whoever programs the music has terrific judgment and understands how a really good old song—say, R.E.M's "Radio Free Europe"—can zing unexpectedly into your day, loaded with forgotten memories and associations. Really bad (but frequently popular) old songs have the opposite effect, cheapening those associations, so a sure hand on the playlist is essential. (Yeah, I could download "Radio Free Europe," but there's something kinda lame about deliberately reliving those memories; it works better by surprise.) The same sensibility extends to the new songs 108 airs. Damn good deal, if you ask me.
Still, some hepcats are said to be disappointed by Area 108—not edgy enough, whatever that means. Give them no credence. That's just the patronizing connoisseurship that hipsters cultivate instead of taste. Area 108 is the best station in town, flat out and going away, for this reason: They don't play what they want, Jack; they play what I want. To request a song, call 732-1079.
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- Is It Time For The Music Industry To Write Radio A “Dear Genre” Letter? - December 4, 2023