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February 4, 2005

Third Pahrump station is born


Nevada Secretary of State Dean Heller came to Pahrump to launch television station KHMP's new Channel 30 last Thursday. On the air, Heller, right, and radio personality Dr. Eddie Floyd (not pictured) conversed about Nevada politics with Bernie Cusimano, left, and Andy Alberti on the "Andy and Bernie Show."
Pahrump's second television station, KHMP gave birth to Pahrump's third broadcasting frequency, KHMP's Channel 30, with a signal sendoff last week by Nevada Secretary of State Dean Heller.

Currently, the station broadcasts to Pahrump and Amargosa Valley on Channel 62's 10,500 Watts of power. Channel 30 for a while will simulcast the programming found on its sister channel. But plans are to convert Channel 62 to a Spanish language station, especially for the large Spanish-speaking Amargosa Valley audience, said Production Manager Keily Miller in an interview. Channel 30, with the more powerful 45,000 Watts, will be reserved for regular English programming.

"We'll maybe get programming from Spain or South America," said Miller during a break in the party she and husband Vernon Miller threw to celebrate the station's first anniversary in the valley. A Las Vegas station already has the franchise on Mexican programming, she said.

But before Miller gets the programming for the new channel, she said she has to find salespeople to sell the ads that will pay for it. She indicated that people with sales ability in the intangible television ad market are not easy to find.

"I can't sell," she said. "I'm more the manager type."

Miller said that some viewers weren't happy that the station celebrated by preempting regularly scheduled programming to show Heller "pushing the button."

"Where's 'Gunsmoke'?" five disgruntled viewers wanted to know. "Where's 'Hawaii 5-0'?" said others.

"That's the one I love the most," Miller admitted. The syndicated shows are expensive, costing $400 apiece at market prices. But Miller said she is able to negotiate a better price with the seller, Warner Brothers, because no one else in the Pahrump market offers the same programming. Shows are purchased as complete sets, which can be rerun for years when shown on a daily programming schedule.

"Gunsmoke," the longest running drama on television with 226 shows about life in the Old West, has the largest number of single shows, she said. The show ran for 20 years on prime time television from 1955 to 1975.

"Rawhide" is also a popular dramatic show in the Pahrump Valley, Miller said. There were 217 shows of the early Western broadcast from 1959 to 1965, staring a young Clint Eastwood.

"Hogan's Heroes," with its snide humor and clear depiction of good and evil, has seen a comedy show revival, according to TV insiders.

"We're looking for others, too," Miller said.

Beginning "soon," Channel 30 will have a daily newscast of local news. Miller has recently brought on freelancers John Lewis and Randy Hill to produce the news show. Hill will report, edit and produce the show, while Lewis will anchor. Pahrump and Nye County news will be reported for 15 minutes and national and state news for another 15 minutes, she said.

Meanwhile, in the station's front room the party was in progress with a crowd of well-known Pahrumpians, and a few lesser-known people. Bob Fisher, president of the Nevada Broadcasting Association, showed up and commented on the party:

"There was more social time between people on Sunrise City than anything else," Fisher said. "Everybody that was here was sociable to everybody else. It was a nice friendly atmosphere, even though there were a lot of different points of view."

On the "Andy and Bernie Show," Andy Alberti said, "I look at the show as the lighter side of Pahrump. When the guests come on our show, we give them plenty of time to talk and to respond."

Tonight the show plans a no-call-in, special presentation on Pahrump's proposed incorporation. Dave Richards, Pahrump's town manager, and county assessor Sandy Musselman have accepted invitations. Mike Cosgrove, involved in the Mountain Falls development, and several other notable people are planned as well. The show is being billed as a "Roundtable with Pahrump's Leaders," though no Sunrise Cityhood leaders have been invited.

"Everyone wants to know how much it's going to cost. That's the telling thing," said Alberti, who has a personal interest in seeing Sunrise succeed as a member of the Sunrise board of directors.

"I want answers, too," he said. His partner on the show, Cusimano, is opposed to incorporation, Alberti said.

The show is scheduled for airing today at 5 p.m. with a rebroadcast on Saturday at 10 a.m. and 4 p.m. on Sunday.

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