Highway Stations to merge with Las Vegas company
BARSTOW • The Highway Stations — famous for providing travelers to and from Las Vegas with radio entertainment across the barren Mojave Desert — has joined forces with the publisher of a Las Vegas entertainment magazine.
Kirk Anderson, president of Highway Radio, said that the radio stations joined forces with What’s On magazine in June or July, and ownership negotiations are in the works.
What’s On and the Highway Stations already had the same mission — providing an advertising market for Las Vegas tourists.
What’s On magazine provides travel and entertainment news catered to Las Vegas visitors, and the Highway Stations were created with Las Vegas visitors are their key advertising target. Once a staple in Las Vegas hotel rooms, Anderson said that the company will begin distributing the magazine at tourist stops throughout the High Desert.
With the pending merger, the radio station and the magazine can use a joint sales force.
“It’s a cool marketing opportunity,” said Anderson.
Anderson said that any jobs lost at the Highway Stations were not related to the anticipated merger.
Former Vice President and General Manager Tim Anderson (no relation), says that isn’t the case, and that he was let go recently along with a Highway Stations employee from the station’s now-closed Los Angeles office.
“I was told to cut as much as I could and I couldn’t cut any more,” said Tim. “I was cut because of the pending merger.
Tim said that he enjoyed his 18 years with the station and that the new management has a “different, more aggressive style.”
In August of 2009 the Highway Stations cut at least 10 employees — including announcers and disc jockeys — in a cost-cutting move that moved on-air news announcing to Maryland.
Kirk Anderson said that the Highway Station studios will stay in Barstow, as they have their FCC license there. Nine towers beam Highway Radio signals to drivers from the High Desert to Las Vegas.
The Highway Radio concept has its roots as an advertising vehicle for Howard Hughes’ Las Vegas Casinos, and operates three Barstow stations: The Highway (98.1), The Drive (96.9 FM), and Highway Country (107.3 FM).
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