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Radio Days: Hot Springs Village radio station promotes family time and pleasure over the air



Hot Springs Village, Arkansas – A typical day at 92.9 KVRE can be best described as half radio, half work, and part hilarious live sitcom.

It operates like a well-oiled machine, as evidenced by the variety of live performances, music, and a bustling front desk.

Enter the Hot Springs Village radio station and you’ll see the man from across the street giving free beef sticks, the postal lady who sings, and the gents who stop by once a week to provide hugs.

The women in the office are often giggling or planning ways to cheer someone up. At that point, you start to realize that the location is just a quick turn away from turning into a school bus full of kids having a good time.

Tom Nichols, the proprietor of the station, drives the bus while maintaining a steady grip on the wheel. A well-known greeting is delivered close by in one of the on-air production booths by a voice that sounds effortless and timeless.

“Good morning where are you calling from?” is how Tom answers every call into his daily morning show, “Ask Your Neighbor,” where listeners call in to ask each other anything from who has moving boxes, if anyone needs a golf cart wheel, where’s the best place for this or that or what is the best horse to bet on in the next race at Oaklawn.

Tom, the proprietor of the station, bobs and weaves with it when it goes on and off. Due to his adaptability, he has been successful in the radio industry for the past 65 years. Congressmen French Hill and Bruce Westerman recently recognized this accomplishment on the floor of the US House of Representatives in Washington, D.C.

“(It was) an honor of a lifetime, a thrill to think going back to a kid who came out of the speech class in Hot Springs High School in 1958 to go to a radio station KFWC and be on the air,” he said.

That child began traveling up and down the Arkansas Airways dial on that day in 1958. Tom recalls most of his stops, if not all of them.

“Stuttgart, Arkansas – KWAK. KBBA in Benton. A station in Pine Bluff, KADL. A 5000-watt country station, KFOY-TV, KBOO became KZNG,” he recalls, listing off call letters like old friends.

Many things changed, though not always for the better. Tom claimed that a number of the stations he worked for experienced financial difficulties, leading to either his termination or the station’s closure.

The young broadcaster had a strategy in place to continue earning money and appearing on television.

“I’d get up at 4″o’clock in the morning, do a couple hours in the morning, and sell the rest of the time,” he explained.


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