This sponsored “news” story profiles KHIL-AM in Willcox Arizona as typical of the decline of America’s rural radio, which the story blamed primarily on the 1996 Telecom Reform Act (without mentioning that Bill Clinton pushed for it).
Willcox is on I-10 and the Southern Pacific railroad, about 80 miles NE of Tucson. Its population is around 3,500 and declining. About 40% of the residents responding to the census self-identity as Hispanic.
The station was created by singing cowboy Rex Allen, who died in 1999 (probably more important than deregulation in 1996). The station is class D (the smallest type), clustered with 3 other stations. Not mentioned is the AM station now has a “Saving AM radio” FM translator.
On the tower are classic country KHIL-AM, its FM translator, a regional non-commercial FM, a satelite delivered religious station, and a new Classic Hits station started in 2017. Pretty impressive for a town of 3,500.
The story ignores the reason why the man working there has to sleep at the station (which types of people might steal stuff an hour from the Mexican border?). The man running the station clearly doesn’t like classic country music.
Give it a read and let me know your opinion.