Pirate Laureate of the High Desert Outback of the American Dream


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The Barbwire's Silver Anniversary
Barbwire by Barbano moved to Nevada's Daily Sparks Tribune on Aug. 12, 1988, and has originated in them parts ever since.
Whom to blame: How a hall-of-famer's hunch birthed the Barbwire in August of 1987
Tempus fugit.

   Everybody knows the dice are loaded.
Everybody rolls with their fingers crossed.
   Everybody knows the war is over.
Everybody knows the good guys lost.
   Everybody knows the fight was fixed.
The poor stay poor, the rich get rich.
   That's how it goes. Everybody knows.

Everybody knows the scene is dead
   But there's gonna be a meter on your bed
That will disclose
   What everybody knows.

— Leonard Cohen

Lamenting the loss of Mr. Rogers' Neighborhood
Barbwire by Barbano / Expanded from the 12-5-2013 Sparks Tribune
Updated 12-12-2013, 2-2-2018

HAT TRICK: Barbwire wins 3rd straight Nevada Press Association First-Place Award


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Watch for show times. Help us get the word out.

Support the project at

Updated 8-30-2011
Reruns on Carson-Dayton 226

Additional programs
on Boulder City cable. Go to and then
go to the BCTV link.

If Reform Fails: Health Care, Jobs and Unions — new power to the people on the public airwaves

The program premiers were available to every television set in the region because of a high-mileage media hybrid.

The shows appeared on both commercial and community stations. The non-corporate entity produced the events, commercial TV greatly expanded distribution.

Thus began an ongoing series of sane public interest programs which generate both entertaining heat and more than a little light.

Please spread the word and consider contributing to the cause online at ReSurge.TV.

You may also take the public option known as the U.S. Postal Service and send a check or money order to ReSurge.TV, P.O. Box 10034, Reno NV 89510.

Your contribution will help fund the distribution as well as ongoing efforts at developing new media, including a regional, non-corporate community radio station and the return of community television to Reno-Sparks-Washoe.

You are present at the creation of what I hope can become a new media model where the programming accurately reflects what's happening on the ground and the media impact is powerful enough to forcefully pass the message upward.


Be well. Raise hell.


Click here for selected on-demand re-runs from the 2009, 2010 and 2011 Barbwire.TV archives

15-year overnight success

Daily Sparks Tribune 2-10-2008

The Barbwire's Greatest Hits
Highlights from radio days
mp3 file

HAT TRICK: Barbwire wins 3rd straight Nevada Press Association First-Place Award


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TV mogul Jim Rogers is an interesting guy.

In 1998, he donated $87.5 million to the University of Arizona law school, his alma mater.

He served without pay as Nevada university system chancellor and has been an outspoken critic of the way we starve education.

He ordered legal research showing that Nevada is extremely vulnerable to being successfully sued for shirking its constitutional duty to provide for its schools.

Using his legal expertise, he successfully challenged the broadcast licenses of several stations, including what became KRNV TV-4 in the 1980s.

Rogers recently stated that he has yielded LV rights to the hyper-lucrative Jeopardy and Wheel of Fortune game shows and will use the time to expand Gomorrah South news coverage.

Then came the announcement about his sorta-sale of Reno's KRNV TV-4 to megaraptor Sinclair Broadcast Group.

With rare exception, the Federal Communications Commission limits ownership to one station per market.

Sinclair already owns Fox11 and "operates" (remember that word) MyTV21.

Sinclair did an end-around by acquiring KRNV's "non-license assets" for $26 million and contracting "to operate or provide sales services to the station."

That's a distinction without a difference for consumers.

Sinclair now controls a dozen local over-the air digital channels, half unused.

TV-4 generated about $5 million in sales over the past year, which may reveal one reason for the deal. Perhaps Mr. Rogers saw flat income numbers which haven't much improved under the mythical economic recovery and decided he had better uses for the money—like more news programming in Las Vegas.

Sinclair says it will drop KTVU-Oakland's 10 O'Clock News in favor of expanding local coverage.

The Bay Area program, which airs on both TV-11 and TV-21, is touted as the number one late news in this market.

The current TV-11/21 local news show is rudimentary by the expensive standards of competitors but has shown more integrity than some.

Metastatical Statisticals

Ready for Trump TV? Inside Sinclair Broadcasting’s Plot to Take Over Your Local News
Its mix of terrorism alerts, right-wing commentary and “classic propaganda” could soon reach 3/4 of the US.
By Andy Kroll/Mother Jones Oct.-Nov. 2017

How Sinclair Broadcasting puts a partisan tilt on trusted local news
By William Brangham/ PBS NewsHour 10-10-2017

Top-down Democrats haven't learned
By Dennis Myers / Reno News & Review 8-10-2017

More Faux than Fox? Corporate octopus Sinclair moves to dominate Nevada and U.S. television
By Dennis Myers / Reno News & Review 8-3-2017

Moonhowlers who expected the Fox affiliate's news department to emulate the racist demagoguery of the Fox cable channel have been delightfully disappointed.

Well aware that it covers the region from the Pacific to the High Desert Outback of the American Dream, the Oakland station does a respectable amount of regional news. I'll miss it.

I worry about the fate of KRNV's longrunning commentary shows.

Sam Shad's Nevada Newsmakers has originated there for two decades.

Jon Ralston's program has done well following the station's 6:00 p.m. newscast.

Rogers hisself does a five-minute daily interview at noon.

KRNV news went tabloid about a year ago and has shown some aggressive chops where Channels 8 and 2 are limp by management decision.

With the notable exception of Channel 4, local TV stations air the absolute minimum in public affairs programming.

When they do, it's intentionally bland. Tune in at 6:00 a.m. any Sunday.

As I noted last week, I have been getting hot and cold running news leads about stuff the legit media won't touch, largely because corporations are more risk-averse than NFL coaches.

Sinclair controls 164 stations in 77 markets nationwide.

Local TV now has almost no Nevada roots.

Which is why I'm working to bring back a community channel.

Stay tuned.

MINOR FOOTNOTE: Channel 3 in Las Vegas endorsed my candidacy for Congress in 1984 with Mr. Rogers delivering the on-air editorial.

I have never met or spoken with the gentleman to this day.

Be well. Raise hell. / Esté bien. Haga infierno. (Pardon my Spanglish.)


SUPPORT THE RETURN OF COMMUNITY TV. Support the cause at Barbwire.TV by putting your money where my mouth is.

Keep sending show suggestions.

Current frontrunners include (pardon the pun) wild mustangs as canned goods, educationi-Guns and gay Olympics.

"Media is the plural of mediocre."
                              — Jimmy Breslin

  Please forward additional ideas or vote on the above.

  I encourage you to donate to the cause at Barbwire.TV/

The medium that shapes public opinion needs at least one refuge where it is not filtered through the distorted green eye shades of prissy corporate accountants for whom profit is the only priority; where self-censorship is the journalist's normal work environment and where all sins of omission are tacitly encouraged and forgiven with the wave of a balance sheet.

This is important.

HONOR YOUR DON. Keep sending comments supporting legendary Nevada photographer Don Dondero (1920-2003) for the Nevada Press Association Hall of Fame.

His life's work appeared worldwide, including the Tribune and most probably every newspaper in Nevada.

Enlist in the campaign to install Big Don.

Please send me your memories and endorsements via e-mail or to P.O. Box 10034, Reno NV 89510.

The Barbwire got the late Reno Gazette-Journal columnist Guy Richardson elected last year.

Let's go for a repeat.

Hope you and yours enjoyed a Happy Thanksgibleting.

Be well. Raise hell. / Esté bien. Haga infierno. (Pardon my Spanglish.)

Andrew Barbano is a 45-year Nevadan, chair of the Nevada César Chávez Committee, producer of Nevada's annual César Chávez Day celebration, first vice-president and political action chair of the Reno-Sparks NAACP, labor/consumer/civil rights advocate, member of Communications Workers of America Local 9413/AFL-CIO and editor of and As always, his opinions are strictly his own. Check local listings for other Nevada cable systems. E-mail Barbwire by Barbano has originated in the Daily Sparks Tribune since 1988.


Smoking Guns...

"Sinclair Broadcast Group announced that it closed on the acquisition of the non-license assets of NBC affiliate KRNV Reno, Nev. (DMA 107), from Intermountain West for $26 million, giving it a triopoly in the market." ( 11-25-2013)

"...Because the license was not included, the deal does not require FCC approval. Sinclair has already closed on the deal. However, according to one station valuation expert, in deals in which assets are split from the license, the FCC likes to see 20% of the total valuation allocated to the license. That suggests the station is worth around $32 million. In Reno, Sinclair also owns KRXI, the Fox affiliate, and operates KAME, an MNT outlet, under a local marketing agreement. The price represents a 5.2x multiple of the average 2012-2013 cash flow including synergies, Sinclair said...." (ibid)

EDITOR'S NOTE: $26 million divided by 5.2 = $5 million. As to what such "synergies" might be, it may mean eliminating duplication between the three stations and is often a euphemism for firing people.

"Last year was a political year which greatly increases income. I would guess on the high side at $20 million for the year. Honestly, I'm pretty sure it's less," stated a longtime local broadcast executive.

"I am convinced that local television stations would cease to exist without the regular infusion of millions in political advertising," the old pro added.

...and more ammo..

Nevada Day Required Reading
The Lady in the Red Dress
The Barbwire's classic Nevada Day column written in 1983
The compleat history of the Silver State in 500 words

Sparks Tribune 10-31-2013 and previously

Barbano on the Barbwire plots new TV season
Barbwire Special Web Edition / 10-21-2013

Barbwire: Nevada not really a state
No, we were not Battle Born in Kenya
Top 10 reasons Nevada lives in the 19th Century

Barbwire by Barbano / Expanded from the 10-17-2013 Sparks Tribune

Low-income penalty: Nevada socks it to the working poor
BARBANO: Nevada is one big company town
Dennis Myers / Reno News & Review 10-10-2013

State of Health
National health care comes up against a very sick state. WHAT'S IN IT FOR US?
Dennis Myers / Reno News & Review 10-10-2013

USA at crossroads: New Deal or new Confederacy?
Barbwire by Barbano / Expanded from the 10-10-2013 Sparks Tribune
UPDATE—>Bill Moyers: Shutdown is simply secession by other means

We Don't Need No Education
The continuing Barbwire series

...and more ammo yet

The Post-Dated Recession: Pay me now or pay me later
Barbwire by Barbano / Expanded from the 9-6-2012 Daily Sparks Tribune

The Post-dated Recession
By Joshua H. Silavent / Daily Sparks Tribune / 5-3-2011

Union decline and rising inequality in two charts
by Colin Gordon
Economic Policy Institute / 6-5-2012

Used in
journalist Mark Robison's extensive Hard Labor: Nevada unions tout role in helping workers, firms, economy (Sunday 2 Sept. 2012 Reno Gazette-Journal, page one, Reno Rebirth section of the print edition). Union men Jim Burrell, Paul McKenzie and Guy Louis Rocha did the movement proud. Not included in the RGJ online edition.

The Barbwire Labor Day column
Reno Gazette-Journal / 9-3-2012

Nevada Press Assn. Better Newspaper Contest
HAT TRICK: Barbwire takes first place three years in a row.

The winning entries
Suing for Schools: The 20-year shuck

Expanded from the 2-21-2010 Daily Sparks Tribune

Click here to view the show on your desktop

RED flags flying low over Sparks
Expanded from the 1-10-2010 Daily Sparks Tribune

The wrath of self-righteous racism
Expanded from the 11-8-2009 Daily Sparks Tribune

The campaign against forcibly-paid newspaper obituaries
And they wonder why the newspaper business is dying?


The Dean's List

   The Dean of Reno Bloggers could very well be Andrew Barbano, self-described "fighter of public demons," who started putting his "Barbwire" columns online in 1996 and now runs 10 sites.
RENO NEWS & REVIEW, 11-9-2006

The 2009 first-place Nevada Press Association award winners
Tony the Tiger & the flaky NFL
Barbwire / 11-30-2008
Deregulation is never having to say you're sorry
Barbwire / 8-3-2008
Nevada: A good place to visit, but do you want to live here?
Barbwire / 6-15-2008 | U-News | Bulletins + Almanac
Casinos Out of Politics (COP) | Sen. Joe Neal
Guinn Watch | Deciding Factors
| BallotBoxing.US | Barbwire Oilogopoly Archive
Barbwire Nevada Corporate Welfare Archive
Annual César Chávez Celebration
War Rooms:
Banks, Cabbies, Cabela's/cabellyup, Cable TV, Cancer Kids/Mining, Energy, Food, Health Care, Resurge.TV/consumers, Starbucks, Wal-Mart
We Don't Need No Education
Search this site | In Search Of...


Copyright © 1982-2013 Andrew Barbano

Andrew Barbano is a 45-year Nevadan, editor of and; and former chair of the City of Reno's Citizens Cable Compliance Committee, He is producer of Nevada's annual César Chávez Day celebration and serves as first vice-president, political action chair and webmaster of the Reno-Sparks NAACP. As always, his opinions are strictly his own. E-mail

Barbwire by Barbano moved to Nevada's Daily Sparks Tribune on Aug. 12, 1988, and has originated in them parts ever since.
Whom to blame: How a hall-of-famer's hunch birthed the Barbwire in August of 1987
Tempus fugit.

Site composed and maintained by Deciding Factors, CWA 9413 signatory

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