New owner looks to take K-MTN to new heights |

New owner looks to take K-MTN to new heights

Susan Wood
Jim Grant / Tahoe Daily Tribune / K-MTN owner Michael McKinney, left, and project manager Brandianne Ledbetter pose in the K-MTN studio.

K-MTN, a local Tahoe television station, dodged a bullet in June when Michael McKinney took over the operation after LiveWire Media scaled it down with KTHO-AM 590 radio. It would have gone off the air otherwise.

With his wife, Michelle, as co-owner handling administrative duties, McKinney moved the station to the Lake Tahoe Boulevard location near Tahoe Keys where Tahoe Bike Shop once stood. The building comes with history like K-MTN.

“The first thing we wanted to do is get back on Highway 50,” McKinney said. When LiveWire Media bought the station from Mike Conway, it ran the television unit at the Johnson Boulevard location.

The 1,700-square-foot space is not without character. Log cabin walls add to the charm of the place, where McKinney and host and project manager Brandianne Ledbetter found newspapers in the wall from the 1940s. Longtime landlord Helen Edgin, who runs the center, donated an old phone and wagon wheel to the structure. McKinney made them a part of the studio.

But more than the look inside, McKinney said he wants to get out with cameras and show life in Tahoe, whether it involves sailing or skiing. He hopes to plug in road conditions and construction schedules as needed.

Among other improvements, McKinney plans to have a mural painted on one wall, install a small cafe, sell merchandise, conduct tours of Tahoe’s one television station, negotiate reports with ABC stations out of Reno and Sacramento and establish cameras back at the ski resorts.

“We don’t want it to be a television station. We want it to be a destination,” said McKinney, who returned to Tahoe after a stint at Pismo Beach.

The destination experience is made by its beefed up Web site at The station, which can be reached at (530) 541-8686, is located at 2277 Lake Tahoe Blvd.

K-MTN Schedule

7 – 8 a.m.: Live from the lake

8 – 9 a.m.: Take a hike

9 – 10 a.m.: Panels and traffic cam

10 – 11 a.m.: Aspen real estate show

11 a.m.: Panels and traffic cam

1 – 2 p.m.: Aspen real estate show

2 – 4 p.m.: Panels and traffic cam

4 – 5 p.m.: Live from the lake

5 – 6 p.m.: Live from the lake

6 – 10 p.m.: Panels and traffic cam

10 – 11 p.m.: Aspen real estate show

11 p.m. – midnight: Panels and traffic cam

— Schedule is subject to change

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