The Business of Radio in Albuquerque

Martha Whitman and Don Davis, co-owners of the OASIS, a smooth jazz radio station in Albuquerque, New Mexico

Whitman and Davis are co-owners of OASIS, a smooth jazz radio station in Albuquerque.

How does one make it in radio today? That’s what Albuquerque Press Women will be discussing at their December 9 lunch meeting.  It begins at 11:45 a.m. at the MCM Elegante, at 2020 Menaul NE.  If you’ve listened to Albuquerque radio over the last couple of decades, you might recognize the name, “Don Davis.” Davis has been in and around Albuquerque broadcasting for years, both working for larger conglomerate stations, even television, and running his own show. He has tried a couple of times to bring a lighter “jazzier” genre to Albuquerque. He has found success, along with wife and business partner, Martha Whitman, co-owners of Albuquerque’s OASIS, a smooth jazz station, which recently widened its reach into the Santa Fe radio market. So how does one – or two – build a successful radio station? Please join us as Davis and Whitman share their recipe for success.

Don’s interest in broadcasting dates back to his childhood fascination of the workings of electricity.  Starting at age 13 with an after-school job at a closed circuit TV company, he then explored the world of TV at Channel 13 before deciding his path was in radio broadcasting.  He honed his broadcasting skills at radio stations including 94 Rock, KKOB-AM AND KKOB FM, K-JOY and others,  and in 1984 purchased his own station, KMIN in Grants, New Mexico.  Don returned to Albuquerque in 1987, and since has built and owned numerous radio stations in Albuquerque and across central and northern New Mexico.  In 1994 Don built another new radio station on FM 101.3, which became known as 101-3 The Horizon.  His love for that style of music has been a longtime passion, and on Valentines’ Day a year and a half ago, Don helped his wife Martha create the radio station known as 103-7 The Oasis.  Then, earlier this year on Valentines’ Day, he updated KOOL FM from oldies to the greatest hits of the 70’s and 80’s, now known as KOOL 94.5.

Martha discovered her love of business while working up the ranks to become the manager of the La Montanita Food Co-op in 1984.  After that came a move to San Francisco for seven years and a career in credit unions, then Martha returned to Albuquerque and now serves as La Montanita’s board president.  All the years of management and accounting experience have translated well into the radio business, particularly as a compliment to Don’s more creative personality.  Much of our success lies in Don’s love of all things radio and Martha’s love of administrative order.  Both roles are critical for entrepreneurial success.

Members of APW who have books to sell have been invited to set up displays before the luncheon.  If you are looking for a Christmas gift, this is an ideal opportunity to find it!

Lunch is $15 for members and $21 for non-members.  Please make your reservation by Dec. 4 by calling 505.720.7821 or emailing