Canku Ota

(Many Paths)

An Online Newsletter Celebrating Native America


June 30, 2001 - Issue 39



KSUT Radio Celebrates 25 Years of Musical Diversity, Goes Global


 by Matt Joyce Durango Herald Staff Writer - June 13, 2001

photo - KSUT DeeJayHaving grown from a small signal serving only Ignacio and Bayfield, public radio station KSUT-FM will go worldwide over the Internet on Thursday in celebration of its 25th anniversary.

"One of my wishes is to be able to be heard off the tip of South America, and now it goes beyond that," said Eddie Box Jr., a member of the stationís board of directors since its first year. The new Webcast will be accessible at the stationís Web site, .

"Starting next week, anyone can hear us anywhere," said Beth Warren, radio station manager. "To me, thatís a real radio milestone."

Box said the public deserves "a great big thanks" for its help in the stationís growth.

"All of you out there have been a part of it, and all of you deserve a pat on the back for making this possible," he said.

The Southern Ute Indian Tribe started KSUT on June 14, 1976, to improve communication within the tribe and provide American Indian programming, according to a KSUT news release. In 1984, the stationís directors decided to expand its signal into the region, broaden its programming and solicit business support from outside the reservation.

While still located on the tribal campus, KSUTís transmitters now reach across the Four Corners, from La Plata County to Pagosa Springs, Cortez, Northern New Mexico and parts of Arizona and Utah, said Stasia Lanier, communications and music director for the station. The station signals, on various frequencies, now reach four states and 250,000 potential listeners.

The Four Corners signal includes locally generated music shows and nationally syndicated programs such as National Public Radioís "Morning Edition" and "All Things Considered."

In 1998, KSUT restarted the Southern Ute signal for tribal listeners on the reservation. The Southern Ute Community Radio broadcasts Ute-language programs, traditional American Indian music, some Southern Ute tribal meetings and Ignacio sporting events.

"The original mission was no longer emphasized as much," Lanier said. "Adding KSUT Community Radio was a way to go back to what KSUT started as."

Warren said the stationís membership has grown from 400 in 1992 to 3,000 at present. While the tribe provides the stationís headquarters and some administrative services, it no longer supports any of the stationís $500,000 annual budget, she said.

About one-third of the stationís financial support comes from business underwriters, Warren said. The number of business supporters has increased from 30 in 1992 to 140 today, she said.

In addition to membership dues and business support, the station is supported by federal funds from the Corporation for Public Broadcasting and foundation grants, she said.

Box, 56, said he didnít know back in 1976 that the station would grow as much as it has.

"It may have crossed my mind, but back then it was a new thing," he said. "Iím happy where itís at now."

map - Ignacio, CO

Maps by Travel


KUTE, Inc. (operating KSUT) is a Colorado 501-(C)(3) non-profit corporation, and a community licensee of the Southern Ute Indian Tribe. Financial support comes from membership contributions, the business community, the Corporation for Public Broadcasting, special events and foundation grants. The station is governed by the KUTE, Inc. Board of Directors.




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