KSUT Now Broadcasting from New Media Center

3/24/2021

They did it. KSUT Public Radio and its supporters raised $1.5 million to match a $1 million challenge grant from the Southern Ute Indian Tribe to build a modern media center that will allow the station to expand local news and public affairs programming about and for the Four Corners.

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Public radio fans will soon

be hearing more local news

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and public affairs programming

in the Four Corners,

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now that KSUT is broadcasting

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from its new state-of-the-art

media center.

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You're watching the Local News Network

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brought to you by Serious

Texas Bar-B-Q and Fastsigns.

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I'm Wendy Graham Settle.

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For years, KSUT Public

Radio produced programming

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out of a crammed, outdated building

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that once served as a medical clinic

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for the former Indian

Boarding School in Ignacio.

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But cramped quarters and

antiquated equipment,

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limited what kind of programming

the station could offer.

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Now listeners can expect more local news

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and public affairs programming

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as well as an expanded

platform for native voices,

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with KSUT's move into a new

$2.5 million media center.

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Named for local public radio pioneer

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and Southern Ute Tribal

member, Eddie Box Jr.,

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the new center includes two

on-air production studios,

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one for Southern Ute Tribal Radio

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and another for KSUT Public Radio.

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A studio for live performances,

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smaller production studios a

conference and meeting rooms,

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modern offices, and a multimedia center

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that will be used as a training facility

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for Native Americans

interested in media careers.

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Once we moved into the building,

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we knew our next phase of our plan

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was to increase our regional

public affairs, regional news.

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In the old building, we really

had very little capacity,

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very little space, we were

working on top of each other,

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had one little, tiny closet

for a production room.

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We now have three full production rooms,

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where we can produce content,

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meaning, again, local news, regional news,

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public affairs, you know,

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the kind of content that we had

been wanting to do all along

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but just didn't have the

actual physical space

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to pull it off.

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KSUT first broadcast news

and information in 1976

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as an information service for

Southern Ute Tribal members.

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It expanded its reach in 1984,

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when it became a National

Public Radio affiliate

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and organized as an independent nonprofit.

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14 years later, its split its signal

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to offer Native American programming

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as Southern Ute Tribal Radio

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and to offer public radio programming

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as Four Corners Public Radio.

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Plans for new a station have

been in the works for years,

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but it wasn't until the

Southern Ute Indian Tribe

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offered the nonprofit a $1 million

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all-or-nothing challenge grant,

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that fundraising took off.

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Members, listeners,

businesses and foundations,

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contributed the remaining 1.5

million to start construction.

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As a result of its new

expanded facilities,

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the station has partnered

with Rocky Mountain PBS

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to produce a series called "Native Lens",

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and another with native youth

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to gather oral histories from elders

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for a show called "Native Braid".

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Graham says she hopes the media center

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will become a catalyst

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for even more media

partnerships in the future.

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We're all about collaboration

and partnerships,

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it only makes sense in a region where

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it's often referred to

as a news desert, right?

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Where we could use a lot

more, just like you are doing,

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people that are creating local content

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that's by, and produced

from, people in our region.

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And so we're excited about partnering,

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as we're doing with Rocky Mountain PBS.

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We're working on a partnership with

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Fort Lewis College and KDUR,

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and Indigenous Native

American students up there,

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providing training and opportunities

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for them to be heard on an NPR affiliate.

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So, some really exciting things starting

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to happen now that we're in this new home.

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Although Graham led the charge

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to build and open the new media center,

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she says public radio fans are

the true heroes in this saga.

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Community members, businesses

and the Southern Ute Tribe

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really came together in

a incredibly unique way

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to make this happen.

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Southern Ute Tribe Radio

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broadcasts at 91.3 FM in Ignacio,

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89.7 in Northwest New

Mexico in the Navajo Nation,

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and 100.9 on the Ute Mountain

Ute Indian Reservation.

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Four Corners Public Radio broadcasts

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at 90.1 in the Durango area,

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88.1 in Farmington in

Northwest New Mexico,

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and 106.3 in Montezuma County.

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To learn more about KSUT

programming and projects,

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visit ksut.org.

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Thanks for watching this edition

of the Local News Network

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serving Durango, Pagosa

Springs, Telluride,

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Cortez and Montezuma County

and Farmington, New Mexico.

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I'm Wendy Graham Settle.

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