The Southern Ute Tribe was one of the earliest pioneers of Native American radio. When KSUT signed on for the first time on June 14, 1976, it was one of only eight tribal stations in the country.
The station came to life as communications service for tribal members. Originally, the signal covered Ignacio and part of the Pine River Valley. Programming was mostly in the Ute language and included cultural affairs, community news, personal messages, traditional Native American music, and rock and popular music.
A growing demand for public radio in the Four Corners presented KSUT with an opportunity. In 1984 the station's board of directors voted to expand the station's broadcast appeal and area. It became an affiliate of both National Public Radio and American Public Radio, and added a variety of diverse music programming to the lineup.
While the station's success as a regional public radio service was apparent, it still needed to serve its original mission as a tribal radio service.
In June of 1998, KSUT returned to its roots by splitting into two signals and launching Southern Ute Tribal Radio. It offers Native American programming five days a week, and simulcasts the other signal, Four Corners Public Radio the remainder of the time. Programming, like the days of its roots, includes culture, news, and both Native American and popular music, as well as special tribal meetings, Ignacio High School sports, and other events. Tribal Radio is an affiliate of NativeVoice 1.
Tribal Radio is heard at 91.3 FM in Southwest Colorado, and at 89.7 FM in Northwest New Mexico.
Four Corners Public Radio serves 14 communities in the Four Corners, including: Durango, Silverton, Cortez, Mancos, and Pagosa Springs, Colorado; Aztec, Bloomfield and Farmington, New Mexico; and parts of northeast Arizona and southeast Utah. The station airs news, eclectic music, entertainment, storytelling, and documentary programming, and is an affiliate of NPR, the BBC, American Public Media, and Public Radio International. KSUT is the Four Corners' home for popular public radio programs such as Morning Edition, All Things Considered, Fresh Air, Wait Wait Don't Tell Me!, This American Life, and others.
The station broadcasts from studios in Ignacio, Colorado.
KSUT is an independent, non-profit organization governed by a Board of Directors, and is not a tribally-owned station or service.
The KSUT Board of Directors meets on the first Tuesday of every month at 5:30 P.M. at the Southern Ute Cultural Center and Museum, 77 County Road 517, Ignacio, CO. Meetings are open to the public, unless prior notice is given to allow members to conduct confidential station business.