Capital Campaign Phase II: Program Expansion

Jun 22, 2018

Phase II - Program Expansion

Local News & Public Affairs

The production and presentation of quality, in-depth and relevant regional news and public affairs programming is an important need in the Four Corners region. But, providing for this is a formidable task.

KSUT understands its central role as the regional resource for national and international news as well as event and emergency information. It also is clear that expanded news and public affairs programming is a next key step in achieving the organization’s strategic vision for the future. Partnering with existing local news providers will allow for balanced coverage of issues and events from all of the communities that KSUT serves.

Local news informs, engages, and draws a community together. As other media outlets narrow their scope and reduce local coverage, KSUT is working to expand the breadth of local news and give voice to multiple perspectives. 

We envision:

• A Talk of the Region program where divergent viewpoints on topics important to us and our region are discussed and debated

• Weekly talk-shows that focus on the arts, non-profit services and events

• A forum where elected officials and community leaders discuss their priorities and projects

• A venue for giving the Four Corners a voice by participating in important regional and statewide conversations

• Drawing on and highlighting individuals in the area who offer a wealth of knowledge, insight and life experience to guide community dialogue Guiding Principles

• To be a trusted source for independent, fact based, objective news

• To focus on news programming that local public radio listeners value such as rich, in-depth material that provides context and connection across the region

• To develop and support a news team that becomes expert in its knowledge of the subjects covered

• To integrate the public affairs and news department with other KSUT programming, providing a seamless, listening experience

• To provide a balance in our programming, ensuring that all points of view are presented for the listener to develop their own understanding

• To be held to a higher standard than other media outlets who have a clear political bias or agenda

• To maintain a clear firewall between underwriting and news reporting


In order to assure sustainability, KSUT's local news and public affairs department will operate on the following principles:

• Build on the centralized programming resources of National Public Radio, Public Radio International, American Public Media, Public Radio Exchange, Native Voice One and the BBC

• Collaborate with existing local sources of news production from the community KSUT serves, such as the Durango Herald, Pagosa Sun, Farmington Times and Cortez Journal

• Participate in the Rocky Mountain Community Radio Exchange including utilizing and building on CapCov providing coverage of Colorado Congressional actions

• Secure foundation grants for the coverage of specific topics of interest such as health care, education, the environment and the arts

• Target underwriting of local news, public affairs and feature stories

• Designated membership donations, major gifts and planned giving

Staying Relevant in the Digital Age

Creating a forum for the discussion of important and relevant topics is meaningless if no one engages in the conversation. KSUT is committed to stay current with the array of technologies available to people to access and participate in civil dialogue. The multi-faceted plan for community engagement will include utilizing existing methods such as call-in programs, internet podcasts and online forums while embracing new and emerging technologies as they are developed with devices such as smart phones, tablets and wearable technology.

Phase II: Local News & Public Affairs

Goal: $375,000 for three-year pilot

Timeline: 2019-2021

Signal Expansion

Despite KSUT’s broad coverage in the Four Corners, there are still communities that cannot access our programming, including the Ute Mountain Ute tribe.  KSUT has been working for years to overcome the geographic barriers that separate the two Ute sister tribes by placing a transmitter on Sleeping Ute Mountain. KSUT has recently secured broadcast licenses and transmission equipment to realize our vision to enhance and expand our service to underserved rural communities, improving our reach within Montezuma County, Colorado, and to the Navajo Nation in northern New Mexico.

Phase II: Signal Expansion

Goal: $225,000

Timeline: 2018

Tribal radio—where our past meets the future

KSUT was one of just eight Tribal radio stations when it was founded in the mid-1970’s. It’s original mission: to be of service to the Southern Ute Indian Tribe in disseminating information and providing access to Native culture, songs and dance to the Southern Ute Tribal membership. 

Tribal Radio Today

To this day, KSUT Tribal Radio continues to fulfill this mission and more, expanding the terrestrial signal to reach over 30,000 listeners and Native communities living outside of the Southern Ute reservation including the Navajo and Jicarilla Nations of Northern New Mexico, as well as the Ute Mountain Ute Tribe of Southwest Colorado. KSUT Tribal Radio was one of the first Native radio stations to broadcast via internet streaming providing a connection home for Tribal members living outside the area and exposure to Southern Ute cultural programming to anyone in the world. With the development of the Tribal Media Center, KSUT will continue to be an innovator and leader in Native broadcasting, broadening its circle of influence throughout Native America.

Tribal Media Center

The development of a Tribal Media Center, a key component of KSUT’s comprehensive plan, will build on the last 40+ years of experience as an invaluable service to Native Americans in our region. There are well over 500 Native American tribes identified in the United States, the vast majority of which don’t have a tribal radio station offering access to important Tribal news and information, as well as their rich oral and musical histories. The KSUT Tribal Media Center will offer broadcast and technical training and support to members of Native communities who hold a similar vision of sustaining their culture through the medium of broadcasting. 

Continuing the Legacy

The Tribal Media Center is envisioned as a Native-focused media facility, with diverse capabilities:

• State of the art broadcast training ground for tribal representatives and Native media organizations from across Indian Country

• Cultural preservation projects including language preservation initiatives

• Performance and recording studio for production of professional, high quality recordings of contemporary and traditional Native artists

• Safe storage of oral history and other audio archives

Phase II: Tribal Media Center

Goal: $135,000

Timeline: 2019