10 Questions with ... Stasia Lanier
August 15, 2016
BRIEF CAREER SYNOPSIS:
I waitressed my way through college in Boston, moved west and spent 10 years working for a music software company in the San Francisco Bay area. I relocated to Durango, CO in 1992 and joined KSUT, where I've worked in different capacities including programming, operations, marketing communications and management for over two decades. Today, I'm happily still here, part-time by choice, as MD and on-air host.
1. How did you become interested in radio?
I grew up listening to New York's WNEW-FM in the '70s, and fell asleep to Alison Steele. I've always loved radio, but didn't do it professionally until I discovered KSUT.
2. Have you always been in public radio?
For the last 23 years.
3. Tell us a bit about the ownership and mission of the station.
KSUT is an independent non-commercial radio station and community licensee affiliated with the Southern Ute Indian Tribe. The station provides national and international news, local public affairs, our signature music blend and cultural programming -- plus public radio staples such as Morning Edition, All Things Considered, Fresh Air and This American Life. KSUT serves as a local cultural hub for listeners in a rural area, creating community on the air.
4. What would surprise people most about the station?
We have a second station, KSUT Tribal Radio, which programs traditional Native American music, local public affairs and high school sports. Walk down the hall at KSUT and you'll hear Pow Wow music from the Black Lodge Singers coming out of that studio, and The Decemberists out of the Four Corners studio. Tribal Radio serves the Southern Ute Indian Reservation, the Navajo Reservation in NW New Mexico, and has a very active online listening community.
5. You serve the "Four Corners" ... what does that mean exactly?
We serve the region of the southwest where the boundaries of Colorado, New Mexico, Utah and Arizona meet. Our primary market is Durango, CO, though we reach 14 different towns/cities and the beautiful landscape between them.
6. How would you describe the music on the station?
We're a Triple A/Americana hybrid, thoughtfully curated for the Four Corners lifestyle. We lean a bit towards acoustic and roots music in general, as a nod to the preferred tastes of listeners in this region.
7. Is any of the music pre-programmed for the jocks or is all their choice?
The jocks, all paid staff, are still choosing the music with some guidelines on currents, remarkably. We are in the process of evolving how this is done, aiming for more consistency and a more deliberate emphasis on music discovery.
8. The station is celebrating 40 years! Tell how it has evolved over the decades.
The Southern Ute Tribe was one of Indian radio's earliest pioneers. KSUT went on the air for the first time on June 14, 1976 as a communications service for the tribal membership. The programming lineup offered Ute language and cultural programming, personal messages, traditional Native American and popular music and community news.
A growing demand for public radio in Durango presented an opportunity for KSUT. In 1984 its board of directors moved to expand its broadcast area and become an NPR affiliate, offering programming that would attract local listener and business support outside of the reservation. They also invested in a translator system that reached four states and the largest listening audience in the region. Station programming evolved to suit the membership, with a preference for NPR news, contemporary music and public radio staples.
While the station's success as a regional public radio service was apparent, its original goal had lost its emphasis. In June of 1998, KSUT returned to its roots by starting Southern Ute Tribal Radio, a second radio operation that better reflected its original mission.
9. What are doing on and off the air to celebrate?
We've been presenting a 40th Anniversary Concert series over the last six months, starting with Martin Sexton and culminating with a big celebration featuring Michael Franti & Spearhead last weekend. It's part of our on-air imaging, plus we're in the midst of a new building capital campaign, so lots of related events.
10. Fill in the blank: I can't make it through the day without ...
... some fresh air, (and I'm not talking about Terry Gross).
Last Non-Industry Job:
First Record Ever Purchased:
I'm the youngest of five, so had lots to choose from. I bought the Monkees.
Sly and the Family Stone at Madison Square Garden
Favorite Band Of All-Time:
Impossible to answer, but Bruce Springsteen and the E Street Band is close.
What do you enjoy doing in your spare time away from work?
Hiking, cycling, skiing, paddle boarding -- with my family. That's how we roll in Durango.