ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. – Harlan McKosato, host of “Native America Calling,” had just finished his show and was about to talk with some visitors to the Native Voice One studios when the phone rang.
“Oh, I’ve got to take this,” McKosato excused himself. It was Sen. Lisa Murkowski, D-Alaska.
Hectic? Or just another day at NV1’s new studios on Lomas Boulevard in Albuquerque. They moved from their former location at the University of New Mexico in February.
“Mornings are the busiest times around here,” Network Manager Burt Poley said. But he had nothing but praise for their new studio. “It’s better, it’s newer.”
NV1 was able to purchase about $200,000 in new equipment thanks, in part, to a matching grant from the Annenberg National Native Voice Studios, Director Susan Braine said.
Even with the new equipment more work needed to be done to make the new site radio-ready, she said.
“The landlord did about $25,000 worth of remodeling for us.” It was just part of a 10-year lease agreement, Braine said. “We’ve got a new studio and they know they have a tenant for 10 years.”
Among the improvements were wiring, removal of a wall, new carpeting, paint and increasing office space. The building had been vacant for some time, Braine said.
The new studio is still of modest size, but just large enough to give people some elbow room. Poley said their former location was so small that at one point three of them had to share one office; and Braine didn’t have an office.
“Yeah, I had to work from home,” said Braine, who is a member of the Fort Peck, Mont., Assiniboine tribe. She has worked as a writer and photographer, and was born on the Crow reservation, but grew up mostly on the Northern Cheyenne reservation.
Poley is Hopi/Laguna, from the Hopi village of Bacavi, located at Third Mesa in northeast Arizona, and is a member of the Bear Clan from the village of Paraje, near Laguna, N.M. – which explains the big stuffed bear in his office.
Before turning to radio, Poley had won a national reputation as an award-winning katsina doll carver and worked as an artist and salesman. He began his radio career with the Hopi station KUYI, serving as the station’s first operations manager.
Poley said his Hopi name is Someheptewa, which means, “looking for ripe corn.”
Even “Poley” is a shortened version of the Hopi word “poleheptewa,” which translates to “looking for butterflies.”
NV1 is a part of the Alaska-based Koahnic Broadcast Corporation.
The programming at NV1 includes “Native America Calling,” a one-hour live call-in show; “Earthsongs,” a weekly one-hour music program; “Reach the Rez Radio,” a weekly one hour rap and hip hop show; and the five-hour daily music service, “UnderCurrents.”