AN INTRODUCTION TO KTNN AM 660 & 101.5 FM
Window Rock, Arizona is the capital of the Navajo Nation. It is also the home of KTNN Radio, a Navajo Nation enterprise established in 1985 for the purpose of educating, informing and entertaining the Navajo people - its primary target, as well as relaying information by the Navajo Nation to the public. KTNN commenced its first broadcast in February, 1986.
The call letters are easy to understand ...all stations West of the Mississippi River begin their call letters with K (with the exception of some very old stations), and TNN stands for “The Navajo Nation”.
KTNN operates and is managed as a commercial AM radio broadcast station operating continuously over a clear-channel radio signal at 50,000 watts on 660 KHz. Our daytime broadcasts cover much of the Four Corners area including the entire Navajo Nation, which comprise in size to the state of West Virginia. The nighttime broadcast signal covers the western region of the United States (see coverage map). The strength of this AM signal is further demonstrated by confirmed reception from Canada, Mexico, New Zealand and Japan. The strength of KTNN’s signal is a credit to those who worked so diligently to obtain a 50,000 watt license.
In earlier times, 50,000 watt stations were issued to provide a means to reach those who lived in rural areas. Since most of America was rural, this concept was excellent and certainly served its purpose well. But times have changed prompting the FCC (Federal Communications Commission) to halt issuing permits for super transmitters. KTNN received the last 50,000 watt permit to be issued in the entire country.
Many households in KTNN’s listening area do not have access to cable television and those that do, receive “local” network stations originating from Albuquerque and Farmington, New Mexico, and Phoenix, Arizona, leaving a large void for information directly related to those living on and around the Navajo Nation. Because modern conveniences are still lacking in many areas of the reservation, radios, especially portable, are very important, with KTNN a necessity in every Navajo household. Every vehicle bought these days has a radio and due to the vastness of the reservation and the lack of supply sources within its borders, Navajos are constantly on the road traveling throughout the reservation and to border towns listening to their travel companion, KTNN.
Air personalities and news personnel recognize these facts and keep them in mind when broadcasting information. However, more recently, KTNN has been streaming on the internet for Navajos who live beyond the 660 AM signal. The Navajo Nation has regarded KTNN Radio as their main source for information, and in many cases, the only source for information that affects them personally. Continuous public service announcements are delivered to our audience, including Chapter News, announcements regarding Traditional Ceremonies, Funeral Announcements, Livestock and Rodeo Reports, and Local and Regional News, Weather, and more.
KTNN’s music format consists of Country and Native American music. The Country library includes selections that date back to early country recordings and continue through today’s hot new country sounds . Traditional as well as contemporary Native American music can be heard each hour throughout the entire day. Much effort is spent into producing programs which will interest the Navajo listener as well as others.