The succession to the top job at Fort Lewis College's FM radio station KDUR is flowing along from one veteran to another.
Nancy Stouffer is leaving to do what she will while the station's longtime program director and Herald columnist, Bryant Liggett, is stepping up to take her place as general manager.
Liggett said he is currently trying to fill his job.
"I won't make any changes to the programming. Everyone likes it the way it is," Liggett said Thursday at the Herald offices.
He is, however, overseeing big changes to the physical plant. KDUR has been housed in the student union and, for the next year and a half, it is moving to a pair of 12-by-60-foot trailers set side-by-side with a deck between.
At the end of that time, the station will move into the new College Union Building to share a media center with Durango Community Access Television and the college newspaper, The Independent.
Liggett, an enthusiast and romantic about community radio, described KDUR as "volunteer-powered and student-powered radio."
Those volunteers number 55, with one part-time and three full-time staff members and an indispensable on-call engineer in Scott Hanning.
As for his programming, "I'd rather have a program made by locals than download something from the Internet."
Liggett was born in Washington, D.C. He grew up in Maryland with a mother who raised three boys and a father who worked for the Energy Department. His mother worked after raising the children, but Liggett can't remember what kind of work she did.
He started his radio career when he was a student at Montgomery College in Rockville, Md.
"WMCR was a terrible, formatted, commercial radio station. Making up a program was out of the question," he said with a wince.
In 1996, he moved to Durango because he wanted to switch to a four-year college and because he had friends here.
He immediately dived into KDUR as a student, doing news, promotion, whatever was going. He subsequently became music director at $300 a month, just enough to survive. He has been program director since 2003.
"I hung around KDUR falling into more and more work," Liggett said of his promotion. "I told the people hiring me that you have to choose me if you have faith in your curriculum. I learned it all at KDUR."
He added that KDUR had prepared him to fly by the seat of his pants. Once he did a three-hour radio show with his baby daughter, Mallory, on his lap.
Musicians and bands often show up unannounced, and he usually puts them on the air immediately. Such spontaneity can startle people who just planned to hand him a public-service announcement.
Multi-tasking is essential.
Liggett started Thursday morning, for instance, crawling under the automation system because it wasn't recording the morning's news.
Liggett, a fun-loving connoisseur of the local music and entertainment scene, is looking forward to going corporate though the prospect makes his friends laugh.
"I'll be in charge of the budget, grant writing, seeing that we're 100 percent FCC compliant, administering with the college and running the radio station day-to-day," he said.
"The big thing is the constant worry of fundraising."
Isn't that the way of it for many of us these days, even if we didn't get a promotion?