Bill Donati,

Raton radio KRTN opens new location next door to historic Shuler Theater

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KRTN Owner Bill Donati and Sales Manager Don Romero are thankful and excited for the opportunity to be next to the Shuler Theatre and look forward to the future in their new space.

After renovations to bring back some of the historic characteristics of the space, KRTN opened it’s doors to a second location for Raton’s local radio station which also covers news and events in Trinidad, just a short way across the Raton Pass. The space will be the location for several productions the radio plans to host, in addition to allowing for better live coverage of Shuler events and shows.

“Will be doing our public announcements show, ‘This, That, and the Other’ at this location,” said KRTN Owner Bill Donati. “We also plan to start presenting news from here which we’ll broadcast around 12:30 p.m. on Fridays”

The location on Second Street, right next to the Shuler, will allow the station to have a higher visibility, Sales Manager Don Romero says. “When you see studio 1, you’ll see this is a blank slate and has a higher visibility that gives us the opportunity to catch people downtown. Everyone knows where the Shuler Theater is. This also is a more upscale of a location than our other one.”

In addition to continuing their regular operations as a radio station, they are also looking forward to plugging into what the Shuler is doing in hopes to support what the theater is doing.

“This location will also help to present the Shuler in a positive way,” said Donati. “Hopefully we can do some more live broadcasts of shows as well as publicize more of what’s happening when shows come through. It’s a natural tie in because radio is theater, and everybody loves the Shuler Theater. There are some road productions coming through that we will be able to help promote. We’re in a perfect place, right along the interstate, and get shows coming through all the time. We’ll also be able to be closer to our other local partners.”

The radio, which began December 7, 1948, has only changed ownership three times since its conception.

“The dream (to own a radio station) began when I was in high school,” Donati said. “Then I had a career as a race track announcer. I went on and did my marketing and publicity gigs at the corporate level, then I wanted something to call my own, which led me to purchasing KRTN.”

The new location itself holds a unique secret in its renovation.

“We used polenta to texture our walls to match the ceiling,” said Romero. “They told us that cornmeal was the best option, but I said, there’s no cornmeal around here, but we have plenty of polenta. That’s why we’re calling it polenta productions.”

Additionally, the recording studio houses a large mural painting by Malinda Marlow, a local artist. On the painting is a rendering of the Raton landscape featuring local flora and fauna. There’s also an interesting shelving unit built out of historically significant repurposed wood.

“The lumber used for Frank’s Mine was taken from a house that was owned by Frank Springer,” said Donati, “who was the originator of the CS Ranch here in Northern New Mexico which also bought the property from the Maxwell Land Grant owners and instrumental in the Eagle Nest dam as well.”

Both Donati and Romero have a wealth of knowledge about the Raton area between them and an ongoing passion for broadcasting that they will continue to put into their work at KRTN. To listen to their station, tune into 93.9 FM and visit them online

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