[Editor’s note: This story is part of an ongoing project in conjunction with the South Plains College Alumni Association. The project highlights former SPC students and their achievements.]
Tania Moody has come a long way from working in sales at the local radio station as a way to earn extra money for college, to owning the very same station.
“When I decided in 2006 that I would go back to school, that’s when I got my bachelor’s degree,” Moody explained. “Well, I needed extra money to pay for college. I knew I could do sales, so I came out here to the radio station and they had a position available.”
“ I got hired and did sales for several years,” Moody continues, “and then I was moved up to sales manager. I did that for a couple of years, and then I became station manager. Then, in 2011, the previous owner decided that he wanted to acquire some other radio stations. So the guy that was the station manager for that Littlefield station actually asked him if he could purchase the station. So he came to me and said, ‘Well, Cody is going to purchase the Littlefield station, so would you be interested in purchasing that Levelland station?”
After the owner asked Moody if she wanted to buy the station, she decided to lease it in 2012 as a trial to see if she would be able to handle it. A year later, Moody made the decision to sign the papers and buy KLVT.
Moody has been able to maintain the station so well with her experience with all parts of KLVT.
“I’ve been through all the different jobs here at the station, except for I have not ever called sports and I haven’t ever really been on the news desk,” said Moody. “But I have done some news stories and that sort of thing. But mainly I’ve done sales, management and just all of the particulars that you that to do with the FCC to maintain your license.”
Moody attended SPC several times, starting in 1989.
During her college career, she went through many different degree plans, ranging from commercial music to journalism.
“I kind of didn’t finish any one degree, but I had enough hours to finish several different degrees,” said Moody. “Then eventually I went back and got my associate’s in 2007. It was an Associate of Arts degree, and then I went and got my bachelor’s from Kaplan University.”
Moody credits a lot of her success in the industry to South Plains College.
“I got a lot of really good foundational learning from South Plains College that has allowed me to transition into all this,” Moody explains. “And I would credit many of the instructors at SPC. John Sparks, in the Communication Department, he was very instrumental in some of the things I use day to day, like asking good questions and being able to listen. And the importance, especially in today’s world, of reporting facts.”
“Journalistic integrity is at an all-time low,” Moody added. “I really feel like having those mentors really kind of guided my compass. We work really hard to verify all of the news that we put out. When we do our news or our sports report, my staff knows how important it is that we do not jump the gun, and we do maintain integrity and our relationships with all of these people around the area.”
Many of Moody’s family members also have been a part of SPC. Her father, Rusty Huddleston, was a instructor in commercial music, and her mother, Schahara Huddleston, was an English professor. Her husband, Stuart Moody, is the chairperson of the Creative Arts Department and associate professor of sound technology.
Moody and her staff at KLVT are all involved in the Levelland community. Moody also serves as the president of the Levelland Independent School District Board of Education. She has served on the school board for nine years.
“I feel like that strengthens relationships and builds trust,” Moody said, “and they’ll trust us with stories where they would not with someone else that’s cold calling from a news organization. Building that trust in a small community is vital to serving the community well.”
Moody focuses on making her station a tool for the community and a support system for the region.
“I feel like a lot of times a smaller community gets slighted a little bit by the larger news organizations” Moody explains, “and so it’s really my goal and commitment to this area to just make this hometown station for these small communities.”