Ryan Heinsius

Executive Producer/Local Content Manager

Ryan joined KNAU's newsroom in 2013. He covers a broad range of stories from local, state and tribal politics to education, economy, energy and public lands issues, and frequently interviews internationally known and regional musicians. Ryan is an Edward R. Murrow Award winner and a frequent contributor to NPR News and National Native News.

Before making the leap to public radio, Ryan spent more than a decade in print media as the editor of an alternative weekly paper. He earned his bachelor’s degree from Northern Arizona University in political science and journalism and has also returned to teach at his alma mater. 

Ryan is a Flagstaff-based musician and has performed and recorded with many bands in the Southwest. He spends as much time as possible with his wife, daughter and dogs hiking and cycling the amazing terrain of northern Arizona.

Ways to Connect

Ryan Heinsius / KNAU

Gov. Doug Ducey has signed at least a dozen voting bills into law during this legislative session. Republicans say they make elections more secure and efficient, but according to tribal leaders, some of the measures are nothing more than attempts at voter suppression following former President Donald Trump’s loss in Arizona last year. Tribes worry the new laws combined with language barriers, the remoteness of reservations and even poor road conditions will disenfranchise Indian Country voters, especially elders. KNAU’s Ryan Heinsius spoke with Democratic state Rep. Jasmine Blackwater-Nygren, whose district includes the Navajo Nation, of which she’s a member.


AP Photo/Matt York, Pool

Observers and elected officials continue to raise concerns about the Arizona Senate Republican audit of Maricopa County’s 2020 election results. It comes as a growing chorus of bipartisan critics frame the effort as a sham. KNAU’s Ryan Heinsius reports.


AP Photo/Andrew Harnik

Two Republican Arizona congressmen are demanding the controversial audit of Maricopa County’s 2020 election be allowed to continue. It comes in response to the U.S. Justice Department’s concerns that the process may be violating federal law. KNAU’s Ryan Heinsius reports.

  

Orpheum Theater

For more than a year now, the live entertainment industry has struggled to hang on as the COVID-19 pandemic brought gigs and revenue to a grinding halt. A federal grant program called the Save Our Stages Act, part of the American Rescue Plan, was supposed to help. But to date, none of the more than $16 billion has made it to local venues. That’s because the system crashed shortly after the program launched last month when thousands of eager people tried to apply online. The Small Business Administration says it’s back up and grants should start going out at the end of the month, good news for many in the music, theater and film industries. KNAU’s Ryan Heinsius spoke with Susan Walter, general manager of the Orpheum Theater in Flagstaff, about the pressures she’s faced this last year trying to stay afloat and hopeful.


Rob Schumacher/The Arizona Republic via AP, Pool

Governor Doug Ducey says Arizona will no longer accept federal COVID-19 unemployment benefit funds for workers impacted by the pandemic. It’s part of the governor’s plan announced Thursday to boost hiring in the state. KNAU’s Ryan Heinsius reports.


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