After apprenticing at KRAB in Seattle, at the time one of four U.S. stations supported by listener donations, Lansman returned to his home town in 1967 intending to pioneer a station more open to the community, forms of expression, and ideas, than is common in mass media.
Staffed by volunteer announcers and producers, KDNA became a platform for unusual music, serious news, as well as a platform for political expression from John Birchers to Communists.
Listener support was a new concept. Cajoling listeners to give cash to keep the station afloat required constant on-air reminders. Keeping KDNA alive was a huge challenge for Lansman and his staff. Lansman also had to deal with people who were offended by the broadcasting of ideas that included both right wing and left. A worn-down Lansman (and station co-owner Lorenzo Milam) sold KDNA in 1974 with the idea of establishing a new station in the non-commercial-educational band. Besides local offspring KDHX, Lansman helped create a plethora of independent community stations throughout the country.