A proposed merger of Alaska pubcasting stations not only fell apart over the summer, but also has now created a larger rift: KUAC-TV in Fairbanks, which participated in the AlaskaOne consortium with Juneau and Bethel stations since 1995, will withdraw from that as of July 1, 2012, according to a press release from KUAC licensee University of Alaska Fairbanks. “Interior Alaska’s public television station is returning to its roots,” the statement said.
The Alaska Public Broadcasting Service, corporate entity for AlaskaOne, last month approved a motion to merge its centralized feed with Anchorage-based KAKM, run by Alaska Public Telecommunications Inc. Keith Martin, KUAC g.m., cast the dissenting vote. “Our priority has always been to meet the needs of our constituents through our broadcasting mission. Becoming independent from AlaskaOne allows for a new future for KUAC TV,” Martin said in the statement. “We need to get back to that local connection.”
“Since AlaskaOne was established in 1995, financial and manpower responsibilities have slowly shifted to KUAC,” the statement said.
Recent merger discussions prompted development of a new centralcasting entity based in Anchorage, which KUAC will not participate in “due to its potential to cause financial harm to KUAC,” the statement said.