Four more public media stations receive Next Generation Warning System funding

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CPB awarded grants to four public media organizations in Alaska, Colorado and Michigan to help them upgrade their equipment and provide more reliable emergency alerts.

The grantees are Delta College Public Media in University Center, Mich.; KSTK in Wrangell, Alaska; KBRW in Silakkuagvik, Alaska; and KSJD in Cortez, Colo. The grants total more than $1.2 million and make up the second round of funding CPB has administered to stations through the Next Generation Warning System, a grant program funded by the Federal Emergency Management Agency.

“Public media stations have always played a vital role in emergency alerting in communities across the country,” said CPB President Pat Harrison in a news release Thursday. “The Next Generation Warning System grant program is providing funding for public media organizations, especially in rural areas, to replace and upgrade their technology and infrastructure that enhances critical alerting and warning capabilities to help protect those communities.”

Delta College Public Media’s WDCQ-TV will receive up to $976,708 to replace its broadcast infrastructure and help the station transition to NextGen TV standards.

The Colorado-based Community Radio Project, branded as KSJD, serves rural and Native American communities in the Four Corners area of Colorado, Arizona, New Mexico and Utah. The organization operates KZET-FM, KSJD-FM and KICO-FM. It will receive up to $54,750 for equipment, including new transmitters and backup power supplies to ensure that the stations stay on the air during emergencies.

KSTK Stikine River Radio will receive up to $90,002 to improve its emergency alert system to remote areas. The funding will replace aging equipment, including a backup generator at its transmitter site, an emergency alert system decoder and a translator. The station serves remote areas in Alaska.

Silakkuagvik Communications Inc., which operates KBRW, serves an Inupiat Eskimo population at the northernmost tip of Alaska. The organization will receive up to $98,853 to update emergency messaging equipment.

Approximately $34 million of the $40 million appropriated for the NGWS in fiscal year 2022 will be awarded to stations. An additional $56 million was allocated to the initiative in FY23.Last year, CPB gave a total of $386,000 to Mississippi Public Broadcasting and IRSC Public Media, licensed to Indian River State College in Florida. The stations used the money to improve equipment and expand their reach into underserved communities.

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