Anchorage becomes hub in Alaska’s latest public TV alliance

A new configuration of public TV stations in Alaska will begin sharing a single programming feed July 1 under the name Alaska Public Television, a move that shifts distribution duties from KUAC in Fairbanks to KAKM in Anchorage. The change disbands AlaskaOne, a network operated by KUAC for 17 years that excluded Anchorage. KUAC will not participate in Alaska Public Television but will attempt to make it on its own with a renewed focus on programming tailored to its local community. Viewers in Anchorage will receive much the same programming from Alaska Public Television as before, while viewers of Bethel’s KYUK and Juneau’s KTOO may notice some changes. The centralcasting facility at KAKM allows for program feeds customized for each station, but that option will not be used at first.

Ancient human remains found under Alaska station

KCAW/Raven Radio in Sitka, Alaska, may not have a skeleton in its closet, but it has one in its basement. Contractors working beneath the studio in October uncovered human remains that may predate the 103-year-old building. KCAW General Manager Ken Fate told Current on Nov. 28 that the station is “working closely with the Sitka Tribe of Alaska” to determine whether the body is that of a tribal ancestor. The station reported on its website that when the bones were discovered between two slabs of bedrock, work immediately stopped.

Fairbanks station quits shared feed as Anchorage arrives

Cooperation among Alaska’s public TV stations took a backwards step last week after a modest gain in September. A major result of three years of talks among the three largest stations was that KAKM-TV in Anchorage, the state’s dominant city, would join the AlaskaOne consortium of stations in Fairbanks, Juneau, Bethel and smaller towns, which have shared a TV schedule since 1995. Last week, KUAC-TV in Fairbanks said it will drop out of the AlaskaOne TV consortium as of July 1. The Fairbanks station, which had assembled the feed, opted out after its partners in AlaskaOne voted in November to merge its program feed with that of KAKM in Anchorage. In a Dec.

CoastAlaska creates ‘Radio to Go’ kits in case of disaster

In response to media outages after recent disasters elsewhere, the CoastAlaska pubradio group has built two compact portable FM stations for use by pubcasters in the state, called Radio to Go. The nonprofit, which serves seven stations from Juneau, developed the portable kit to go into service within minutes after arriving at a site. The two units, to be stored in separate communities, can be carried by Coast Guard helicopter, commercial flight or ship. Each unit costs about $10,000, including shipping cases, a 150-watt FM radio transmitter, CD players, a digital audio recorder, radio tuner, mixer and microphones, cables, transmitting antenna and mast.