KUAC to become independent of AlaskaOne
Fairbanks, Alaska—Interior Alaska’s public television station is returning to its roots.
Effective July 1, KUAC TV, like its radio counterpart, will be a standalone station serving Interior Alaska.
Since 1995, KUAC TV, along with KTOO in Juneau and KYUK in Bethel, has been part of AlaskaOne, a consortium whose members include the general managers at three of Alaska’s public television stations.
At a meeting last month, the Alaska Public Broadcasting Service, which is the corporate entity for AlaskaOne, approved a motion to merge AlaskaOne’s centralized feed with the feed from Anchorage-based KAKM, which is run by Alaska Public Telecommunications, Inc. KUAC’s general manager, Keith Martin, cast the dissenting vote. As a result, KUAC will no longer be a member of the AlaskaOne consortium of stations beginning July 1, 2012.
“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,” stated Keith Martin, KUAC general manager. “We need to get back to that local connection.”
The change will not alter television programming for residents of the Interior who receive KUAC public television in Fairbanks or its Interior translator communities of Healy, Delta and Nanina. While the station will be identified as KUAC rather than AlaskaOne, the mission and quality of programming will stay the same, Martin said.
Since AlaskaOne was established in 1995, financial and manpower responsibilities have slowly shifted to KUAC in Fairbanks. This shift left KUAC covering all operational and programming expenses associated with the AlaskaOne centralized feed.
That financial reality was brought to the forefront in recent years, as Alaska’s public television stations discussed statewide television consolidation. Those discussions prompted the development of a new central casting facility in Anchorage and the November decision. KUAC will not participate in the new centralized feed from Anchorage due to its potential to cause financial harm to KUAC.
“KUAC TV viewers in the Interior will continue to enjoy the four digital television channels KUAC TV has been broadcasting for the past four years,” said UAF Chancellor Brian Rogers. “This move affords KUAC the opportunity to increase its engagement with our Interior communities and become a more powerful outreach device for the university.”