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From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

KUAC
KUAC.png
Broadcast areaFairbanks, Alaska
Frequency89.9 MHz (HD Radio)
BrandingKUAC 89.9 FM
SloganConnecting Alaska to the World and the World to Alaska
Programming
FormatPublic Radio, News/Talk, Classical
Affiliations
Ownership
OwnerUniversity of Alaska
KUAC-TV
History
First air date
October 1, 1962 (at 104.9 FM)
Former frequencies
104.9 MHz (1962–1968)
104.7 MHz (1968–1998)[1]
Call sign meaning
University of Alaska College
Technical information
Facility ID85347
ClassC
ERP38,000 watts
HAAT506 meters (1,660 ft)
Translator(s)see below
Links
WebcastKUAC Webstream
Websitekuac.org

KUAC is a non-commercial FM radio station in Fairbanks, Alaska, broadcasting at 89.9 MHz. The station is operated by the University of Alaska Fairbanks. It debuted on October 2, 1962, originally at 104.9 MHz, as Alaska's first non-commercial radio station and second FM station (after KNIK in Anchorage).

KUAC airs public radio programming, primarily from National Public Radio, Public Radio International and American Public Media, as well as other sources, such as the Alaska Public Radio Network. In keeping with its roots, numerous multi-hour blocks of classical and jazz musics are programmed throughout the schedule, as well as programs focusing on more modern genres such as Afropop Worldwide, Beale Street Caravan, Hearts of Space, Mountain Stage and World Cafe. The station has an extensive pool of volunteers, who produce many hours of locally originated programming per week, mostly in the evenings and on weekends.

History

On October 1, 1962,[2] the University of Alaska Fairbanks launched KUAC, the first public radio station in the state of Alaska and the first FM in Interior Alaska,[3] at 104.9 FM. It replaced an older carrier current station on the campus.[4] Despite being the first—and for years, the only—FM station in the region, listenership was high, and ownership of FM radios in Fairbanks was above the national average by 1967.[5] With no other public stations in the state, some KUAC output, such as the newspaper editorial roundup Alaska's Opinions, was duplicated onto tapes and sent out to commercial stations statewide.[6]

KUAC-FM began broadcasting in stereo in January 1968, more than a month later than planned, after strong demand for stereo radio equipment prompted manufacturers to be backlogged on orders.[7] Later that year, the station moved to 104.7 MHz[8] and increased the effective radiated power of its transmitter, then located atop the Student Union Building, to 10,500 watts.[9]

KUAC broadcast mostly classical music, news and talk programming, as well as other educational features such as recorded classes on tape for elementary school students.[10] As part of the launch of KUAC-TV channel 9 in 1971, the station moved from its original home in Constitution Hall to newer, larger studios in the university's Fine Arts Complex.[11] (The Constitution Hall studios would be used to launch carrier current campus station KMPS, a predecessor to KSUA.[12]) KUAC joined National Public Radio and began airing All Things Considered that August; the program was fed to Fairbanks by a satellite link from Stanford University via the ATS-1 communications satellite.[13] Other news and music programs were sent to KUAC on midnight Pan Am flights from Oregon.[14] The station also had to survive budget cuts in 1986 that threatened to end the entire UAF broadcasting operation.[15]

KUAC also began to expand its coverage into remote areas of the state. This often required innovative engineering solutions. In 1985, a translator was set up to serve Central, Circle and Circle Hot Springs; as grid power was not available at the transmitter site, the facility ran off solar power and was equipped with batteries, allowing it to run during the dark Alaskan winters.[16] In November 1997, KUAC began to air in Nome.[17]

Until 1982, the portion of the FM band below 100 MHz, including the typical noncommercial educational reserved band of 88–92 MHz, was reserved in Alaska for telecommunications purposes.[18] As a result, KUAC, as well as other public radio stations in Alaska such as KSKA, operated on licenses that, if sold, could be converted to commercial operation. In 1995, the station landed a $178,000 federal grant to build a new, more powerful facility broadcasting with 38,000 watts at 89.9 MHz—in the reserved band—atop the Ester Dome.[19] By comparison, the 104.7 facility was atop the shorter Bender Mountain at 10,000 watts.[20] 89.9 MHz, initially bearing the call letters KUAB, came to air in April 1997, maintaining public radio service while the studio-transmitter link to the 104.7 transmitter on Bender Mountain was broken.[21]

The new facility in the reserved band opened up the ability for the University of Alaska Fairbanks to sell the 104.7 license to a commercial buyer. Capstar, a forerunner to iHeartMedia, acquired the 104.7 license for $205,000 in February 1998.[22] On June 22, that frequency became a commercial alternative rock outlet known as "The Edge";[23] its call letters changed to KKED on July 10.[24]

Since the 2010s, KUAC has contended with years of budget cuts from the state government. Between 2012 and 2017, university funding for the station declined by 56 percent. The station has responded with multiple rounds of staff and service cutbacks. The station eliminated its program director role in 2014.[25] In 2017, KUAC cut ties with the Alaska Public Radio Network—an action contemplated previously—and ceased broadcasting in HD Radio.[26] In 2019, further cuts—from the state, which eliminated all direct funding to public broadcasting, and at the university[27]—prompted the discontinuation of several multicast services by KUAC radio and television.[28] In order to keep the stations in operation, the university forgave an $800,000 loan used to rebuild the radio antenna and update television master control equipment.[29] Other difficulties have come from operating in Alaska's winters: in 2012, a thick layer of ice and snow coated the tower and the antennas on top of it, weakening the station's signal.[30]

Digital television rebroadcast

KUAC FM broadcasts on sister station KUAC-TV on channel 9.6.

Channel Programming
9.1 Main KUAC-TV programming / PBS
9.2 World
9.3 Create
9.4 UAF TV/First Nations Experience
9.5 PBS Kids
9.6 KUAC FM

Translators

Broadcast translators of KUAC
Call sign Frequency
(MHz)
City of license ERP
(W)
Class FCC info
K216AN 91.1 Nenana, Alaska 43 D FCC
K216DT 91.1 Tok, Alaska 187 D FCC
K217CK 91.3 Nome, Alaska 188 D FCC
K219AQ 91.7 Delta Junction, Alaska 125 D FCC
K219DM 91.7 Eagle, Alaska 155 D FCC
K226AY 93.1 Bettles, Alaska 60 D FCC
K269AD 101.7 Healy, Alaska 50 D FCC

References

  1. ^ Mitchell, Elaine B., ed. (1973). Alaska Blue Book (First ed.). Juneau: Alaska Department of Education, Division of State Libraries. p. 135.
  2. ^ "Radio Station Opening at UA". Fairbanks Daily News-Miner. October 1, 1962. p. 9. Retrieved June 16, 2020.
  3. ^ Tarnai, Nancy (September 29, 2017). "KUAC celebrates 55 years of service". University of Alaska Fairbanks. Retrieved June 30, 2020.
  4. ^ "University Asking Permit For FM Broadcast Station". Fairbanks Daily News-Miner. February 1, 1962. p. 2. Retrieved June 16, 2020.
  5. ^ University of Alaska (February 25, 1967). "News Release: Campus Radio Finds Out Who's Listening". Retrieved June 16, 2020 – via KUAC Scrapbook.
  6. ^ "Editorials aired over KUAC's Alaska's opinions". Fairbanks Daily News-Miner. October 10, 1970. p. A-10. Retrieved June 16, 2020.
  7. ^ "KUAC-FM Starts Stereo This Week". Fairbanks Daily News-Miner. January 6, 1968. p. 9. Retrieved June 16, 2020.
  8. ^ "University Radio Station Gets Transmitting Boost". Fairbanks Daily News-Miner. July 5, 1968. p. 6. Retrieved June 16, 2020.
  9. ^ FCC History Cards for KKED (as KUAC)
  10. ^ Duncan, Diana (November 7, 1968). "Radio Making Inroad On Classroom Work". Fairbanks Daily News-Miner. p. 3. Retrieved June 16, 2020.
  11. ^ "KUAC begins move to new Fine Arts studios". Fairbanks Daily News-Miner. April 24, 1971. p. A-8. Retrieved June 16, 2020.
  12. ^ Brooks, Gary (October 1, 1971). "TV and radio stations to be on air this fall". Polar Star. Retrieved June 16, 2020 – via KUAC Scrapbook.
  13. ^ "KUAC receives satellite feed". Fairbanks Daily News-Miner. August 28, 1971. p. Entertainment A-1. Retrieved June 16, 2020.
  14. ^ Stricker, Julie (October 20, 2012). "50 years of KUAC: Alaska's second FM station first broadcast in October 1962". Fairbanks Daily News-Miner.
  15. ^ Whitaker, Wilda J. (July 30, 1986). "Cuts could close curtain on KUAC". Fairbanks Daily News Miner. pp. 1, 8.
  16. ^ Izzo Roth, Frances (January 1986). "Sun power boosts signal to Central and Circle". UA Magazine. pp. 32, 33. Retrieved June 16, 2020 – via KUAC Scrapbook.
  17. ^ "Nome to Acquire Public Radio". Sitka Daily Sentinel. Associated Press. October 28, 1997. p. 5. Retrieved June 16, 2020.
  18. ^ "For the Record" (PDF). Broadcasting. January 25, 1982. p. 106. Retrieved May 31, 2020.
  19. ^ Cole, Dermot (September 25, 1995). "KUAC gears up". Fairbanks Daily News Miner. p. B-1. Retrieved June 16, 2020.
  20. ^ Lillie, Erin (October 27, 1997). "Dogs get top billing at fund drive". Fairbanks Daily News Miner. pp. B1, B2. Retrieved June 16, 2020.
  21. ^ Cole, Dermot (April 15, 1997). "KUAC moves frequency". Fairbanks Daily News-Miner. p. B-1. Retrieved June 16, 2020.
  22. ^ "Transactions" (PDF). Radio & Records. February 6, 1998. p. 6. Retrieved June 16, 2020.
  23. ^ Jones, Patricia (July 12, 1998). "New radio station takes rock to the Edge". Fairbanks Daily News Miner. pp. D-1, D-2. Retrieved June 16, 2020.
  24. ^ FCC (July 10, 1998). "Mass Media Bureau Call Sign Actions". Retrieved June 16, 2020.
  25. ^ Allen, Sam (September 4, 2014). "KUAC Drops Program Director". Sun Star. Retrieved June 16, 2020.
  26. ^ Granger, Erin (August 8, 2017). "KUAC braces for sixth year of budget cuts". Fairbanks Daily News-Miner. p. A4. Retrieved June 16, 2020.
  27. ^ Downing, Suzanne (October 20, 2019). "UAF cost savings include big cut to KUAC public radio, TV". Must Read Alaska. Retrieved June 16, 2020.
  28. ^ "KUAC to discontinue five channels". KUAC. September 11, 2019. Retrieved June 16, 2020.
  29. ^ "Programming Changes". KUAC. Retrieved June 16, 2020.
  30. ^ Cole, Dermot (December 16, 2012). "Rain, snow and warm weather play havoc with KUAC radio signal". Fairbanks Daily News-Miner. p. B1. Retrieved June 16, 2020.

External links


This page was last edited on 13 August 2020, at 04:18
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