Manager’s Update

We are at the end of the second week of our Spring Fund Drive, a very low key and quiet fund drive this time around.  We are once again asking for support for programs and services we offer focused on the young people in our communities.

One program we are especially proud of is our Alexie Isaac Memorial Scholarship.  Named in memory of the late Alexie Isaac , a long time and well known KYUK television and radio producer, our board of directors awards two $1,000 college scholarships in the fall of  each year to deserving students in the Y/K Delta.  Since the scholarship program began in 2006 we have awarded $17,000 to assist students with their higher education costs.  The need is great, especially in these times of ever increasing tuition.  Thanks to your generosity last spring we were able to award a third scholarship.  We would like to be able to do the same this year and so we are asking you again to consider making a donation to this very worthy program that is of real benefit to our college students across the YK Delta.

Along with a full schedule of Bethel Warrior boys and girls games, we broadcast the  LKSD 27th Annual Coastal Conference Basketball Championship Tournament which was announced in both English and Yup’ik for the first time thanks to volunteer Fritz Charles.  We also broadcast several league games from Napaskiak including Kwethluk versus Akula, also announced in both English and Yup’ik thanks to our new Yup’ik news reporter, Charles Enoch.

March Madness is here again with another round of basketball championships coming your way.   Starting Saturday March 15th and throughout that week we will be broadcasting the 1A, 2A and 3A State Championship games.   Tune in to 640AM or to our live radio stream on the KYUK website for all the action and excitement.

We know these broadcasts are important to many of our listeners and we will continue to bring you all the action.   It costs us approximately $5,000 to $8,000 a year in production time, staff overtime, equipment costs, long distance phone charges and broadcast fees to bring you these games. If you enjoy following your home teams on KYUK during these tournaments, I hope you will consider making a donation in support of these broadcasts as we continue to spotlight the positive athletic achievements of our youth.

A third program we have that focuses on our young people is our student worker program.  In partnership with the Kuskokwim Learning Academy (formerly known as BABS) we continue to offer paid intern/work experience in media to high school students as we have done for nearly a decade.  Your support last spring allowed us to fund two KLA student workerd this past year.  Thank you for your support and we hope you will consider another donation to help us continue this important opportunity for youth employment and training.

Thanks for tuning in to 640 AM or clicking on our live stream at  Your public radio station.

Thanks also for your continuing support of public media for Bethel and the Y/K Delta region.

If you haven’t applied for your 2014 Permanent Fund Dividend yet consider this a friendly reminder to do so soon.  The March 31st deadline is fast approaching.
When you do apply please take a moment to think about all that KYUK does to serve you, and our communities across the YK Delta,  and consider donating part of your dividend to your public radio and television station.  Simply choose KYUK from the Pick.Click.Give list when you’re filing on line.
If you’ve already filed your PFD application but want to consider giving a portion of your dividend to your favorite organization or charity,  luckily it’s not too late.  If you filed online simply return to your applicationand choose a non-profit from the list of Pick Click Give organizations and charities, including KYUK,  to donate a portion of your PFD.
 Also, check out the Double Your Dividend Sweepstakes. Ten lucky Alaskans who make a PCG donation before March 31 and release their name from anonymity will win a cash prize equal to the amount of the 2014 dividend.   Check out the official sweepstakes rules here.
 No matter which charity or non-profit you pick, you’ll know your dividend is going to a good cause.   To find out more about Pick Click Give visit pickclickgive-dot-org.

Thank you for your support of public media for the YK Delta.  Together we have the power to make a difference.

TV Is Still Free

by Mike Martz on December 14, 2013

A few weeks ago I had a call from a Bethel resident asking me how much KYUK charged for TV programming.  I told her KYUK programs are available over the air for free.

I had never been asked that question before.  I wondered if some people, like that caller, believe that all TV is pay TV.

I recall, as do many others my age who grew up in the lower 48, when there were only three commercial television networks in America: NBC, CBS and ABC.  Their programs were broadcast across the country by local affiliate TV stations for free.  PBS came into being in the early 1970’s delivering educational programming broadcast by a network of noncommercial member stations, including KYUK here in Bethel, for free.

In the 1980’s the new technology of cable television came on the scene offering viewers another option for receiving programs not available over the airwaves but through a service delivered to the home via a cable connection for a monthly subscription fee.  The incentive was the greater choice of programming offered by cable.  In succeeding decades cable television services grew in technical sophistication as well as in the quality and quantity of available programming and pay TV took root.

The next innovation was satellite television services delivered directly to the home.  These services, including DISH and Direct TV, offer viewers even more programming choices, competing head to head with cable delivered services, all for a fee.

Now, in the dawning of the digital age with its explosion of technology in recent years, television programming is delivered in a wide variety of methods and formats to an ever-growing number of devices.  Images and sound have moved beyond the television set.  TV is now available on desktop computers, laptop computers, IPads and tablets and even smart phones…again, mostly for a fee.

Within this ever-expanding web of access to moving images and sound, over the air broadcast television is still alive and well.  Free over the air broadcast television programming provided by a local commercial or noncommercial television station still provides a valuable, if often overlooked, service to their communities.

Free over the air television fills a niche in the video universe by offering access to entertainment, information and even education to people who for a variety of reasons either cannot afford to subscribe to a pay TV service or do not want to subscribe to them.  For some folks, free TV is the only TV they have.

Local over the air broadcast TV stations are also critically important to the emergency alert system.  Many local broadcast TV stations are the primary emergency alert stations in their areas.  Cable and satellite service providers are not local and must forward through their systems all emergency alerts send out from local over the air broadcast TV stations.

So, tune your flat screen TV or digital to analog converter box to channel 15 and check out your local over the air broadcast TV station here in Bethel.  KYUK-TV has been providing free over the air television programming to Bethel since 1972 and we plan to be here well into the future.

This Friday, December 13th, is the official celebration of Chief Eddie Hoffman Day.

KYUK will pay tribute to this legendary and colorful Y/K Delta leader through several special programs.  Tune in to KYUK 640 AM at 1PM Friday afternoon for an hour long call in show honoring the memory of Chief Eddie and hosted by Bev Hoffman.  This will be an opportunity for those of us who remember Eddie to recall his colorful and eventful life and share your own stories and memories.

Also on Friday, 360North will air the KYUK television documentary Eddie Hoffman: Once and Only Chief  at 11am, 2pm and 5pm.  If you remember Eddie, this program will bring a smile to your face.  If you didn’t know Chief Eddie, this program will be a wonderful introduction to a most remarkable man.

360North is a television service of KTOO-TV in Juneau and can be seen in Bethel over the air on KYUK channel 15.3 or on GCI cable channel 15.

On behalf of the KYUK staff and board of directors I extend to all of our loyal listeners across the Yukon/Kuskokwim Delta our wishes for a happy, healthy and safe holiday season with positive hopes for a bountiful year to come.

Thanks again to the many individuals, businesses and organizations that have supported us during the past year in so many ways.  You are the public in public media.

Happy holidays!

Bethel Broadcasting, Inc. is proud to announce the recipients of the Alexie Isaac Memorial Scholarship for the 2013-2014 academic year.  Tiana Lupie of Tuntutuliak, Renee Avugiak of Chefornak and Cheri Alstrom of Bethel have each been awarded a $1,000 scholarship.

Lupie is attending Kuskokwim Campus-UAF in Bethel pursuing a double major in Yup’ik and Social Work.  Avugiak and Alstrom both attend the University of Alaska Fairbanks.  Avugiak is majoring in Elementary Education and Alstrom is seeking a degree in Alaska Native Studies.

The Alexie Isaac Memorial Scholarship was created in 2006, in memory of Isaac, a long-time employee of Bethel Broadcasting, who worked as a television producer, cameraman, editor, translator, and radio announcer.  Bethel Broadcasting awards two $1,000 scholarships each academic year in his memory.

This year, thanks to the generosity of our listeners during our Spring 2013 fundraiser, the board of directors was able to award three scholarships.

For more information about applying for the 2014 scholarship, visit or call 907-543-0222.  The application deadline is Friday August 1, 2014.

Last Saturday, October 12th, we reached our fundraiser goal of $20,000.  It was a very gratifying moment for myself and all the staff here at KYUK to see the level of support that poured out of Bethel and from across the Y/K Delta for your local public media station, especially in these tough economic times.

It’s been even more astounding to see the pledges continue to roll in even after our goal was met. As I write this our giving has reached over $26,000.

The extent of the financial commitment to local public radio made it clear to us that you value the work we do each day and how important this work is for all of you, our listeners.

I want to thank everyone who donated a portion of their hard earned money, no matter how small the amount, to help keep our services alive and thriving.

I want to thank our corporate donors especially Alaska Airlines, GCI, Calista Corporation and Donlin Gold for their contributions.

I also want to thank the many local businesses that donated goods and services as incentive gifts for our raffles and auctions.  Your generosity is a a tribute to your community spirit and commitment to your local public media station, KYUK.

Congratulations, also, to all our grand prize winners and the entire village of Kwethluk who’s generosity earned them the first ever Village Showdown Title.

Once again, you , the people of Bethel and the Y/K Delta,  demonstrated that you are among the most generous and community spirited folks in the world.

Quyana caknak!!


Our Fall Membership Fundraiser is off to a fantastic start. We’ve passed the $12,000 mark and still have over a week left to make our goal of $20,000. Thank you to all our generous supporters.

We have another round of drawings coming up plus our grand prize drawing on the last day of the fundraiser, October 16th. Everyone who had made a membership donation will be entered in this drawing for some great prizes including 25,000 Alaska Airlines Miles, a round trip ticket on Alaska Airlines and more.

You can make a donation and see all these prizes on our Fundraiser Page.

I also want to take a moment to acknowledge and thank our volunteers who donate their time and talents to KYUK. We have eight volunteers with radio shows: Mark Osterman, “The Music You Live”;  Shannon cogan and James Wayne;  “Rough Tunes for Smooth Folks”;  Brian Berube, “Stinkhead Stew”;  Thomas Aliberti, “Sound Safari”;  Josie Stern, “Outside the Box”;  our own Ryan Shore with “Saturday Sessions”;  Dexter Kairaiuak, “Dexter’s Lab” and Jean Brinich, our longest serving volunteer, with “Classical Sundays”.

We have five volunteers who host talk shows. Zach Fansler, Joe Moses and Diane McEachern are the hosts of Talkline on Friday mornings. Fran Reich continues to be a substitute host for Talkline. Fritz Charles hosts the Monday Yup’ik talk show,  Yuk To Yuk.

And in addition to those folks, Tina Powers, Carolyne Moses, Monica Sheldon, Jenni Dobson and Quentin Simeon lend their voices to recording public service announcements and promos on an as needed basis.

We’re always looking for more people interested and willing to donate their time and talents to support KYUK.  There are ways to help that don’t require being live on the air, so if you’re interested, don’t be shy, give us a call.

Thanks to all our financial supporters and our volunteers for donating some of their hard earned money, time and talents to help keep local public media in Bethel and the Y/K Delta truely local.


Friday August 2nd,  the deadline for applying for the Alexie Isaac Memorial Scholarship, is just over two weeks away!

If you are a hard working collage student from any community within the KYUK listening area in the Yukon/Kuskokwim Delta or Bethel apply for a scholarship now.    If you know a hard working college student from the YK Delta or Bethel encourage him or her to apply.

In September the KYUK board of directors will select three students to receive a $1,000 scholarship award thanks to the generosity of our listeners during our Spring Fund Drive.

Information and application forms can be found on the KYUK website on the  Scholarship page.

Don’t delay, apply today!

Here Come The Fish

by Mike Martz on June 10, 2013

The river ice is gone.  The flooding has subsided.  People along the Kuskokwim are getting their fish camps set up for another  season.   Lots of nets are in the water in anticipation of the beginning of the salmon runs.  Everyone is looking forward to that first delicious taste of fresh King salmon… I know I am.

Along with all the usual seasonal preparations for another subsistence harvest, there’s a lot of concern about the status of our Kuskokwim salmon runs, especially about Kings.

The discussions and debate and concern about the expected numbers of Kings returning this year has already begun.  KYUK has  broadcast two talk/call in radio shows, on May 31st and June 7th, featuring representatives from the Salmon Mangement Working Group, the Department of Fish & Game and the US Fish & Wildlife Service.  Another talk/call in show will air  on Thursday June 13 at 10am with a rebroadcast that night at 7pm.  This one will be entirely in Yup’ik.

Our news department will be following the often complicated, often changing and sometimes confusing list of fishing regulations, restrictions and closures as they are developed and released to the public.  You can count our our news reporters to keep you informed  with the most up to date news and information on the status of the King run, susbistence openings and closures and all fishing news throughout the summer.

In addition, this summer our radio staff is announcing fishing regulations for both the Kuskokwim and Yukon rivers as they are updated and released.  Kuskokwim fishing regulations are announced at 8:50am and 12:50pm Monday through Friday and at 10:05am on Saturday and Sunday.    Yukon fishing regulations are announced at 7:50pm seven days a week.

Fishing news and information will also be posted to our website

You can count on your local public radio station to provide you with the most complete, up to date and timely information regarding all things related to fishing on the Kuskokwim.

We wish everyone a safe and successful harvest.

Thanks for your support of local public media in the Yukon/Kuskokwim Delta.