Manager’s Update

As the weather warms and the snow melts bringing a welcomed change to Bethel and the Delta we here at KYUK are hard at work on a major upgrade to our over the air television broadcast service.

Our chief engineer, Joe Seibert, is in the process of installing a new low power digital television transmitter for channel 15 to replace the analog transmitter we are currently using for over the air broadcast of public television programming from Alaska ONE.

This new digital transmitter will be capable of broadcasting four separate programming streams instead of the single programming stream we are currently able to broadcast.  These four program streams will include a statewide public television program schedule, ARCS programming, the 360 North Alaskan programming channel from KTOO-TV, Juneau and a local KYUK-TV program channel.

Our over the air television viewers in Bethel will notice a significant improvement in picture quality with these digital TV signals.  Another advantage is the inclusion of 360 North, a program now only available in Bethel through GCI cable subscription.  We also plan to broadcast local KYUK programs on the fourth channel as our resources allow, bringing back a local TV presence to Bethel once again.

In order to receive these digital signals viewers will need either a digital ready television set and an indoor antenna or, for older analog television sets, both a digital converter box and indoor antenna.   We have acquired a small stock of both antennas and converter boxes for viewers to purchase at cost in order to equip their television sets to receive the new digital signals.

Coming soon to our website will be instructions on connecting converter boxes and antennas including a short “how to” video program outlining the process.  We will also offer a “hands on” demonstration of the process in our studio for anyone interested in attending in person and we will be available for consultation and assistance by telephone and email.

If the installation and licensing goes according to schedule, we should begin broadcasting these over the air digital TV signals in about two months time.  At that time our analog channel 15 transmitter will be shut down.

We thank Donlin Gold for their generous donation to this project.

We here at KYUK are very excited about this new enhancement to our over the air television services and are looking forward to bringing digital television to public TV viewers in Bethel.

Our spring fundraiser ended on Friday March 16th.  This fundraising event was the first KYUK has held in quite a few years.  We were a little rusty at it but overall it was a big success.

First, on behalf of the Bethel Broadcasting Inc board of directors, the management and staff, I want to thank all of our loyal listeners in Bethel, throughout the YK Delta and beyond for your generous support over the past two weeks.  Thanks to you, we raised over $11,000.

Your contributions will help us continue to provide you with the local, state and national programming and services like our website that you rely on and have come to expect from your local public media station.

I also want to congratulate the winners in our fundraiser award drawing held Monday morning March 19th.  Those winners are:

Dave Trantham – Two round trip tickets anywhere  Alaska Airlines flies.

Olinka and Anna Nicholai – One round trip ticket each donated by ERA Alaska.

Esther Ilutsik – An IPad 2 donated by the Bethel Amateur Radio Club.

Frank Nicholai, Jr. – A Samsung cell phone donated by GCI.

Contgratulations to these lucky winners and a big thank you to Alaska Airlines, ERA Alaska, the Bethel Amateur Radio Club and GCI for their generous donations of goods and services.

Once again, thank you all for your partnership with KYUK in supporting public media for Bethel and the YK Delta.


Thank you for your support

by Mike Martz on March 13, 2012

As our radio fundraiser enters its second week, I want to take this opportunity to thank all our loyal listeners  who have made a donation in support of KYUK during this fund drive.  In these difficult times of high costs of living it’s gratifying to know that our community continues to support public media for Bethel and the YK Delta region.

Your generous support helps us continue to provide local news, entertainment, coverage of significant events like the recent AVCP Special Convention: The State of Our Salmon, live high school basketball games, local shows like Talk Line and Birthday Call In.  Your contributions also helps us keep national programs like A Prairie Home Companion, Wait, Wait Don’t Tell Me, All Things Considered and music programs like Thistle and Shamrock, Accoustic Accents, The Bay Whalin Hour and more coming into your homes.

I also want to acknowledge the generosity of those who chose to donate to KYUK through the Alaska Permanent Fund Pick-Click-Give program.  As of March 1st, 35 individuals have donated a total of $1,825.00 to KYUK.

Alaskans are known as generous people who are deeply committed to the causes and organizations they care about.  With your support and encouragement KYUK will be on the air for another 40 years.

Thank you.


Our commitment to local news

by Mike Martz on February 22, 2012

In these times of smart phones, IPads, XM Radio, satellite and cable television and the Internet bringing to our lives access to media of all descriptions from far distant locations, the need for a source of truly local media that serves the local community is greater than ever.  For 40 years KYUK has been that single local media source for the people of the Yukon/Kuskokwim Delta and we take that responsibility very seriously.  As the sole provider of local news and information our news team works hard everyday to ensure they provide the most accurate and in-depth reporting possible on the issues and stories that affect our community.  They do this in both English and Yup’ik three times a day on 640 AM radio and on our website,  They do this both because it’s their responsibility as journalists but also because they live in the community, too. This is especially true for our Yup’ik reporters, born and raised in the region, who speak directly to their extended families and their communities in their Native language.

When our journalists reported on a brutal murder and trial that rocked the community of Bethel and the region, they did so with sensitivity and care because this is their home, too.  When they followed low King Salmon numbers in the Kuskokwim River, they understood how critical the impact of this news is for the people of the region who rely on this vital food source because they fish for King Salmon themselves. Last spring, when a Kuskokwim river ice jam flooded Crooked Creek, destroying twelve homes in this tiny village of 200,  our journalists were there on the scene bringing the story of the magnitude of this disaster to the rest of the state with a perspective rooted in the fact that they also live along the Kuskokwim River and understand its power.   During the legislative session they are in weekly contact with State Senator Lyman Hoffman and Representative Bob Herron and track and report on legislation and policies affecting the Y/K Delta region.  Our  reporters also continue to be consistent contributors to APRN’s statewide public radio news program Alaska News Nightly bringing the stories of the Y/K Delta to listeners across Alaska .

As 2012 begins we renew our commitment to bring to you, our listeners,  quality local news and public affairs information that will truly reflect the interests, perspectives and issues important to us all.

Thank you for your support of local public media for the Yukon/Kuskokwim Delta.

As many of you may know by now, Talkline will return to the KYUK 640 AM lineup in its usual time slot of 10 am on Friday February 10th.  Listeners may notice a few changes and some new voices but the program will essentially be the same as it has been: a venue for the people of Bethel and the YK Delta to share their opinions and commentary about topics of interest and importance to them and to the community at large.  I want to thank you all for your patience during the show’s hiatus.

We are planning a Spring fundraising drive for the month of March.  The drive will begin Monday March 5th and continue through Friday March 16th.  We’ll be asking for your support to help us continue to provide the public media services and programming you enjoy and rely on.  We will be offering a number of incentive items, including 2 round trip tickets to Anchorage on ERA, as thank you gifts for your support.  Listen for more details on 640 AM and on

Finally, we are in the initial stages of upgrading our analog channel 15 low power television transmitter to a digital transmitter.  Channel 15 provides the Alaska One public TV program stream over the air to viewers in Bethel who do not have cable or satellite television services.  The upgrade to a digital transmitter will give us the capability of offering  4 separate program channels instead of the single channel that is currently available.  The planned channels are an Alaska public TV program stream, ARCS, 360North and a local KYUK channel.  Since this new transmitter will be broadcasting a digital signal, viewers will need to have a television sest capable of receiving a digital TV signal or get a digital converter set top box to allow  the digital signal to appear on their analog TV set.  We will be providing additional information on this digital transmitter conversion project,  including instructions on how to receive the digital signals on your TV sets, as this project moves forward.  I want to thank Donlin Gold for its generous donation to this project.

Thanks for your continued support of KYUK and public media on the YK Delta.


Another exciting Kuskokwim 300 race has come to an end.  It was an action packed weekend and our radio DJ’s and reporters were busy keeping everyone up to date on all the races.  Coverage of an event like the K300 takes team work and I want to extend a thank you to the entire KYUK team for their exceptionally hard work bringing comprehensive race reports to our listeners on 640 AM and on our website and Facebook page.

I also want to thank volunteers Scott Jonsson, Adrian Deiss and Rob Hoehen for helping us out.  Their assistance was greatly appreciated.

Finally, I want to also thank our K300 coverage sponsors: Donlin Gold for underwriting race coverage and hourly updates, Bethel Car Rental for the use of a pick up truck for crew transportation, GCI for providing two cell phones and  Corina’s Caselot,  Sammy’s Market and Swanson’s Store for generous contributions of food and refreshments for our radio staff and volunteers.

Thank you for your continued support of KYUK and public media for the YK Delta.

The 2012 Kuskokwim 300 Sled Dog Race is set for this weekend , January 20th through the 22nd.  This is always an exciting three day event  where many of the  best dog mushers in Alaska compete in an always challenging, fiercely competitive and unpredictable race.

Here at KYUK we are gearing up to provide comprehensive,  up to the minute coverage of the Kuskokwim 300, Bogus Creek 150 and the Akiak Dash on the radio and on our website.

This year the K300 has decided not to host the mushers drawing at KYUK studios, which means we are unable to broadcast the drawing this year. While we’re disappointed by the decision we are still working closely with the race organization to gather interviews, musher profiles, photos and the starting order for both the K300 and Bogus 150 races.  Listen for musher profiles and interviews on 640AM and on the KYUK  website throughout the weekend.

Our race coverage kicks off Friday January 20th at 4:30pm leading up to the Bogus Creek race start set for 5pm.  At 6pm the Kuskokwim 300 Pre-Race Show begins.  Mushers leave the chute at 6:30 and KYUK will be there on 640AM and online bringing you all the action.

Then stay tuned to 640AM or online at the KYUK website all through Saturday as the Bogus Creek 150 racers cross the finish line.  Live coverage of the 2PM Akiak Dash mass start begins at 1:30 with more live coverage of the Dash race finish Saturday night.

Throughout the weekend follow your favorite musher and keep up with the latest information on the trail with our hourly updates beginning Friday night,  continuing through Saturday, Saturday night and again on Sunday.  KYUK reporter Mark Arehart and Will Peterson of public station KTNA, Talkeetna will be on the trail feeding live reports from Kalskag and Tuluksak.

KYUK will be on the riverfront in Bethel to bring you live coverage of the exciting end of the Kuskokwim 300 as the winner crosses the finish line on Sunday.

Keep your radio tuned to KYUK 640AM and your browser pointed to the KYUK website and KYUK’s new Facebook page,  your  source for Kuskokwim 300 race coverage.

Thank you for your support of public media for Bethel and the Yukon/Kuskokwim Delta.

New voices, new faces

by Mike Martz on November 30, 2011

The past several months have been a time of transition within our KYUK family.  In late October, after many years of devoted service as a radio DJ and program manager,  David Twitchell moved on to new opportunities in the juvenile justice system in the Mat-Su Valley.

News reporter Shane Iverson is currently transitioning from the News department to the Radio department to assume the responsibilities of Director of Radio Programming and Operations.  He has enthusiastically embraced his new duties and has many new ideas to improve our radio programming on both 640 AM and 90.3 FM.

Replacing Shane in the newsroom will be Mark Arehart.  Mark hails from Omaha Nebraska and is a recent graduate of the University of Kansas with a degree in journalism.  Mark should be in Bethel by December 1st (weather permitting).  He is eager to get here, get settled and begin working as a reporter.

Also joining our radio staff will be Kristin Hall.  Kristin is originally from Chicago and has lived in Bethel for about 2 years.  She co-hosts a volunteer radio show on Monday nights.  Kristin will assume the duties of On-air Host/Announcer and Production Coordinator on December 5th.

We are still in need of a Yup’ik News Translator.  This part time position is with our News department.  Additional details are available in the Opportunities section of the website.

After many years without a fundraising and development coordinator, we were fortunate to be able to bring Bing Santimore on board earlier in November to assume that important position.  Bing has been working hard to boost our local underwriting.  She is developing ideas for new fundraising events and has been soliciting membership donations.   She manages the KYUK table at the Saturday Market where you can stop by to make a membership donation or to look over our collection of DVDs, CDs and other KYUK merchandise.

And on the topic of DVDs, the new 2011 Cama-i Dance Festival Highlights program is now available for purchase.  Stop by the KYUK table at the Saturday Markets at the Yup’ik Cultural Center or at the station or call 543-3131 to order a copy.

Finally,  I want to extend our wishes to all the people in the Y/K Delta for a safe and joyous holiday season.

Thank you for your support of public media for Bethel and the Delta region.


One of the critical services broadcast stations provide is emergency alerts.  KYUK, like all other full power radio and television stations in the United States, is required by law to participate in the Emergency Alert System or EAS.  KYUK is the primary EAS station for Bethel and the Yukon/Kuskokwim Delta region.

In the event of a natural or man made disaster, KYUK will broadcast a special announcement originating from state or federal emergency management agencies.  This message will contain vital information on how we should respond to the emergency situation.

KYUK, like all other broadcasters, is required to conduct weekly and monthly tests of our EAS system.  You may be familiar with the alert tone and test announcement that periodically interrupts programming on radio or TV.

Due to the extremely strong winter storm that hit the western Alaska coastline Tuesday night November 8th and Wednesday November 9th, Alaska has been exempted from the nation wide test of the Emergency Alert System on Wednesday the 9th.  For the rest of the country, this is the first test of the system in every state at the same time.

Although this test will not occur in Alaska,  KYUK was fully prepared to participate in this important event designed to ensure the proper operation of our country’s disaster preparedness system.   We participated in a successful statewide emergency alert test two years ago and  we stand ready to alert our region in the event of an actual emergency.

October is domestic violence and sexual assault awareness month.  Alaska has the unfortunate distinction of having the highest rates of domestic violence and sexual assault in the country.  Governor Sean Parnell has made domestic violence and sexual assault awareness and prevention a top priority for his administration.

Here in Bethel, the Tundra Womens Coalition, in partnership with other local and statewide agencies, sponsors a series of events each October related to heightening awareness about this serious problem and how to prevent violence from occurring.  An example is the annual Peace Walk.  KYUK will announce these events as they occur throughout the month.

In partnership with the Alaska Network on Domestic Violence and Sexual Assault, KYUK has produced a series of 9 public service announcements that bring attention to domestic violence and sexual assault and offer ways to prevent the violence.  Listen for these locally produced spots featuring local voices on both 640 AM and 90.3 FM.  They offer sound advice from elders and councilors.

KYUK will continue to partner with the Tundra Womens Coalition and other social service agencies in Bethel and throughout the Delta to work toward ending the scourge of domestic violence and sexual assault in our region.

Thank you for your continued support of KYUK, public media for the Yukon Kuskokwim Delta.