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.


Mark your calendars, set your Tivvo or DVR.  These are PBS shows you won’t want to miss.


MASTERPIECE CLASSIC “Downton AbbeySeason 4” — Sundays, January 5-February 23, 2014, 9:00 p.m. ET — Season 4 of the international hit finds aristocrats coping with last season’s shocking finale. Change is in the air as three generations of the Crawley family have conflicting interests in the estate. Paul Giamatti appears alongside the beloved returning ensemble that includes Dame Maggie Smith, Elizabeth McGovern, Hugh Bonneville, Michelle Dockery, Jim Carter, Joanne Froggatt, guest star Shirley MacLaine and many others. A Carnival/MASTERPIECE co-production.

MASTERPIECE “SherlockSeason 3” — Sundays, January 19-February 2, 2014, 10:00 p.m. ET – Benedict Cumberbatch (The Fifth Estate, Star Trek Into Darkness) and Martin Freeman (The Hobbit, The Office UK) return as Sherlock Holmes and Doctor Watson in three new 90-minute episodes  — “The Empty Hearse” (January 19), “The Sign of Three” (January 26) and “His Last Vow” (February 2) — of the contemporary reinvention of the Arthur Conan Doyle classic, written and created by Steven Moffat (Dr. Who) and Mark Gatiss (Game of Thrones). The Emmy and Golden Globe-nominated “Sherlock” has been a television sensation since the first season aired in 2010.

CHASING SHACKLETON — Wednesdays, January 8-22, 2014, 10:00-11:00 p.m. ET — This new three-part series follows a modern expedition that re-creates Sir Ernest Shackleton’s Antarctic expedition. A crew of five intrepid explorers led by renowned adventurer, scientist and author Tim Jarvis in a replica of the original explorers’ lifeboat, uses only the tools and supplies Shackleton’s team used. When his ship The Endurance was crushed by ice and sank, Shackleton’s heroic leadership in the face of almost certain death saved the lives of 27 men stranded more than 500 days.

HAWKING — Wednesday, January 29, 2014, 10:00-11:00 p.m. ET — Told for the first time in his own words, this is the intimate and revealing story of Stephen Hawking. Viewers join him at home with his nursing team; in San Jose as he wows a packed theatre; meeting a team of technicians who hope to speed up his communication system; and hosting a party for family and friends. HAWKING tells a life’s journey, from boyhood underachiever to PhD genius, from healthy Oxford rowing team member to a prognosis of just two years to live, and surviving several close brushes with death.

AMERICAN MASTERS “Salinger”Tuesday, January 21, 2014, 9:00 p.m. ET — The series’ 200th episode features interviews with 150 subjects, including J.D. Salinger’s friends, colleagues and members of his inner circle who have never before spoken on the record, as well as film footage, photographs and other material that has never been seen. Famous names of all stripes talk about Salinger’s influence on their lives, their work and the broader culture, including Philip Seymour Hoffman, Edward Norton, Martin Sheen, Tom Wolfe, E.L. Doctorow, Gore Vidal and many more. This film is the first work to go beyond the Catcher in the Rye author’s meticulously built-up wall to reveal his childhood, painstaking work methods, marriages and the secrets he left behind after his death in 2010.

INDEPENDENT LENS “At Berkeley” – Monday, January 13, 2014, 10:00 p.m. ETLegendary documentarian Frederick Wiseman goes back to school for this intimate and sprawling film. “At Berkeley” is a revealing documentary about the University of California at Berkeley, the oldest and most prestigious member of a ten-campus public education system and one of the finest research and teaching facilities in the world.

GREAT PERFORMANCES “Barrymore”Friday, January 31, 2014, 9:00-10:30 p.m. ET — In “Barrymore,” 83-year-old stage and screen legend Christopher Plummer portrays another titan of theater and film from an earlier age, the illustrious — and notorious — John Barrymore. This acclaimed film adaptation of William Luce’s 1997 play is set in 1942 during the final months of Barrymore’s life. On the stage of a Broadway theater, the famously combative star struggles to recreate his performance in Shakepeare’s Richard III, recalling the highs and lows of his remarkable life and career in the process.


SUPER SKYSCRAPERS — Wednesdays, February 5-26, 2014, 10:00-11:00 p.m. ET — As urban space shrinks, we build higher and faster than ever before, creating a new generation of skyscrapers. Super skyscrapers are pushing the limits of engineering, technology and design to become greener, stronger, smarter and more luxurious than their predecessors. This four-part series follows the creation of four extraordinary buildings, showcasing how they will revolutionize the way we live, work and protect ourselves from potential threats.

AMERICAN EXPERIENCE “The Amish: Shunned” — Tuesday, February 4, 2014, 8:00-10:00 p.m. ET — Filmed over one year, “The Amish: Shunned” follows seven former members of the Amish community as they reflect on decisions to leave one of the most tightly knit communities in the U.S. Estranged from family, ex-Amish find themselves struggling to make their way in modern America. Interwoven through the stories are voices of Amish men and women who remain staunchly loyal to their traditions and faith. They explain the importance of obedience, the strong ties that bind their communities together and the pain they endure when a loved one falls away.


CALL THE MIDWIFE, Season 3 — Sundays, March 30-May 18, 2014, 8:00 p.m. ET — The third season of CALL THE MIDWIFE takes viewers back to East London. It’s now 1959, the eve of the Swinging Sixties. The winds of change are sweeping through the country and the residents of Nonnatus House face some momentous changes of their own.

MASTERPIECE CLASSIC “Mr. Selfridge, Season 2” — Sundays, March 30-May 18, 2014, 9:00 p.m. ET — Season two of the popular series starring Jeremy Piven as the flamboyant American entrepreneur who founded London’s famous Selfridge’s department store picks up in 1914, as the store celebrates its fifth anniversary. The acclaimed cast includes Frances O’Connor, Aisling Loftus, Katherine Kelly, Gregory Fitoussi, Amanda Abbington and Tom Goodman-Hill. The series is based on Shopping, Seduction & Mr. Selfridge by Lindy Woodhead. An ITV Studios and MASTERPIECE co-production.

STORY OF THE JEWS — Tuesdays, March 25, 8:00-10:00 p.m. ET and April 1, 2014, 8:00-11:00 p.m. ET — This epic five-part series follows noted historian, author and critic Simon Schama as he explores the Jewish experience from ancient times to the present day in this new five-part series. Episodes focus on biblical times (“The Beginning”); medieval times (“Among Believers”); the enlightenment (“A Leap of Faith”); shtetl culture and its mark on the modern world (“Over the Rainbow”); and the post-holocaust era (“Return”). Co-produced by WNET/Thirteen and the BBC.


In April, PBS lines up several new NATURE episodes, NOVA “Inside Animal Minds” and YOUR INNER FISH for three weeks of block-buster science and nature programming.

NATUREWednesdays, April 9, 23, 30, 2014, 8:00-9:00 p.m. ET — NATURE this month covers animal prosthetics, Japanese macaque monkeys and wild mule deer. “Bionic Animals” (w.t.) (April 9) reveals that prosthetics made possible by the latest engineering and technology are enabling disabled animals to survive. “Snow Monkeys” (w.t.) (April 23) profiles the Japanese macaque, or snow monkey, an intelligent species known for unusual behaviors, including communal bathing in hot springs and rolling snowballs for fun. In “Touching the Wild” (w.t.) (April 30), Joe Hutto (“My Life as a Turkey”) literally enters deer society, crossing the species divide and tapping into a new understanding of these elusive animals.

NOVA “Inside Animal Minds” (w.t.) – Wednesdays, April 9-23, 2014, 9:00-10:00 p.m. ET — We have all gazed into a creature’s eyes and wondered: What is it thinking about? What does it know? Now, the revolutionary science of animal cognition is revealing hard evidence about how animals understand the world around them, uncovering their remarkable problem-solving abilities and exploring the complexity of their powers of communication and even their emotions. In the three-hour “Inside Animal Minds,” NOVA explores these breakthroughs through the eyes of three iconic creatures: dogs, birds and dolphins.

YOUR INNER FISH — Wednesdays, April 9-23, 10:00-11:00 p.m. ET — How did the human body become the complicated, quirky and amazing machine it is today? This cutting-edge scientific adventure reveals a startling truth: hidden within the human body is a story of life on Earth, and the legacy of animals that lived hundreds of millions of years ago.  Based on the best-selling book by Neil Shubin, the series travels from Africa to the Arctic Circle to uncover the 3.5 billion year history of the human body — and how a colorful cast of ancient characters made us who we are today.

THE BLETCHLEY CIRCLE, Season 2 — Sundays, April 13-May 4, 2014, 10:00-11:00 p.m. ET — THE BLETCHLEY CIRCLE returns for a second season, following four ordinary women with the extraordinary ability to break codes, a skill honed during World War II when they worked undercover at Bletchley Park, site of the United Kingdom’s main decryption establishment. The women use their code-breaking skills to solve crimes in post-war London.

PIONEERS OF TELEVISIONTuesdays, April 8-29, 2014, 8:00-9:00 p.m. ET — More than 200 breakthrough stars bring their stories to life in season four of this Emmy-nominated documentary series. Each episode melds compelling new interviews with irresistible clips to offer a fresh take on TV’s biggest celebrities. Featured stars in this season’s four new episodes (“Standup to Sitcom,” “Doctors and Nurses,” “Acting Funny” and “Breaking Barriers”) include Jerry Seinfeld, Robin Williams, Roseanne Barr, Bill Cosby, Tim Allen, Ray Romano, Noah Wyle, Anthony Edwards, Diahann Carroll, Howie Mandel, Bob Newhart and many more.

INDEPENDENT LENS “Muscle Shoals” Tuesday, April 21, 2014, 9:00-11:00 p.m. ET – Located alongside the Tennessee River, Muscle Shoals, Alabama is the unlikely breeding ground for some of America’s most creative and defiant music. The music of Muscle Shoals has helped create some of the most important and resonant songs of all time. At its heart is Rick Hall, who brought black and white together in Alabama’s cauldron of racial hostility to create music for the generations. In this joyful film, Greg Allman, Bono, Clarence Carter, Mick Jagger, Etta James, Alicia Keys, Keith Richards, Percy Sledge and others bear witness to Muscle Shoals’ magnetism and mystery, and why it remains influential today.


COMING BACK WITH WES MOORE — Tuesdays, May 13-27, 2013, 8:00-9:00 p.m. ET — Meet returning U.S. veterans as they welcome cameras into their homes and their lives in this three-part special programmed in time for Memorial Day. Hosted by combat veteran and The New York Times best-selling author Wes Moore, the series tells personal stories of an exceptional group of people, the challenges they face and their courageous efforts to overcome obstacles as they work to readjust to life back home.

NATIONAL MEMORIAL DAY CONCERT (2014) — Sunday, May 25, 2014, 8:00-9:30 p.m. ET; rpt. 9:30-11:00 p.m. ET — Join co-hosts Joe Mantegna and Gary Sinise for the 25th anniversary broadcast of this iconic event that offers a tribute to our men and women in uniform, their families at home and all those who have given their lives for our country. Broadcast live from the West Lawn of the U.S. Capitol, the night of remembrance features an all-star line-up with the National Symphony Orchestra before an audience of hundreds of thousands, millions at home and beamed to troops around the world on the American Forces Network.

About PBS

PBS, with its over 350 member stations, offers all Americans the opportunity to explore new ideas and new worlds through television and online content. Each month, PBS reaches nearly 120 million people through television and over 29 million people online, inviting them to experience the worlds of science, history, nature and public affairs; to hear diverse viewpoints; and to take front row seats to world-class drama and performances. PBS’ broad array of programs has been consistently honored by the industry’s most coveted award competitions. Teachers of children from pre-K through 12th grade turn to PBS for digital content and services that help bring classroom lessons to life. PBS’ premier children’s TV programming and its website,, are parents’ and teachers’ most trusted partners in inspiring and nurturing curiosity and love of learning in children. More information about PBS is available at, one of the leading dot-org websites on the Internet, or by following PBS on TwitterFacebook or through our apps for mobile devices. Specific program information and updates for press are available at or by following PBS Pressroom on Twitter

(Lincoln, Neb.) — The hope and determination of modern-day American Indian life is revealed in this film about what it takes to win one of the most exciting forms of horse racing practiced anywhere in the world today. Featuring remarkable high-speed cinematography,Indian Relay follows three teams from different tribes as they prepare for and compete in a grueling Indian Relay season — all hearts set on the glory and honor of winning an Indian Relay National Championship.A mix of daring and exquisite horsemanship, Indian Relay is a sport widely enjoyed and practiced by men and women from tribal nations across the Rocky Mountain West. Each race begins with up to eight Native athletes riding a horse bareback around a track at full gallop. After one lap — barely slowing down — the riders leap from their speeding horses to a second set of horses. Each team’s “mugger” must then catch the first horse or the team is disqualified, creating an often chaotic scene in front of the grandstands. Another top-speed lap, another daring horse change, and the teams race for the finish line, at speeds topping 40-miles-an-hour.

Indian Relay opens with footage from the Indian Relay National Championships, then it cuts back in time, to the bitter cold off-season near Browning, Montana, where first-time Relayer Myles Murray tries to keep his horses alive when night-time temperatures are dropping to 20-degrees below zero. In Crow Agency, Montana, Zack Rock and Kendall Old Horn steadily work through the muddy spring towards their ultimate goal. Near Ft. Hall, Idaho, Lance Tissisimit and Alonzo “Punkin” Coby are buying a retiring flat-track race horse — next season’s Relay horse. Soon enough, the season begins with unexpected turns and even tragedies but each day brings viewers closer to the thread of the film — the Indian Relay National Championships in Blackfoot, Idaho.

Along the way, the film presents viewers with questions fundamental to American Indian life today, such as how can one keep alive an ancient relationship-based culture when it has been almost completely overrun by a modern, commodity-based one?

The Indian Relay racing community is tight-knit but they welcome others to take part in witnessing this time-honored tradition that most of the world is unaware of. Not only is there strength in the bond between these communities, but the love of family — even on competing teams — and the blessing of their prized horses as a staple in their lives is deeply rooted both in emotion and Native tradition.

Indian Relay will premiere on the PBS Series “Independent Lens” onMonday, November 18, 2013. For scheduling information in your area or to sign-up for a program reminder, please This winter, Vision Maker Media will also be offering classroom resources at no cost to accompany the film which can be downloaded from

About Independent Lens
Airing weekly on PBS, the five-time Emmy® Award-winning series Independent Lens is a film festival in your living room. Each week we bring you another original documentary film, made by one of the best independent filmmakers working today. This season, Independent Lens returns with 23 independent films that will take you around the United States and far beyond. For more information, MontanaPBS
MontanaPBS, the state’s public television system is comprised of KUSM-TV Bozeman and KUFM-TV Missoula, both licensees of the Montana University System. MontanaPBS believes that quality television has the power to elevate our understanding of the world, encourage respect for one another, and influence our lives in a positive way. MontanaPBS shares diverse stories, connects our citizens, discovers common ground, and celebrates the independent spirit and beauty of Montana. For more information, visit

About Vision Maker Media
Vision Maker Media shares Native stories with the world that represent the cultures, experiences, and values of American Indians and Alaska Natives. Founded in 1977, Vision Maker Media, a nonprofit 501(c)(3) which receives major funding from the Corporation for Public Broadcasting, nurtures creativity for development of new projects, partnerships, and funding. Vision Maker Media is the premier source for quality Native American and Pacific Islander educational and home videos. All aspects of our programs encourage the involvement of young people to learn more about careers in the media — to be the next generation of storytellers. Located at the University of Nebraska-Lincoln, we offer student employment and internships. For more information, visit

Additional Information Regarding Indian Relay:
Premiere Date: Independent Lens  |  Monday, November 18, 2013 |  1/60 Program
Credits: Indian Relay is a co-production of Dye Works, LLC, KUSM-TV/MontanaPBS, & the Independent Television Service (ITVS), in association with Vision Maker Media, with major funding provided by the Corporation for Public Broadcasting (CPB).
Additional Funding Provided by: Friends of MontanaPBS, the Gilhousen Family Foundation, Humanities Montana, the Greater Montana Foundation, the Montana Office of Tourism, and Pacific Mountain Network.
Film Pages:
Independent Lens:
Vision Maker Media:
Distributed by:

Vision Maker Media
1800 N. 33rd Street; Lincoln, NE 68503

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Public Outreach Campaign Tied to Ken Burns’s Film THE ADDRESS, Premiering

April 15, 2014 on Alaska Public Media and KYUK-TV


LINCOLN@GETTYSBURG, the Story of Lincoln’s Pioneering Use of the Telegraph and Its Impact on the Gettysburg Address,

Airing November 19, 2013 on Alaska Public Media and KYUK-TV



Ken Burns announced today a major national public outreach campaign in advance of the 150th anniversary of the Gettysburg Address — November 19, 2013 — to challenge everyone across the country, especially students, to learn about and read aloud the Gettysburg Address.

The initiative, in conjunction with PBS and WETA, will run through April 15, 2014, when Burns’s THE ADDRESS, a 90-minute feature-length documentary, will air Alaska Public Media and KYUK-TV.

The campaign will use social media and videos from public figures, political leaders, entertainers and Lincoln historians reading the Gettysburg Address to encourage people to submit their own videos to

Among those submitting videos are Presidents Jimmy Carter, George H.W. Bush, Bill Clinton, George W. Bush, and Barak Obama, House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi, Secretary of Education Arne Duncan, Senators Marco Rubio, Charles Schumer and Jay Rockefeller, former Governors Charlie Crist, Mario Cuomo, and Jim Gilmore, Cardinal Timothy Dolan, Rabbi Peter Rubinstein, Wolf Blitzer, Warren Buffet, Carol Burnett, Louis CK, Stephen Colbert, Bill Gates, Whoopi Goldberg, David Gregory, Arianna Huffington, Gwen Ifill, Jimmy Kimmel, Vicky Lawrence, Rachel Maddow, Alyssa Milano, Rita Moreno, Conan O’Brien, Bill O’Reilly, Robin Roberts, Jerry Seinfeld, Bob Schieffer, Steven Spielberg, Martha Stewart, Taylor Swift, Uma Thurman, Nina Totenberg, Usher, Shane Victorino and more.  These videos — and those submitted by any member of the public — will be uploaded to the project’s web site beginning today.  Burns will also be in Gettysburg on the 150th anniversary to film ordinary Americans reciting the Gettysburg Address.

The campaign is inspired by the subject of Burns’s film THE ADDRESS, which tells the story of a tiny school in Putney Vermont, the Greenwood School, where each year the students are encouraged to memorize, practice and recite the Gettysburg Address. In its exploration of the Greenwood School, the film also unlocks the history, context and importance of President Lincoln’s most powerful address.

“In his address, President Lincoln said, ‘The world will little note, nor long remember what we say here,’ and yet 150 years later, the students of the Greenwood School are using his momentous words to overcome adversity,” Burns said. “We want to tell this story to inspire everyone across the nation, especially school children, to learn the rich history of American freedom and sacrifice embedded in one of the most important declarations ever made.”

The Greenwood School students, boys ages 11-17, all face a range of complex learning differences that make their personal, academic and social progress challenging. THE ADDRESS reveals how President Lincoln’s historic words motivate and engage these students a century-and-a-half after President Lincoln  delivered a speech that would go on to embolden the Union cause with some of the most stirring words ever spoken.

“THE ADDRESS is an extraordinary film that directly connects this historic speech with people today, making history come alive in the way only Ken and his team can accomplish,” said Beth Hoppe, Chief Programming Executive and GM of General Audience Programming at PBS. “Through our social media platforms and extensive outreach arm, along with those of local stations, we hope to create a national moment to celebrate our history and our country today.”

A standards-based education curriculum designed to help students understand why the Gettysburg Address is regarded as one of the finest political speeches of all time, along with tips and strategies for memorization is also in development.  The lesson plans and activities will be available to all schools around the country through the film’s companion web site: Educators can also access these resources through PBS Learning Media.

On November 19, Alaska Public Media and KYUK-TV will air LINCOLN@GETTYSBURG, a film that details how Abraham Lincoln re-invented leadership though his pioneering use of the telegraph — the internet of the 19th century — and how this revolution in communication shaped the Gettysburg Address, the words that remade America. The telegraph gave Lincoln power to wield personal control across distant battlefields and connected him to the country in new ways, as information poured in, allowing him to sense the mood of the country faster than ever before. LINCOLN@GETTYSBURG is a production of Partisan Pictures.

THE ADDRESS  is a production of Florentine Films and WETA Washington, DC, and is directed by Ken Burns. Funding for THE ADDRESS is provided by Bank of America; PBS; Corporation for Public Broadcasting and members of The Better Angels Society, including Robert & Beverly Grappone.

About WETA
WETA Washington, D.C., is the third-largest producing station for public television and the flagship public broadcaster in the nation’s capital. WETA productions and co-productions include PBS NewsHour, Washington Week with Gwen Ifill, In Performance at the White House, The Kennedy Center Mark Twain Prize and documentaries by filmmaker Ken Burns, as well as historical specials such as the recent six-part Latino Americans. Sharon Percy Rockefeller is president and CEO of WETA. More information on WETA and its programs and services is available at

About PBS
PBS, with its nearly 360 member stations, offers all Americans the opportunity to explore new ideas and new worlds through television and online content. Each month, PBS reaches nearly 123 million people through television and more than 21 million people online, inviting them to experience the worlds of science, history, nature and public affairs; to hear diverse viewpoints; and to take front row seats to world-class drama and performances. PBS’ broad array of programs has been consistently honored by the industry’s most coveted award competitions. Teachers of children from pre-K through 12th grade turn to PBS for digital content and services that help bring classroom lessons to life. PBS’ premier children’s TV programming and its website,, are parents’ and teachers’ most trusted partners in inspiring and nurturing curiosity and love of learning in children. More information about PBS is available at, one of the leading dot-org websites on the Internet, or by following PBS on Twitter, Facebook or through our apps for mobile devices. Specific program information and updates for press are available at or by following PBS Pressroom on Twitter.


PBS has announced a new slate of Winter/Spring 2014 programs, including the long-awaited return of MASTERPIECE “Sherlock, Season 3” starring Benedict Cumberbatch as the legendary British sleuth, on Sunday, January 19 at 10 p.m. ET. The highly acclaimed “Sherlock” follows Season 4 of “Downton Abbey,” which debuts with eight new episodes January 5 on MASTERPIECE.

PBS also will roll out a number of new programs, including the real-life adventure series CHASING SHACKLETON, the broadcast premieres of biopics “Salinger” on AMERICAN MASTERS (about the reclusive Catcher in the Rye author) and HAWKING, an intimate portrait of physicist Stephen Hawking’s extraordinary life and career, along with a roster of other new shows aimed to strengthen Wednesday night as a destination for TV’s best science and nature programs.

According to Nielsen, PBS now ranks eighth among all broadcast and cable networks in overall general audience content, surpassed only by the four major broadcast networks as well as USA, Univision and Disney, and overtaking cable’s ESPN, History and TNT in the rankings. Previously, PBS ranked 11th.

The pairing of hits “Downton Abbey” and “Sherlock” on MASTERPIECE sets the stage for the March 30 return of acclaimed dramas CALL THE MIDWIFE and MASTERPIECE’s “Mr. Selfridge.” Wednesday’s popular line-up offers the January 8 debut of the three-part CHASING SHACKLETON, in which five intrepid adventurers retrace the death-defying 1914 Antarctic sea-and-land journey by a shipwrecked crew led by Sir Ernest Shackleton.  Soon after, is the four-part SUPER SKYSCRAPERS (February 5), which displays the dizzying heights of modern buildings, and the April 9th premieres of three-part miniseries NOVA “Inside Animal Minds” and YOUR INNER FISH, based on paleontologist Neil Shubin’s best-selling book that traces the human body’s development over millions of years.

Mondays on PBS and KYUK feature the broadcast premieres of 17 new and diverse films from INDEPENDENT LENS and POV, including legendary documentarian Frederick Weisman’s “At Berkeley,” which takes a deep look into the public higher education system (January 13), and the rollicking story of an off-beat American music mecca in the Alabama town of “Muscle Shoals” (April 21). Performing arts take the spotlight on Friday nights, with superstar Christopher Plummer onstage as the immortal John Barrymore in GREAT PERFORMANCES “Barrymore” (January 31), and music and dance programs scheduled throughout the season.

News, history and public affairs remain a cornerstone for PBS and [INSERT STATION] with PBS NEWSHOUR, CHARLIE ROSE − THE WEEK and new thought-provoking programs such as AMERICAN EXPERIENCE “The Amish: Shunned” (February 4) and the five-part epic THE STORY OF THE JEWS (March 25-April 1).

Vision Maker Media announces ten, newly funded documentaries as part of its Public Media Content Fund. Sixty-two producers and public television stations submitted proposals for funding consideration for their documentaries by and about Native Americans and Alaska Natives.

Since 1990, Vision Maker Media has invited filmmakers to submit proposals in various stages of their film-from research & development, to production, post-production/completion, and outreach. All proposals are reviewed by a group of public television professionals, station programmers, independent filmmakers, educators, and executives from indigenous organizations.

“The goal of the Public Media Content Fund is to increase the diversity of voices available to PBS viewers,” said Shirley K. Sneve (Rosebud Sioux), executive director of Vision Maker Media. “We support projects that have Native people in key positions–such as producer, director, director of photography, writer, or editor.”

The final slate of documentaries represents Native voices and stories from across the United States including Arizona, California, Idaho, Nebraska, New Mexico, Wyoming, and a couple documentaries will span coast to coast.

In this funding cycle, of the selected projects, 8% are emerging filmmakers, 34% are mid-level filmmakers, and 58% are veteran filmmakers. Of this, 42% of the filmmakers are women, 58% are male, and two-thirds are enrolled in a federally recognized tribe.

Funding was awarded as 33% research & development and 67% production, post-production and completion. Research and development aids producers in fully developing their storylines, identifying engaging characters and talent, and completing a production proposal and budget. Production provides funding for producers to film, record, and produce their documentaries. Post-production funding allows for completion of documentaries already-in-progress.

In alphabetical order, the funded projects are:

America by the Numbers with Maria Hinojosa
Martha Spanninger
This series is dedicated to examining how America’s rising multicultural population influences every aspect of contemporary culture and politics. The intent of the series is to educate the public, illuminating critical issues affecting America’s diverse populations. The series will include an episode on the North Dakota oil boom in Fort Berthold, North Dakota.

Chasing Voices: The Story of John Peabody Harrington & the Language Revitalization Movement
Daniel Golding (Quechan)
Obsessively driven linguist/ethnographer JP Harrington’s fifty years of work is the focus in this documentary that showcases how his immense and once hidden recordings of over a hundred Native languages are being used from the archives at the Smithsonian to breathe life back into Native America’s dying languages.

Drums of Change (Research & Development)
Christine Lesiak & Princella Parker (Omaha)
This is the story of the first Native American woman doctor, Susan LaFlesche Picotte (1865-1915) as told through her struggle to reclaim her tribal identity after her education in the world of Victorian America.

Horse Tribe
Janet Kern
Combining cinéma vérité and dream-like horse imagery, this film portrays the Nez Perce Tribe’s struggle to reinvent their legendary but lost equestrian culture, and the mystically gifted but deeply flawed Navajo horseman whose own fate intersects with theirs.

The Kashaya Fort Ross Project (Research & Development)
Jed Riffe & Peggy Berryhill (Muscogee)
Two-hundred years after the Russians abandoned the California settlement they shared with the Kashaya Pomo for thirty years, the Kashaya were invited to Russia to rekindle their relationship. This film explores their intertwined histories, reveals the remarkable bond between these diverse cultures, and constructs a unique tale for contemporary audiences.

Lake of Betrayal: The Story of Kinzua Dam
(Research & Development)
Paul Lamont
A story of loss, displacement, hope, and survival in the Seneca Nation, the film explores the construction of the Kinzua Dam that flooded Seneca lands on the Allegany Reservation. Now, the Senecas seek control of the hydropower operations at Kinzua.

The Mayor of Shiprock
Ramona Emerson (Diné)
Amid years of resistance and complacency, a group of young Navajo men and women have begun to take back their community and create change. The Northern Diné Youth Committee–led by their founder, 22-year-old Graham Beyale–has begun to inspire a whole new generation of leaders.

Native Report
Michael LeGarde (Grand Portage)
Told with distinct Native voice, stories will be presented about everything from resource management and talented artists, to language revitalization, engaging youth, and developing great leaders oftomorrow.

Robert Mirabal: Music & Myth
Robert Mirabal (Taos Pueblo)
Robert Mirabal, in enhanced traditional song and dance, tells stories of agrarian life and the mythological characters and ceremonies that surround the seasons of planting, growing, and harvesting. Pueblo dancers in colorful tribal dress join him at the Santa Fe Opera House.

Wind River
Mat Hames & Jordan Dresser (Shoshone)
When a young Northern Arapaho journalist is asked to tell the story of his Reservation for a small tribal museum, he joins elected tribal elders, including Vietnam veteran Philbert McCleod (Shosone), on a journey to return lost artifacts taken by collectors at the turn of the 20th century.

Vision Maker Media shares Native stories with the world that represent the cultures, experiences, and values of American Indians and Alaska Natives. Founded in 1977, Vision Maker Media, a nonprofit 501(c)(3) which receives major funding from the Corporation for Public Broadcasting, nurtures creativity for development of new projects, partnerships, and funding. Vision Maker Media is the premier source for quality Native American and Pacific Islander educational and home videos. All aspects of our programs encourage the involvement of young people to learn more about careers in the media–to be the next generation of storytellers. Located at the University of Nebraska-Lincoln, we offer student employment and internships.

Vision Maker Media is proud to present Bridge the Gap to Pine Ridge with Chris Bashinelli. Host and global explorer Chris Bashinelli travels the world to experience life outside his hometown – Brooklyn, New York. In this program, he visits Pine Ridge to explore the culture of the Oglala Lakota. The program premieres Friday, July 19 on most PBS stations at 10pm ET.Check your local listings.

Host and global explorer Chris Bashinelli travels the world to experience life outside his hometown — Brooklyn, New York. In this program, he visits Pine Ridge to explore the often forgotten culture of the Oglala Lakota Native Americans. While there, he embarks on a life-changing buffalo harvest, is “schooled” by the women’s basketball team, visits with a 14-year-old suicide prevention activist and finds himself shoulder deep up a cow’s backside while trying to better understand employment matters on the reservation. With humor and pathos, he uncovers stories of hope and learns how Lakota culture has prevailed in the face of adversity.

Watch Native Animation Short Films online.

Injunuity is a mix of animation, music, and real thoughts from real people exploring our world from the Native American perspective. You can now watch four episodes online with more available each month. One of the recent episodes dealt with the concept of being Two Spirited and premiered when the U.S. Supreme Court released its rulings on DOMA and Proposition 8.

Visit and watch their short films online.

“Summertime for Indians” by Mary A Pember (Red Cliff Ojibwe)

Ah, summertime in Indian Country! For me it means so much more than those homegrown 4th of July parades, powwows and gatherings. Summer showcases community and Native people’s uncanny ability to make something fun, useful and spiritually nurturing out of even the most limited resources.

Read the full blog article…

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Lincoln, Neb: Vision Maker Mediawill work with three Public Television stations to support paid internships for Native American college students.

Kavelina Torres (Yup’ik), from the University of Alaska-Fairbanks, will work at Alaska Public Media under the supervision of Chief Content Officer Patrick Yack. Torres said, “I worked with Vision Maker Media’s Blue Tarpalechee and Chris Eyre on the Growing Native series and I knew then that bringing in aspects of television production–which is outside of my degree work at the University–is invaluable because it allows me to change focus for a bit to gain cross-platform media skills.”

Willow Blythe (Creek), an Honor Roll and Morter Board senior at Southern Methodist University, will be working at KERA in Dallas, Texas. Blythe cannot wait to start her internship, saying, “As a proud Native American, I’ve been sincerely motivated since high school to succeed. I am committed to bettering myself with hard work and striving to gain experience professionally to grow into my post-college career as a media journalist.”

Rebekka Schlichting (Kickapoo/Sac & Fox), an Honor Roll student at the University of Kansas and contributor to Lawrence Journal World, will be interning at Vision Maker Media in Lincoln, Neb. Rebekka has dedicated her schoolwork to becoming a journalist for Native American people. “I strive to shed light on issues that affect my readers’ lives and help them to think about matters from all perspectives,” commented Schlichting.

Vision Maker Media also works with Longhouse Media, to continue their Native-youth driven mission to use media as a tool for self-expression, cultural preservation, and social change, in partnership with KCTS9, in Seattle, Wash.

With major funding from the Corporation for Public Broadcasting (CPB), the purpose of these paid, Public Media summer internships is to increase the journalism and production skills for college students. One of the major goals of the internship is to increase the quantity and quality of media reporting available to Public Television audiences and other news outlets. If you’re interested in funding internship opportunities, please or consider making a tax-deductible contribution to the Friends of Vision Maker Media

Vision Maker Media shares Native stories with the world that represent the cultures, experiences, and values of American Indians and Alaska Natives. Founded in 1977, Vision Maker Media, a nonprofit 501(c)(3) which receives major funding from the Corporation for Public Broadcasting, nurtures creativity for development of new projects, partnerships, and funding. Vision Maker Media is the premier source for quality Native American and Pacific Islander educational and home videos. All aspects of our programs encourage the involvement of young people to learn more about careers in the media–to be the next generation of storytellers. Located at the University of Nebraska-Lincoln, we offer student employment and internships.


Take an early look at the  PBS fall primetime line-up featuring a strong roster of wide-ranging programs coming to KYUK starting in September.   New highlights of the season include a series of specials commemorating the 50th anniversary of President John F. Kennedy’s death; programs exploring American heritage from diverse viewpoints; the first PBS Independent Film Showcase; and captivating new dramas. Fall also marks the second PBS Arts Fall Festival, as well as the return (and a premiere) of acclaimed science programs.

We pay tribute to President Kennedy on the eve of the 50th anniversary of his assassination with intriguing new takes on the president’s life and death, anchored by “JFK”, a new four-hour, two-part special from AMERICAN EXPERIENCE.  A new episode from the science series NOVA, the history-focused SECRETS OF THE DEAD and other specials to be announced complete this special anniversary coverage.

A collection of programs focuses on the diversity of Americans’ ancestries and cultures, including the new unscripted, interactive series GENEALOGY ROADSHOW, which uses history and science to connect participants nationwide to their individual and family histories; LATINO AMERICANS, the first major documentary series for television to chronicle the rich and varied history of Latinos across 500 years; and from executive producer — and Harvard scholar — Henry Louis Gates, Jr. THE AFRICAN AMERICANS: MANY RIVERS TO CROSS, which chronicles the full sweep of black history in the United States.

The arts remain a staple of PBS programming, with the PBS Arts Fall Festival returning for a seven-week run celebrating music and Broadway classics, including NASHVILLE 2.0, a tribute to legendary country stars, a star-studded version of Stephen Sondheim’s musical Company and GREAT PERFORMANCES “Barbra Streisand: Back to Brooklyn,” the superstar’s first Brooklyn concert since her childhood years. The PBS Independent Film Showcase airs this fall with documentaries from INDEPENDENT LENS and POV. GREAT PERFORMANCES premieres its ambitious four-part miniseries “The Hollow Crown,” combining Shakespeare’s Richard II, Henry IV (Parts I & II) and Henry V into a single chronological narrative.

Sunday nights on PBS will continue to captivate with enthralling dramas from MASTERPIECE, including “Foyle’s War, Series VII” for MASTERPIECE MYSTERY! and “The Paradise,” an adaptation of the beloved French novel by Emile Zola.

Science remains strong this fall, delving into how things are made wilder, faster, colder and safer with the new multi-part NOVA series, “Making Stuff With David Pogue,” and a new four-part series that will take viewers inside factories to learn how basic ingredients are transformed into powerhouse machines.

AMERICAN MASTERS will premiere a film about the tennis great Billie Jean King on the 40th anniversary of the tennis world’s 1973 Battle of the Sexes and King founding the Women’s Tennis Association (WTA), as well as a documentary on Jimi Hendrix with never-before-seen performance footage, photos, drawings and more. In addition to “JFK,” AMERICAN EXPERIENCE premieres “War of the Worlds,” revisiting the infamous radio dramatization on its 75th anniversary.

The new fall season on PBS will be full of attention-grabbing programming designed to entertain, educate and inspire and you can see it all right here on KYUK-TV channel 15.1.