In this issue: Dear Friend of KNOM, 

1998 has been a remarkable year of change and growth for our radio mission, as you’ll read inside. 

Thank you for making our work possible.  We pledge to you that we will continue to work hard on your behalf to serve our remote listeners, and we promise to use your contributions carefully and prayerfully. 

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GABRIEL AWARD!  (left)  Frank Morock, left, president of Unda-USA presents the Gabriel Award for Radio Station of the Year to KNOM general manager Tom Busch, as former NBC anchor Mary Alice Williams and Bishop Michael J. Kaniecki, SJ, look on. 

KNOM has received this honor an incredible six times, including the past three years in a row. 

Tom was also named North America’s Agnellus Andrew winner by Unda-World for his 25 years managing KNOM, which is the oldest Catholic radio station in the United States.   The ceremony was held August 8th in Montreal.

INSPIRATIONAL SPOT:  God gives us memory so that we may have roses in December.


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THANKS TO YOU, our KNOM radio signal has brightened western Alaska for another year, with a powerful 25,000 Watts at 780 kHz on the AM band. 

We’ve continued this service since 1971, bringing God’s Love in the form of inspiration, education and companionship into dozens of incredibly far-flung villages. 

As we prepare for another hardworking year, please keep us in your thoughts and prayers, won’t you? 

Income:  Our total operating income for FY98 (July 1, 1997 through June 30, 1998) was $591,433. 

As you can see, almost all of this income was from individual donations. 

About half of our interest income was from funds dedicated to our new transmitter and generator, which have now been spent. 

Expenses:  Our actual operating expenses for the year were $733,490, as we drew from savings in order to double our usual fundraising effort. 

This was a cautionary move to attract new donors, anticipating a possible loss of some support following the retirement of Fr. Jim Poole, who had been the focus of the mission’s fundraising 
since 1966. 

(We are delighted to report that support continued as strong as before.  Thank you!) 

Another reason for this extra-high fundraising cost was to broaden our base of supporters in the event there is a recession. 

To provide a more realistic picture, for both charts we included an additional $110,000 of donated labor, which is the difference between the staff’s salaries and the far higher pay they would earn in the general marketplace. 

If you would like KNOM’s complete financial statement, just write general manager Tom Busch and he will be happy to send you one.

INSPIRATIONAL SPOT:  Serenity is not freedom from the storm, but peace within the storm.








Year in review: A Few Significant Events During 1998 

January 1:  Paul Korchin, a former KNOM volunteer, returned as news director. 

January 10:  KNOM began our third year of around-the-clock broadcasting, 24 hours a day. 

February 1:  Fr. Jim Poole, S.J., who founded KNOM and was the focus of our fundraising since 1966, officially retired at the age of 74. 

He’s lived in Tacoma, Washington for the past ten years. 

Bishop Michael Kaniecki, SJ appointed village pastor 
Fr. Mark Hoelsken, SJ as KNOM’s Spiritual Director. 

Before entering the seminary, Father Mark (left) had volunteered four years at KNOM. 

February 5: KNOM increased daytime power to 25,000 Watts, starting at 9:45 AM. 

Our night-time power was also increased, to 14,000 Watts. 

February 10:  Five unheard-of warm +30-degree days allowed us an unusually early start on construction of the emergency generator building at KNOM’s transmitter site.  (left) 

February 24-26:  KNOM produced 13 hours of coverage of the Bering Strait Regional Elders Conference, with the theme “Elders teaching traditional values: the foundation of our lives.” 

March 3-5:  The following week, KNOM aired more than 20 hours of deliberation by the Alaska Board of Fish, in Nome for an historic meeting to gather public opinion on how to allocate dwindling salmon 

March: KNOM produced 189 exciting hourly Iditarod Race reports and 125 interviews from the trail, and greeted all 51 Iditarod finishers live over the air. 

April 10:  Over several days, Les Brown and Tom examined and tightened every bolted connection in the KNOM transmitter (about a thousand of them). 

May 17:  An interview with KNOM general manager Tom Busch appeared in Goæ Niedzielny, 
the largest circulation weekly Catholic newspaper in Poland. 

May 20:  KNOM produced a heart-wrenching live call-in, featuring a girl who had become a mother at 
the age of 15.  Two years later, she counsels teens to avoid sex. 

May 31:  Nome ended the winter with 109.6” of snow, a near-record. 

July 14:  KNOM celebrated its 27th birthday! 

August 8:  Bishop Michael Kaniecki, SJ accompanied Tom Busch to Montreal, where the two accepted KNOM’s Gabriel Award as “Radio Station of the Year.” 
“You have raised the standards,” they were told.  That same night in Montreal, Unda, the worldwide organization of Catholic communicators, presented Tom with the prestigious Agnellus Andrew Award (left). 

August 16:  We began our second year operating with our new, highly efficient Nautel ND-25 transmitter.  For its first year, the transmitter worked perfectly. 

August 21:  KNOM was visited by Very Rev. Adam Boniecki, MIC, Superior General of the Marians of the Immaculate Conception in Rome. 

September 24:  Program Director Ric Schmidt was elected to the board of directors of the Alaska Broadcasters Association. 

September 25:  In Anchorage, Ric (left) accepted an Alaska Broadcasters  “Goldie” award on behalf of his wife, Lynette, for a spot that promoted reading. 

Another Goldie honored KNOM’s 1998 Iditarod Race coverage. 

That same day, an insulator burned on the KNOM tower, dropping a guy wire.  Tower expert Rod Ewing rushed to Nome and secured a temporary guy. Nome’s winds held from exactly the right direction to push the tower upright until about ten minutes after Rod had fastened the emergency line. 

October 7:     In Rome, Archbishop John Foley, president of the Pontifical Council for Social Communications cited KNOM, according to Bishop Michael Kaniecki, SJ, “as an example to the other bishops of what can be accomplished.” 

October 22:  The Weather Service issued the winter’s first widespread blizzard watches for parts of the vast KNOM listening area. 

November 9:  Thanks to a large gift added to many smaller ones. KNOM’s project to distribute antenna boosters is fully funded, at an incredible $22,500!  Watch for more news! 

December 1:  KNOM switches to an updated computer-based audio system.  The improvement was made possible by a grant from the Frost and Margaret Snyder Foundation.

INSPIRATIONAL SPOT:  Peanut butter is tasty.  Jelly is yummy, too.  They don’t look, taste or feel anything like each other.  But when they’re stuck together between two slices of Mom’s homemade bread, they’re a feast for a king!

God made us all different, so that when we come together with the Bread of Life, we make a holy feast.



Educational spots on the air during 1998 included about 100 different science spots and a daily Alaska-oriented “today in history.”   We discussed tuberculosis, children’s health, fetal alcohol syndrome, breast cancer, food safety, hepatitis and AIDS.  We encouraged reading, positive family life, town cleanups and education of many kinds. 

We counseled alcoholics, we educated against inhalant abuse and we devoted hours to reducing family violence.  We taught fire safety, boat safety, snowmobile safety, history and geography, and we publicized scholarships, college courses and school programs. 

All told in 1998, we aired about 34,000 educational spots. 

Thank you for your continuing support and prayers that make this valuable work possible!

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