Transmission 496    End-Of-Year Report 2006

In this issue:






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Dear Friend of KNOM,

Thank you.  Thank you.  Thank you.

We are deeply, deeply touched by the outpouring of support, following our plea for help in November. 

As this is written in early December, we are starting to get back on our feet financially.  Everyone who contributed in any way, whether by gifts, by interesting a friend in our work or by praying, is in our fondest prayers.

As you’ll see on the next page, our expenses are ongoing and rising.  Thank you for staying with us!

May the New Year bring you and those you love God’s greatest gifts, His Joy and His Peace.


OUT OF RANGE:  (left)  The majority of bush Alaskans use rifles to put food on their tables.  However, for hundreds of thousands of square miles, there’s no safe target range.

News director Paul Korchin and public affairs director Amy Flaherty are in the middle of a live call-in program, inviting listeners to discuss possible solutions.

Among the many topics we covered this past year:  Foster parenting, cross-cultural communications, tuberculosis, job training, the role of television, alcohol abuse and the alarming rate of child suicide in our region, along with dozens and dozens of others. 

We thank you most sincerely for giving us the tools we need to help our thousands of remote listeners address the many serious problems they face.


WONDERFUL NEWS:  Little Sophie Woyte, daughter of KNOM office assistant Robyn Woyte, is approaching 4 pounds, nearly double her birth weight. 

Within a short time of her premature birth, she developed diabetes, but as of December 5th, she hadn’t needed insulin for six days. 

While still in Anchorage Providence Hospital’s neonatal intensive care unit, she is out of the incubator, and there is a possibility that the family will be able to celebrate Christmas in Nome, with dear Sophie at the center of things. 

Robyn and husband John sincerely thank you for your prayers.

     INSPIRATIONAL SPOT  Help us, Lord.  In the laws we pass, in the rumors we stop.  In the risks we take.  In the convictions we show.  In the issues we face.  In the sins we confess.  And in Your creed by which we try to live.

















click HERE for a spreadsheet of KNOM's seven most recent fiscal years' Income/Expense statements

























FINANCIAL REPORT:  In the year ending June 30, 2006, our mission’s income was the lowest in years, $1,100,850.  Expenses were $1,439,603.  We took an unprecedented loss of $338,753.

About half of that was due to an extra push to find new contributors in September 2005.  Each year, we, like most Catholic charities, need to replace about 15% of our donors, who leave us for various reasons, often because of changes in finance or health.

Our goal for September 2005 was to greatly exceed this and increase our base of support by about 25%, to allow us to meet what we expected would be rising operating costs.

Shortly after this large carefully planned effort went into the mail, 4,000 miles away, Hurricanes Katrina and Rita struck and hundreds of thousands of people lost their homes. 

You can imagine our horror as we realized that like the storms’ direct victims, our mission faced a financial disaster due to something that was entirely out of our, or anyone’s, control.   

At the same time, many expenses are rising steeply, most of them related to energy.  Our transmitter, which consumed about $50,000 in electricity in 2004-2005, gobbled $62,000 this past year.  For the current year, we estimate that this cost may exceed $100,000.

Right now our emergency funds are running thin, but due to your generosity and your prayers, we are regaining strength. 

Fortunately, and most importantly, none of this affected the service to our listeners.

We are happy to report that the numbers we bring you next year should be far brighter.  Our mailings and newspaper inserts in September 2006 were the most successful of any in our history, and our call for help in November brought an outpouring of support and prayer. 

With your help, and the help of our new friends, we look confidently toward the bright future of the oldest Catholic radio station in the United States.


WHERE ARE THE PIES?  For years on this page, we’ve presented pie charts, but because Katrina and Rita hit Nome, Alaska as well as the Gulf Coast, we wanted instead to use this space to better inform you with a more detailed explanation.  Here are the numbers:


INCOME:  It’s simple.  97.0% of our income last year was gifts from people like you.  Thank you!  2.1% was from interest on savings and 0.9% represented everything else.



45.0% staff:  salaries, volunteer stipends and living expenses, insurance, 6 salaried, 5 volunteer

28.7% fundraising:  all expenses related to mailings and inserts to seek new contributors

20.4% non-staff operating: programming, fuel, travel, utilities, electricity, AP news service, etc.

  5.9% newsletter



If you would like a more detailed accounting, please write business manager Lynette Schmidt and she will be delighted to send you one. 

She is also happy to answer any questions you might have.  You can also e-mail her at

Thank you for being a part of this successful, award-winning Catholic radio station that is working so hard to improve the lives of remote Alaskan villagers for 100,000 square miles.  Thank you for your support for this important mission.

The past year is a reminder of the vital importance of remembering KNOM in your will.  Like those who gave this way in the past and guided us through this storm, you can be a life saver.

     INSPIRATIONAL SPOT Make prayer your first response, not your last resort.


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A Few Highlights of KNOM's 2006


January 2006:  In a report written by KNOM news volunteer Jesse Zink (left), the Yukon River Delta is among the poorest regions in the United States.  Nearly one out of three children lives in poverty.  It’s the heart of KNOM’s coverage area.


With the Alaska legislature back in session a distant 1,100 miles away, KNOM revives “Juneau Journal,” a weekly program that discusses bills that could affect rural Alaskan life.


January 12, 12:21 AM:  A radio hobbyist in Sherwood, Oregon is the first person in KNOM’s 35-year history to hear the station from the Lower 48.


February:  KNOM continues to ponder doubling our power to 50,000 Watts.  Skyrocketing electric bills soon squash that idea.


This month, KNOM reports that it’s not unusual for Nome children to try cigarettes at age 10 and become addicted to tobacco by the time they’re in the 8th grade.


May:  With migratory birds arriving from Asia, a focus of KNOM’s informational programs is the possibility of an avian flu pandemic.  Birds and eggs are important sources of proteins for many village Alaskans, and KNOM shows explain how to safely harvest, handle, prepare and cook wild birds.


In mid-May (left) , plows begin to open the gravel roads just outside of Nome.  Four miles east of town, walls of snow at roadside are eighteen feet high.


May 19:  KNOM general manager Ric Schmidt, president of the Alaska Broadcasters Association, presides at an Anchorage dinner with Federal Communications Commissioner Deborah Tate and thirty broadcasters. 

One of them, KNOM’s Tom Busch, a past president, gives a slide presentation on the unique nature of rural Alaska, speaking of permafrost, isolation, the astronomical cost of living, poverty and disease, and how radio is not just entertainment, it’s a life line.  The ABA pays all expenses.

Later in the summer, Ric and Tom attend similar dinners for Commissioner Robert McDowell, as well as David Rehr, who is CEO of the National Association of Broadcasters.


June:  For KNOM office assistant Robyn Woyte and children Steve and Gracie, it’s a brief but joyous Hawaiian reunion with husband John, who is halfway through a year-long tour of duty in Iraq.


Public affairs director Amy Flaherty is 185 miles south of Nome in the village of Scammon Bay (left), covering a festival honoring seven village National Guardsmen, who have been assigned to Iraq.  “Everywhere I looked,” Amy says, “I was greeted with a smile every single person I saw.”  Full report


This month, tower riggers, including Josh Morris re-paint the 236-KNOM tower in regulation aviation orange and white bands.  At the same time, they inspect and plumb the 36-year-old structure. 

Josh also carries the repaired KNOM Christmas Star and remounts it atop the 80-foot studio tower.

(Left)   Tower climber Josh Morris demonstrates that painting a tower gets a person all wet.


July:  For the AM transmitter, this month’s power bill is $6,836.09, 26% higher than June’s.  All of Nome’s electricity is generated by diesel fuel.


August:  KNOMers Paul Korchin, Emily Barrett and Amy Flaherty volunteer their help on an archaeological dig in Nome.  Over 200 artifacts are found, dating back at least 200 years.

(Left)  Leader of the dig is Karlin Itchoak (in dark jacket), son of KNOM’s first volunteer (1966) Noralee Itchoak.


September:  Spiritual director Fr. Mark Hoelsken (left) and Tom Busch install a translator transmitter in the village of St. Marys, the first of 13 planned for remote villages.


October 18:  It’s impossible to tell for sure, but this our best guess as the day when KNOM broadcasts its 1,000,000th inspirational spot and its 1,000,000th educational spot.


Two days later, in Los Angeles, general manager Ric Schmidt accepts KNOM’s 14th Gabriel “Radio Station of the Year” Award. 


(Left)  From left, Gabriel Award co-chair Frank Morock, KNOM general manager Ric Schmidt, news director Paul Korchin, and Catholic Academy for Communication Arts Professionals president Jeanean Merkel.


November:  For the first time in years, KNOM begs for extra help.  Hurricane Katrina put a serious bite into contributions to the mission, and since July, the station has sunk $109,432.10 into red ink.  Power for the transmitter costs more than $9,000 a month now.


This month, and into December, Nome is hammered by a series of fierce blizzards.  It’s business as usual.


December:  KNOM friends and benefactors respond with generosity and kindness to the mission’s plea.


(Left)  All month, the rebuilt KNOM Christmas star proclaims Jesus’ birth 80 feet above Nome.  Torn apart by brutal October 2005 winds, it’s back in fine shape.


Once again, you and all of your intentions remain in our prayers.  Your role in this far-flung mission station is crucial.

You are remembered in prayer at the beginning of each weekly staff meeting, and in our daily personal prayers as well.  May you enjoy a blessed New Year!

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