96.1 FM | 780 AM | Yours for Western Alaska

Our digital studios, a few steps closer to air time

Zach and Anna Rose in the new newsroom

News volunteers Zach and Anna Rose in what will soon become KNOM’s new newsroom.

As we’ve described in earlier issues of the Static, we’re committed to the major renovation and expansion project currently underway next door to our current studio building.

Thanks to recent developments, our new studios are getting closer to “ready”; the photo above shows current volunteers Zachariah Hughes and Anna Rose MacArthur standing (just for fun, of course) in what will soon become their actual workspace: our new newsroom.

The Tom and Florence Busch Digital Studios will not only give us more (and much-needed) office space, but more importantly, it will also modernize both our equipment and our means of maintaining it. Rather than relying upon analog hardware that, in the mid-2010s, is increasingly antique, our studios will use all-digital equipment: simpler to use and more flexible and cost-effective to maintain, repair, and replace.

Thanks to your support and the ongoing work of our construction crews, our studio annex has taken significant steps forward in the past few months.

As the photos above show, our nascent studio building now features electrical wiring and comprehensive, Arctic-grade insulation (note the thickness of our studios’ walls, as seen in the window sill in the first picture). Very shortly, our new building should be ready for sheetrock and its final, innermost layers of flooring, ceiling, and wall coverings. It won’t be too many more weeks before it will be ready for broadcast equipment as well, pending the needed funds.

We’ve been so blessed with generosity from countless individual donors, as well as support from major funding sources and foundations, the most recent of which is Alaska’s Rasmuson Foundation. Rasmuson has pledged to KNOM a $50,000 matching grant, payable once our station raises an additional $50,000 in funds (after the date of their grant award).

As of the print deadline for our April newsletter (mid-March 2014), our digital studios fund stands at $568,760.76. We’ve raised $45,852.50 since the Rasmuson matching challenge pledge, which means we have only $4,147.50 left to raise for our mission to become eligible for Rasmuson’s $50,000 grant.

Overall, slightly less than $400,000 stand between us and our final project goal of $1 million, which will ensure not only our digital studios’ completion but also a much-needed renovation of our existing studios, which have been largely unchanged since their construction in the 1990s. These funds will also go toward longer-term but still greatly-needed maintenance costs for our AM transmitter, which is due for an upgrade.

As always, we thank you for your generosity and for your prayers for new funding sources for our ongoing project. To learn more and to help, visit our digital studios page or call (907) 443-5221.