96.1 FM, 780 AM, Yours for Western Alaska

Our new news director!

Matthew Smith

Matthew Smith, KNOM’s new news director.

In April, the news within KNOM’s walls was, at least momentarily, the news department itself.

It was a bittersweet moment as we said goodbye to our longtime news director and, a few weeks later, welcomed a familiar face to the position.

We’re proud and so fortunate to have counted Laureli Kinneen among our ranks for so many years. Laureli first joined the KNOM team in 2008, then as public affairs director. After news director Paul Korchin stepped down from his staff role to pursue a fruitful career in academia (and, eventually, to take a seat on KNOM’s board of directors), Laureli become our mission’s news director.

Laureli Kinneen

Laureli Kinneen, former KNOM news director.

Under her guidance, the news department at KNOM continued the standards of excellence, objectivity, and regional dedication our station had fostered for four decades. Her work took Laureli everywhere from the Iditarod Trail to the Alaska state capital to eastern Russia. Whether in Nome or many miles away, she reported always with a passion and dedication for the region she served, not least because the Norton Sound region includes her hometown of Unalakleet (YOU-nuh-luh-kleet).

In late March of this year, Laureli retired from her KNOM position to go to work for Western Alaska in a new capacity: this time, as the communications director for the regional organization Norton Sound Economic Development Corporation (or NSEDC). Several weeks after her departure, we were thrilled to hire KNOM volunteer alumnus Matthew Smith (pictured top) to become our station’s news director.

After two very successful years as KNOM’s volunteer public affairs director, and several more years working for television stations in Anchorage, Matthew now helms the news organization that brought him to Alaska in the first place. Thanks to your support, we know that Matthew and his news staff will continue to bring the news of our region to the people we serve with the clarity, passion, and intelligence for which our mission strives. Welcome, Matt!


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