96.1 FM | 780 AM | “Yours for Western Alaska”

History

August ’09: “Come back soon!”

August 23, 2009 The transmitter fails this morning, just as the automated remote control commands the increase to daytime power. KNOM general manager Ric Schmidt coaxes it to operate at very low power: about 2,000 watts. The reason for the problem was a lightning strike that severed the jumper cable 100 feet above ground. Due to high…

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August ’93: Meet Tom Bunger

August 15, 1993 From Tacoma, Washington, Tom Bunger is among KNOM’s six volunteers, all new. He’s assigned as news reporter, working under the supervision of news director Katy Clark. In 1994, Tom is hired as a salaried news director, a position he holds for three years before leaving the station for a career in the…

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August ’93: Maars!

August 6, 1993 On KNOM’s daily feature interview program, Alaska volcanologist Jim Beget informs listeners that large lakes on the northern Seward Peninsula are actually maars, the widest volcanic openings in the world. They last erupted ten thousand years ago.

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August ’05: Sen. Stevens visits KNOM

August 3, 2005 In advance of a visit from Senator Ted Stevens (who, as president pro tempore of the Senate, is third in line for the US presidency), Secret Service agents sweep the KNOM building for a security check. Senator Stevens then arrives to conduct a press conference for KNOM and Nome’s local newspaper, The Nome Nugget.…

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July ’71: A long journey to help KNOM

July 25, 1971 Pro bono consulting engineer John H. Mullaney has flown to Nome from Gaithersburg, Maryland to supervise the installation of new high voltage filters, and KNOM resumes operation at 6:55 this morning. Mullaney donates the entire week’s work.

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July ’70: Applying for the letters K-N-O-M

July 17, 1970 The Nome Catholic radio project’s pro bono attorney, Joe Hennessey, applies to the FCC for the call letters KNOM. The following week, he is informed that the call sign KNOM is unavailable because it is already assigned to a Coast Guard schooner, the Chiquimula, which had been scuttled. He dispatches a letter to…

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July ’71: A last-minute hardware swap

July 13, 1971 One day before scheduled sign-on, a copper strap burns apart in the Antenna Tuning Unit, removing the antenna from the transmitter. Six small resistors burn in the transmitter’s final section. In isolated Nome, they are impossible to replace. However, support nurse Kitty Orris has just escorted a patient to Anchorage, where she…

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July ’89: In the Soviet Union, a familiar voice

July 4, 1989 Walking on the main street of Provideniya, USSR, general manager Tom Busch encounters a young English teacher who recognizes his voice from the radio. “Everyone in Provideniya knows you!” she exclaims. Tom and son Steve are part of a Cub Scout field trip to the Soviet Union. They and the thirty others on…

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Our 42nd birthday!

Did you know? KNOM turns 42 this month. It was on July 14, 1971 that KNOM-AM first went on the air, with a broadcast initiated by Bishop Robert Whelan, pictured. We’ve been on the air ever since, with the support of so many volunteers, staffers, community members, and of course, kind donors like you. This…

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June ’01: The doctor is in

June 29, 2001: Following six months of educational leave, KNOM news director Paul Korchin returns to the station, having earned his Harvard Ph.D. “The doctor is in,” reads a handmade sign on the newsroom door.

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