Due to reduced revenue, KUAC has had to make difficult decisions about budget cuts for Fiscal Year 18. The radio and television public broadcasting service has been asked to absorb a 22.5% decrease in funding. In the past six years, KUAC has experienced a 56% reduction in university funding..
This means that…
KUAC FM terminated its Alaska Public Radio Network membership Sept. 1, 2017 and will no longer air APRN programming.
KUAC TV will reduce content acquisitions from program distributors other than PBS. Over the coming months, as our current broadcast rights expire, Midsomer Murders and the Red Green Show will go off the air. We will not purchase new seasons of Doc Martin, Detectorists and Doctor Who if/when future episodes are made available to public television stations.
KUAC has eliminated its NPR membership (does not impact programming), professional memberships, deferred equipment replacement and upgrades, turned off the KUAC HD transmitters (no longer airing KUAC HD1, HD2 and KUAC HD3 on radio) and has had another reduction in staff. Since 2009, KUAC has reduced staff from 26 full-time and 5 half-time to 14 full-time and 6 half-time employees.
- Click here to view the FAQ Budget Cuts FY18 »
- Click here to view the KUAC FM Program Costs »
- Click here to view the KUAC TV Programming costs »
In addition to cutting APRN programming, KUAC turned off its FM HD transmitter for utility savings July 1, and will:
- reduce future television acquisitions including Midsomer Murders, The Red Green Show, Doc Martin, Detectorists and Doctor Who.
- defer equipment replacement and upgrades,
- terminate NPR membership (does not affect programming),
- reduce three positions to half time (leaving KUAC with a staff of 14 full-time and 6 part-time employees), and
- cancel memberships in professional organizations.
Additional reductions will take place during fiscal year 2018 as KUAC adjusts operations in an effort to remain a viable entity. “We hope to continue offering the quality educational programming we are known for, as best we can under these dire circumstances,” Martin said.
KUAC FM Replaces Writer’s Almanac
Starting 11/30/17, KUAC FM will replace Writer’s Almanac which aired during Afternoon Concert and Sunday’s After the Opera program. The new addition is “Composers Datebook,” a daily two-minute program designed to inform, engage and entertain listeners with timely information about composers of the past and present. Each program notes significant or intriguing musical events involving composers of the past and present, with appropriate and accessible music related to each.
KUAC FM Removing HD Option
As of July 1, 2017, KUAC FM will turn off its high definition (HD) transmitter, resulting in the loss of KUAC HD1, HD 2 and 3 on-air. Those stations will still be available online at kuac.org on computers and mobile devices and on KUAC TV at 9.6, 9.7 and 9.8 (digital).
“This is a strategic budget-related decision and also due to lack of momentum for HD radio,” said Keith Martin, KUAC’s general manager. “The budget reductions we have sustained over the past four years have outpaced our fundraising efforts.”
Since 2009, KUAC has experienced a 42 percent decrease in full-time staff (from 26 to 15) and a 69 percent decrease in part-time (from 13 to 4), while continuing to increase and improve services to the community.
“Our staff make up the difference,” Martin said. “We have reached the point that no additional duties can be assigned to current staffing levels.”
More changes are under consideration. Stay tuned to KUAC for further details.
KUAC PBS Kids FAQs
Why is KUAC adding a 24/7 kids channel?
Beginning June 5, KUAC PBS Kids will offer an amazing lineup of children’s programming from old favorites such as Arthur to new programs like Splash and Bubbles all the time. PBS, the nation’s most trusted provider of educational media for children offers quality educational programming free to public television stations nationwide. We wanted to make this option available to educators and families with children, especially ages 2 to 8.
What is the cost?
The service is available to KUAC TV as part of the dues and fees we already pay to PBS. There is no additional cost to KUAC as the infrastructure changes necessary had been committed well before the current legislative session. KUAC will pass through the service, so there are no personnel costs associated with the new channel.
I don’t see these channels; what should I do?
KUAC has altered its TV channel lineup. Depending on your television, you may need to perform a channel scan in order to have your TV detect the new channels. This only affects the new channel ID and the streaming radio feeds. You might need to check with your cable provider.
The old channel lineup:
- 9.1 PBS
- 9.2 World
- 9.3 Create
- 9.4 UAFTV/FNX
- 9.5 KUAC FM1
- 9.6 KUAC FM2
- 9.7 KUAC FM3
Effective May 23, new lineup:
- 9.1 PBS
- 9.2 World
- 9.3 Create
- 9.4 UAFTV/FNX
- 9.5 (KUAC PBS Kids 24/7 channel, blank for now; will air June 5)
- 9.6 KUAC FM1 (same as 89.9 FM)
- 9.7 KUAC FM2 (an eclectic mix of music, news and talk shows)
- 9.8 KUAC FM3 (mostly classical music)
Previously, some TV sets were unable to receive audio on the streaming FM channels because they wouldn’t play audio without video. KUAC has now added video so all users should be able to receive both audio and video.
Why is KUAC constantly changing things?
When new opportunities arise, we thoughtfully examine the options and make decisions after consulting with our Community Advisory Council. Programming options ebb and flow with the times, changing as topics and interests do. Many of the national programming decisions about television are entirely out of our realm of control. We’re excited about this additional children’s programming and hope your children or grandchildren will be too!
I want to talk to someone about this.
KUAC’s general manager can be reached at 474-5089 and the assistant general manager at 474-1891.
For more details, click here.