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Public broadcasting stations explore statewide transformation

Submitted by Marmian Grimes
Phone: 907-474-7902

07/23/09

KUAC-Fairbanks, KTOO-Juneau and APTI-Anchorage (KAKM) today released the results of a study on the feasibility of a unified statewide public broadcasting organization.

"The three of us all face the same challenges in these difficult economic times and constantly changing media landscape," said Jake Poole, interim general manager of KUAC. "After talking with our staff and stakeholders, we determined that nothing short of a transformation of the operational and organizational model is required for public broadcasting and its core values to survive and flourish in our communities and in the state."

The stations' three general managers have been working for several months with Livingston Associates, a national firm specializing in public broadcasting. The final report from Livingston Associates is available for review and comment online at alaskapublicmedia.blogspot.com.

Such a consolidation would require numerous steps and include multiple opportunities for public participation and comment. "Our main goal right now is to get this report out there for all to see and get feedback from our stakeholders," Poole said.

The report notes opportunities offered under a unified public broadcasting model:

" A statewide, cross-platform production team
" An increase in public broadcasting's reach in rural communities
" A unified voice in support of public broadcasting statewide
" The ability to invest in emerging media for content delivery
" The continuation of high-quality PBS and NPR programming throughout the state

"We envision operating as a unified public media organization while remaining faithful to meeting the local needs of the communities we serve," said Poole.

The report does not outline any recommendations for staffing, central office location or budget. Those details will be explored in the next phase, as the stations develop an implementation plan. The general managers will continue to meet over the summer and collect feedback and comments through the blog and other forums. The group hopes to present a resolution supporting the implementation planning to the boards of directors of KTOO and APTI and to the University of Alaska Board of Regents in September. If each approves the resolution, the implementation planning should be completed in the spring. The boards will then make a final decision on the unification. If approved, the transformation could begin as soon as July 2010.

CONTACT: Jake Poole, interim general manager, KUAC, 907-474-2600 or jcpoole@alaska.edu. Bill Legere, general manager, KTOO, 907-586-1670 or bill@ktoo.org. Steve Lindbeck, general manager, APTI, 907-550-8411 or slindbeck@alaskapublic.org. Marmian Grimes, UAF public information officer, at 907-474-7902 or via e-mail at marmian.grimes@alaska.edu.

MG/7-23-09/014-10

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