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KIYU Manager Rigs Home To Keep Station On Air


(Fairbanks, AK.) The public radio station that serves middle Yukon River area communities is making due while the station’s building is being elevated. KIYU Galena general manager Brian Landrum says the facility is being raised above the high water level as a precaution in case of floods like the one that inundated the village 2 year ago this month.

“We’re goin’ up about 3 feet higher. We watched it being lifted and moved forward with 2 towers attached to it, and we had to bend back 2 towers to actually allow it to fit between the towers.  So it was certainly a site to see.”

Rather than go off the air while the multi day operation is completed, Landrum says he’s continuing to broadcast the station from his home.

“We have a backup transmitter and back up console. And we moved it into the downstairs room. I’m using my son’s room.  And so we’ve got wires strung all over the place, and we’ve got a box that sends the signal to our other villages, and knock on wood, we’ve been able to stay on, and be able to broadcast. And we’re hoping to be able to stay on a few more days while they move the building back into place.”

Landrum says things are going fairly smoothly, but there are challenges to broadcasting out of his family’s home.

“We have 5 kids, and a dog and a cat and a parrot, and so yah, you never know what kind of noise can get on the air, especially when the younger ones decide to fight over Legos, or something like that, it could very well get on the air.” 

Landrum expects he will be able to return to the station facility by the middle of next week, adding that the project has provided an opportunity to clear old abandoned wiring from the building, as well as do

other clean up, work, that together are expected to improve KIYU’s sound and operational efficiency.  A mix of federal, state, and local funds are paying to elevate the station, which serves as a primary information conduit in the region.   ###

Dan has been in public radio news in Alaska since 1993. He’s worked as a reporter, newscaster and talk show host at stations in McGrath, Valdez and Fairbanks. Dan’s experience includes coverage of a wide range of topics, from wolf control to the Trans-Alaska Pipeline and dog mushing.