The 50-year-old transmitting mast of KYUK Bethel 640 AM was demolished on 11 May as part of a planned upgrade as it has been sinking into the permafrost and replacement has been planned for
The AM signal has been able to reach people all over the Yukon Kuskokwim Delta. In almost every community, KYUK is the only signal they’re getting. So the ability to transmit information through 640 AM, whether it’s local information, state-wide information or national news, it all goes through that tower. So, the 640 AM signal is down currently.
Fortunately, here in Bethel, we have a 90.3 FM signal. So we put all of our regular 640 programming on that. So everyone here locally can still catch our programming on FM and it might sound better in some
instances, definitely, if you’re close to Bethel, and that’s going to serve the nearest villages. And then fortunately, too, we have nine repeaters and outlying areas, places farther away from Bethel, places like Aniak, up the Kuskokwim. Emmonak and Nunam Iqua on the Yukon, Quinhagak, Good News Bay out on the coast. So those repeaters are unaffected, they are still picking up our signal. So while we hate to be
down on 640, especially during break up, we are happy that almost everyone is still able to receive our services.
It’s the villages that are not quite far enough away that they needed a repeater, but that are too far to receive the FM signal. They’re going to be the ones that have a tough time hearing us right now. And that’s a handful of villages. And we’re going to do everything we can to get back on the air as quickly as possible. The new tower, along with the brand-new equipment with it, the transmitters and other accessory equipment means KYUK’s AM signal should be clearer than it has been and it should reach further than it has.
Francisco Martínezcuello, KYUK via Alaska Public Media via Ray Crawford.
Dene Lynneberg, Wellington to NZDX Times June 2023 via WOR iog (2023-06-05)