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General Manager’s Quarterly Report - October 2020

General Manager’s Quarterly Report - October 2020

Core Functions – For the Y-K Delta and world:

● Inform, educate, and entertain
● Connect and convene
● Prepare and respond

Community leaders in Newtok and Mertarvik reached out to KYUK in July, asking us to cover their latest relocation developments. KYUK Reporter Greg Kim and KYUK Multimedia Director Katie Basile accepted the invitation. They both tested negative for COVID-19 before traveling, and wore masks and practiced protective measures while guests in the communities. From that trip, KYUK produced a five-part radio series, a web series, and a slideshow.

On July 28, Coffee at KYUK aired an interview with Alaska Federation of Natives Co-Chair Ana Hoffman and Lt. Gov. Kevin Meyer about how to safely vote in the Primary Election during the pandemic.

ONC Mask-Up Video: The Orutsararamiut Native Council hired our team to produce a second COVID-related video. This one encourages people to wear masks, and features several Bethel community members. The 30-second spot is now complete and playing on television stations around the state.

Core Values – Our actions are guided through prioritization of:
● Accessibility and Inclusivity
● Culture and Relevancy
● Integrity and Trust
● Community Wellness and Safety

Every Friday morning in August, KYUK interviewed Lower Kuskokwim School District Superintendent Kimberly Hankins on Coffee at KYUK to talk about the latest education plans for the school district amid the pandemic. In September, we moved to interviewing Hankins every other Friday.

On Sept. 30, Coffee at KYUK aired a prerecorded conversation between Lower Kuskokwim School District Superintendent Kimberly Hankins and Yukon-Kuskokwim Health Corporation Chief of Staff Dr. Ellen Hodges about the state of the pandemic in the region.

On “Ketvarrluku” on August 7, Mary Beaver invited Nick Pavila of Atmautluak to talk about how people used positive mindsets and traditional medicine to survive the 1913 Pandemic.



1. Secure design plan and funding plan for a new AM radio tower
We made efforts to seek COVID-related funding in order to build a new AM Tower. These efforts resulted in funding from the Alaska Community Foundation for Low Power FM repeaters, but not the tower. However, the effort has brought our tower need to the attention of important funders. It is improbable that we will construct a new tower by the Summer 2021; Summer 2022 is a more likely goal.

2. Secure design plan and funding plan for low power FM repeaters
We were granted CARES Act funding from the Alaska Community Foundation to build up to 10 Low Power FM stations. We are on track to complete eight by the end of 2020. This would expand our audience by an estimated 4,000 residents.

Engagement and Programming

3. Launch TV Channel 17.1 – DeltaView


KYUK Archive Progress: In August, we hired our former Jesuit Volunteer, Gabby Hiestand Salgado, as an Archival Assistant. Gabby is facilitating translations of our digitized files and working on community engagement projects. To date, we have digitized 2,000 video and audio files and expect to have them online to share with the public by the Summer of 2021, just in
time for KYUK's 50th Anniversary.

4. Launch TV Channel 17.2 – educational programming
No quarterly update.

5. Build and utilize our website and social media presence
We reorganized our social media posting process to improve presentation and consistency, placed a COVID-19 page on our homepage that contains the latest local information, and began onboarding to NPR’s new online media platform, “NPR Studio”.

6. Focus radio programming to improve musical selection
We created new music formatting styles and a new schedule meant to increase “listenability” of KYUK during music times. It’s built around popular, upbeat, and mild flavored music, and will move us away from hard rock, rap, and less popular categories like jazz and classical. We plan to begin implementation in January 2021.

7. Develop a plan that well-positions KYUK for industry/technological developments No quarterly update.

Organizational Development

8. Develop board targets for capacity building and action toward achieving organizational goals No quarterly update.

9. Improve & implement the process for evaluating the general manager
Completed Spring 2020.

10. Improve staff communication and cohesion
Instituted weekly directors meetings and weekly content meetings.
Instituted weekly and bi-weekly GM-director meetings.
GM taking time every day (in the building) to check in on staff.

11. Develop and implement a staff training plan
Planned training on Zetta (radio automation software) for all content producers.

12. Develop future media makers and local talent

KYUK high school interns: This year we are working remotely with Tatyana Avugiak from Chefornak, Kaylee King from Mekoryuk, Ethan Lincoln from Toksook Bay, and Payton Chanar from Toksook Bay. Currently, our interns are producing a bimonthly episode of Coffee at KYUK and working on a short video about the coronavirus.

Funding and Support

13. Develop and implement a sustainability plan with clear funding priorities and targets New Lease Agreement with City of Bethel: The City of Bethel has entered into a 10-year lease agreement with KYUK for tower space use on KYUK’s television tower.

Bethel Community Services Foundation COVID Relief - $50,000
Funds can be used to support staff wages & benefits and facility utilities.

Alaska Community Foundation COVID Relief - $320,070

Funds were awarded to launch 10 low power FM sites in select villages that currently do not receive KYUK’s over the air broadcast.

Administration and Operations

14. Formalize a comprehensive set of documents, guidelines, processes and policies to define KYUK services, standards, culture and operations
Reorganized our Gaming Accounting coding to better reflect State of Alaska reports. Created and implemented a new digital office filing system based on a shared VPN.

15. Establish short-term and long-term output metrics that clearly measure organizational progress

Initiated earned revenue metrics tracking, which we hope to present to the board by our first meeting of 2021.

16. Improve protocol and tools toward exceptional emergency preparedness We are collaborating with the City of Bethel to use CARES Act funding replace our 10 KW generator with a 45 kW generator. This would enable nearly our entire building to be powered during an electrical outage.


Jesuit Volunteer becomes full time employeeIn August, we hired our former Jesuit Volunteer, Gabby Hiestand Salgado, as an Archival Assistant.

New Jesuit Volunteer
KYUK is happy to welcome our new Jesuit Volunteer, Elle Loughlin. Elle is from New Jersey and has a BA in Communications. She is focusing on Wellness programming for KYUK, and working
directly with our youth interns.

Image - Left to right: Katie Basile, Elle Loughlin, and Gabby Hiestand Salgado.


Iris Jimmie promoted to Office Clerk
Six years ago, Iris began volunteering to help her mother with radio work at KYUK. She’s also worked at KYUK as a high school intern through the Kuskokwim Learning Academy. She graduated in May and is now training in the business office. She will continue doing voice work and production for radio.

New Reporter and Donlin Correspondent
Olivia Ebertz was hired to fill the position left vacant by Krysti Shallenberger. Ebertz has experience as a documentary filmmaker. This will be her first reporting job.
Shallenberger will continue working with KYUK as a part-time reporter on an as-needed basis. She will monitor developments regarding the Donlin Gold mine and produce stories as needed.

Molly of Denali Family Game Club

PBS Newshour, Alaska Covid Report: e-areas

Matter of Fact, USPS is in Need:


Image: Melanie Fredericks of Bethel.


On August 23, KYUK Reporter Krysti Shallenberger reported a spot that aired on the NPR top-of-the-hour newscast about YKHC President and CEO Dan Winkelman demanding mandatory testing for all airline passengers coming into the region.
On September 1, KYUK Reporter Greg Kim reported a spot that aired on the NPR top-of-the-hour newscast about Bethel City Council passing a mandate requiring all arriving passengers at the Bethel airport to test for COVID-19.

Newtok Project Links rations

Bethel City Council Candidates Forum Links

Voting During COVID-19

We had fewer troubles than usual this quarter. However, we did suffer from an issue with our Alaska SIP dish signal loss. After going through a list of troubleshooting and parts checks, we tuned the dish and got our signals back up to a much higher quality than we have seen in a long time. The satellite that we have been using with that dish was changed, and affected us minimally as far as lost programming. Changing the dish increased the quality of our reception of programming on that dish, on which we receive APRN (Radio) and the 4 TV channels.

As far as streaming online we have been pretty solid, excluding issues that were caused outside of our control and are attributed to GCI. We use the internet to disseminate these streams.

Shane has been serving as General Manager since 2016. He joined KYUK as a journalist before he was promoted to radio director. He coaches several youth sports teams and enjoys hunting and fishing for his family and friends.