Cooperation among Alaska’s public TV stations took a backwards step last week after a modest gain in September.
A major result of three years of talks among the three largest stations was that KAKM-TV in Anchorage, the state’s dominant city, would join the AlaskaOne consortium of stations in Fairbanks, Juneau, Bethel and smaller towns, which have shared a TV schedule since 1995.
Last week, KUAC-TV in Fairbanks said it will drop out of the AlaskaOne TV consortium as of July 1. The Fairbanks station, which had assembled the feed, opted out after its partners in AlaskaOne voted in November to merge its program feed with that of KAKM in Anchorage.
In a Dec. 8 statement, the Fairbanks licensee, the University of Alaska, objected that “financial and manpower responsibilities have slowly shifted to KUAC” while it’s been part of the AlaskaOne partnership.
KUAC will maintain its role providing TV programming for small towns in the state’s interior, including the Healy, Delta and Nenana communities served by translator stations. “Interior Alaska’s public television station is returning to its roots” as a “standalone station serving Interior Alaska,” according to the statement.
CPB-facilitated discussions during the past three years to create extensive joint operations among public TV and radio stations in Alaska’s three largest cities were complicated by the stations’ fiercely independent natures. (Current, Sept. 19). Bringing the Anchorage station into the shared schedule with the three AlaskaOne stations was a major outcome of the talks, and that alliance proved temporary.
Copyright 2011 American University