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Compiled by UCB Staff, with contributions from John Lincoln, Lynn Fitch, and Jim Paulin. Did we miss something? Email us your UCB recollections! 1976: The City of Unalaska obtains FCC permission to operate a 50 watt radio transmitter. KIAL 1450 AM begins rebroadcasting the Armed Forces Radio Network. The small ... See more all transmitter and antenna are located in the Unalaska Valley at the City Shop. Alascom feeds the signal on a phone line from their satellite dish to the transmitter. 1976: The City of Unalaska obtains an FCC license for a ten watt TV transmitter K02HO. Categorized as a low power station, this is the maximum power that the FCC will allow for TV broadcasting in rural Alaska. The state of Alaska supplies the mini-transmitter. 1976: The Unalaska City School houses the television equipment to rebroadcast prime-time programming mailed to them by the newly formed Alaska Satellite TV Project. Tapes air on the ¾" format and the operation is supervised by Bill Gregory. 1976: School children occasionally broadcast live to the community using a black and white camera. 1978: The City of Unalaska obtains another FCC license for TV transmitter K08IW. It is installed in a World War II bunker atop Bunker Hill. The mini-transmitter is used as a repeater for K02HO. The directional antenna is pointed at Captain's Bay. Again, the state of Alaska supplies the transmitter. 1979: Alascom in Unalaska starts receiving a direct feed of the Alaska Satellite TV Project from Anchorage. At this point, all rural Alaskan villages with an Alascom dish and state supplied mini-transmitter can watch TV programming for the first time. This feed shows previously aired ABC, NBC, and CBS shows, as well as live news and sports fed from Anchorage. 1979: Alascom relocates the K02HO transmitter and antenna to the top of Haystack Hill. The elevated location and low frequency allows more people to receive the signal clearly. 1980: The City of Unalaska forms a media division. Duties include arranging and hosting teleconferences with Unalaska students and schools nationwide. The division is part of the Parks and Recreation Department. 1980: The school donates its old television equipment to the media division. 1980: The PCR Media Division launches a weekly news and information TV program, hosted and produced by Marilyn Rasmussen, called Where We Are. With the cooperation of the Alascom technician, they "cut in" to the second half of the Aviation Weather program on K02HO each Wednesday at 6:45 pm. The fifteen minute shows are done live from the Alascom building. Early 1981: The media division arranges with Alascom to move the K08IW repeater and antenna from Bunker Hill to the Parks and Recreation Building. Spring 1981: Where We Are resumes its Wednesday night live programs, now exclusively on Channel 8 TV. The experimental shows often run up to one hour, depending on guests. The station broadcasts one night a week. Summer 1981: A special ½ hour TV program called Four Women of Unalaska is produced by Marilyn Rasmussen. The annual budget for the media division increases to $120,000 a year. November 1981: The Channel 8 transmitter is modified to put out a full ten watts of power. It had been reduced to one watt when it was used as a repeater on Bunker Hill. The improvement is still not enough for everyone to receive a clear picture due to the hilly terrain. December 1981: Alaskan Satellite TV Project begins to record programs and ship them to Unalaska. Channel 8 adds a second night of programming. 1982: Alascom and the University of Alaska launch the Learn Alaska Network from Anchorage. The feed airs on Channel 4 from the Alascom building. 1982: The media division purchases three color cameras, one for use in the field. March 1982: Channel 8 adds a third night of programming. 1982: The community begins rebroadcast of KDLG Dillingham over KIAL in place of AFRN. The agreement allows local broadcast cut-ins as well. March 1983: Frank "Oscar" Shoupe is the first volunteer to do a local weekly radio show on KIAL. The Oscar Show is two hours of rock and roll with Oscar serving as DJ. May 1983: Where We Are and a short feature called For the Halibut are submitted for consideration at the National Institute for Low-Power Television convention. Both entries win awards. Where We Are wins as best public affairs program and For the Halibut wins as best short feature. May 1983: The old weather-beaten Channel 8 transmitter is replaced with a new MA TVF 10 transmitter courtesy of the State of Alaska. August 1983: By this time Channel 8 is on the air seven days a week with John Lincoln serving as Program Director. Still trying to find its identity, the station signs contracts to air some free-barter commercial programs with Paramount, Bristol-Myers, and movies from the SFM holiday network. The rest of the programming consists of PBS shows, still being provided by the Alaskan Satellite TV Project. 1984: Due to a state budget crunch, the Learn Alaska Network ceases its statewide channel. Channel 4 goes dark. June 1984: Where We Are changes its name to Unalaska Reports, and a few months later to Unalaska: This Week! It is hosted by volunteers Strauss Parsons, Mick Roraback, Laurie Grimes, and Juanita Parker. June 1984: The City Manager meets with Channel 8 Staff to discuss running K08IW/KIAL as a separate non-profit organization to be called Unalaska Community TV, Inc. The city will continue to provide free space, donate the existing equipment, but reduce the annual funding by half. July 1984: John Lincoln drafts the articles of incorporation as a 501(c)3 with the IRS. A three member board of directors is formed with Chuck Huffman, Abi Woodbridge, and Nancy Gasta. Unalaska Community Television is incorporated on July 12, 1984. August 1984: Roots author Alex Hailey visits Unalaska and agrees to tape a ½ hour interview in "your most unusual studio." The state learns of this and requests a copy of the show to air on TV statewide. September 1984: Channel 8 obtains a grant from Sohio Oil to purchase a studio transmitter link. Channel 8 obtains a microwave license for its STL. October 1984: The Alaska Commercial Company donates the money to purchase a fifty page character generator, so more space can be offered on our TV bulletin board. A $10 donation buys you a page for one week. Non-profit organizations can use the space free. October 1984: Cable TV launches in Unalaska and carries our local Channel 8 signal. January 1985: Channel 8 signs an agreement with KAKM in Anchorage to rebroadcast their PBS broadcasting for a small re-licensing fee. We buy the VHS machines and KAKM installs them in their control room. Tapes are shipped weekly. Channel 8 uses local underwriting as a way to pay for programming. May 1985: The board of directors is expanded to seven members, and Channel 8 has its first on-air pledge drive. August 1985: John Lincoln shoots and edits a weekly soap opera created by Judith McDonnell called: Another Day in Dutch. Many people in the community take part in the production. January 1986: State representative Adelaide Herrmann appears as a guest on Unalaska: This Week! All locally produced TV shows are now simulcast on KIAL radio. February 1986: State representative Adelaide Herrmann awards a grant to Unalaska Community TV, Inc. to be used exclusively for radio improvements. John Lincoln relocates the KIAL radio transmitter and antenna to the Parks and Recreation building with mixed results. It is returned to its original location after a few months. March 1986: Channel 8 airs its first fund raiser auction. It is very successful. October 1986: Juanita Parker hosts a live call-in show called Question the Candidates. June 1987: Board Member Charles Gasta approaches the City Council about rebroadcasting KSKA FM in Unalaska. 1988: Local cult classic Crab Terror is produced by staff and volunteers of Unalaska Community Broadcasting. The 30 minute sci-fi film is about a giant king crab that retaliates against the crab fleet and terrorizes Unalaska. August 1988: First episode of Flash! Unalaska airs on Channel 8 Television. Program becomes our signature weekly program and airs on Channel 8 Television for years to come. September 1988: First ever live call-in candidates program for local election airs on Channel 8 Television November 1988: First live fundraiser broadcasts on Channel 8 Television and KIAL. The telethon brought in more than $7,000 in 24 hours. February 1989: Channel 8 Television produces a series called Aleutian Russian Lessons for local broadcast. Half-hour programs air weekly after Flash! Unalaska, with corresponding vocabulary printed in the local newspaper. August 1990: Movie star Richard Gere visits Unalaska, and makes a guest appearance on Channel 8 Television, interviewed by volunteer Glenn Reed. 1991: UCTV launches K216BG, a licensed FM translator station that continues to serve Unalaska/Dutch Harbor as a KSKA-FM translator station on 91.1, offering a secondary public radio program service in our community. At this time, KIAL is not reliable and off the air much of the time. 1992: Music legend Jimmy Buffett visits Unalaska. He plays a live show at the Elbow Room bar, and is interviewed for Channel 8 Television by volunteer Glenn Reed. 1995: In collaboration with the WIC Program, Channel 8 launched a 12-program series that aired statewide. The program discussed subsistence foods and nutrition, and was produced locally by UCB staff. 1995: Channel 8 Television produces a series of cooking shows called North Pacific Rim Cuisine. Programs were filmed at the Grand Aleutian Hotel and featured the Executive Chef of the Chart Room, along with guest chefs. 1996: UCTV changes its name to Unalaska Community Broadcasting, Inc. to reflect the broad scope of services it offers the community. 1998: KIAL begins to devlop a News Department, airing newscasts 12:30 & 5:45 in timing with KDLG news. 1999: The Alaska Satellite Interconnection Project (SIP) downlink is constructed in Unalaska next to the Burma Road Chapel. The KIAL on-air studio moved downstairs to a larger room on the bottom floor from the third floor attic of the Burma Road Chapel. 2002: Studio Transmitter microwave link (STL) fails, causing Channel 8, ARCS and K216BG to be off air for several months. TelAlaska technicians assist UCB in bringing back services by running signals up to the transmitter shack on Haystack over cable. March 2004: A major funding increase to rural stations from the Corporation for Public Broadcasting allows UCB to expand radio services. October 2005: KIAL recieves capital grant from APBI/Denali Commission to expand radio production facilities. Winter 2005: KIAL signs agreements to allow interconnection to the Public Radio Satellite System. This allows us to hand pick programming for KIAL, which we download from the internet. KIAL's dependancy on KDLG decreases, and KDLG repeater service is eventually phased out entirely in 2006. Winter 2005: KIAL Website launched. Winter 2005: An automation system for Channel 8 installed, allowing better management of the community bulletin board and automated programming on Channel 8. March 2006: Engineering assessments determine that a "double satellite hop" method will be the most effective method of real-time program delivery to KIAL, because the station is outside the public radio satellite footprint. This solution allows KIAL complete independence from repeating other stations, will decrease bandwidth needed for downloading programming. The satellite transfer will take programming from the Galaxy VI downlink at KUAC in Fairbanks, transfer audio content to the Aurora III, and deliver the programming KIAL selects to the SIP downlink in Unalaska. April 2006: KIAL qualifies for a CPB digital conversion grant that will match some of the cost of installing the new transmission equipment. KMXT Kodiak replaces KDLG as the station of choice for delivery of Morning Edition, and all other "repeating" of stations ceases. May 2006: KIAL web streaming installed. On-demand news content posting begins. 2007: Popular Discovery Channel program host Mike Rowe visits Unalaska and is interviewed for Channel 8 Television by volunteer Vic Fisher. October 2007: KIAL files an application with the FCC for a non-commercial FM construction permit. Construction permit is granted in February, 2008. May 2007: Grant funding from APBI/Denali Commission allows UCB to replace master control board in radio studio, in preparation for digital FM upgrade. September 2008: Call letters for new FM station are selected, TV call letters are also changed to KUCB. UCB purchases new website, www.kucb.org. October 2008: Work begins on brand new FM station, KUCB 89.7 FM. October 2008: First ever KUCB Radio on-air pledge drive brings in over $18,000 during week long on-air event. February 2009: KIAL 1450 AM is retired when KUCB 89.7 becomes fully operational.
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