Local Content Services:
KRBD-FM is owned and operated by the Rainbird Community Broadcasting Corporation. KRBD is an educational, non-commercial public radio station that first went on the air in 1976. KRBD seeks to inform, enlighten and delight, and to make a positive difference in the lives of the people of southern Southeast Alaska. Our goal is to serve our listeners to the very best of our ability, delivering local news, weather, government information, community event information, state and national information, and any information that creates and sustains community. KRBD is a community-owned licensee with a membership of more than 1,300. Our main transmitter is located in downtown Ketchikan, Alaska. We also operate a network of translators that broadcast our signal to the areas of Mountain Point, North Point Higgins, and from High Mountain to cover Revillagigedo Island, to Thorne Bay, Craig, Klawock and Hydaburg to cover Prince of Wales Island, along with other scattered communities within our listening area. The total population of our listening area is more than 20,000. In some parts of that listening area, KRBD is the only source of broadcast radio service, news and information.
KRBD receives funding from the Corporation for Public Broadcasting and the Alaska Public Broadcasting Commission, and from the people and businesses of the communities we serve. Last year, our members contributed more than $102,000 to support our mission, and businesses contributed an additional $97,000 in underwriting support with fundraising adding another $40,000. We count on more than 200 volunteers at the station who not only host music shows, but help with fundraising, provide a variety of expertise and serve on boards and committees. Most of our music programming is provided by volunteers who have learned the art and craft of radio at KRBD.
KRBD has a professional staff of four full-time employees and one part-time employee. Two of these positions are in our News Department, reflecting our commitment to providing local news and information. KRBD’s News Department has established a reputation of integrity and reliability throughout the region, and our daily newscasts, interviews and call-in shows have become a vital source of information in southern Southeast Alaska.
We deliver the news and information, and entertainment through on-air broadcasts, on the web, on Facebook and Twitter, and stream our signal 24 hours a day, seven days a week. In 2014, we launched a KRBD app on Android and iPhone, as well as switching our website on smart phones to a responsive design format for easy reading, making the information more accessible.
During election years, we provide candidate forums where listeners can call in with their questions. In 2014, we aired seven candidate forums covering primary elections, general elections, and local and state elections. The percentage of voter turnout was the highest it’s been in years.
As a member of CoastAlaska, we share news with six other stations, providing coverage throughout Southeast Alaska. The seven stations share the services and expense of CoastAlaska, which includes but is not limited to, all finance and payroll, membership, regional underwriting, engineering, IT support, and yearly training for news, development and management. This collaboration allows each station to conserve resources and expand the services we offer to our listeners.
In 2014, we began broadcasting a local Native language module, “Our Voices Will Be Heard on the Land Once Again,” during Morning Edition. The modules featured similar phrases in the Tlingit, Haida and Tsimshian languages. This collaboration with Ketchikan Indian Community’s language department changed recently as KIC is now only offering Haida language classes. KRBD approached the three Native language teachers to continue with new modules featuring conversational phrases voiced by elders and their students — the three language teachers — which will air in March of 2015. All new modules will be produced by KRBD. The modules are also found on our website.
KRBD is a member organization of the LEPC, participating in this year’s airport emergency preparedness drill. Four of our staff took part in the exercise. Staff also took part in the state’s Drop, Cover and Hold On exercise for earthquakes, as well as training from our local Fire Department on the correct use of fire extinguishers. The City of Ketchikan recently installed siren warnings and messages for dam breaks and tsunamis. KRBD airs the siren sounds and the messages accompanying them to educate the public as to what they mean and what action is appropriate. We aired call-in interviews on these subjects with local experts answering questions and providing further information. The news team wrote stories about each of these experiences, encouraging local businesses to prepare their employees in the event of an emergency.
In 2014, we approached the Tongass School of Arts and Sciences, grades 1-6, and asked them to submit designs for our membership drive mug. From the 140 student entries, we chose three designs for our Grow and Sustain Membership Mugs for our spring and fall drives. All the designs are proudly displayed in our lobby for visitors to see what young people in Ketchikan know and think about radio, especially KRBD. It was very difficult to choose just three designs; they are that special.
We started airing call-in garden shows on Monday mornings back in the summer of 2013. In 2014, we expanded the call-in opportunity by reaching out to other community organizations. This has created successful conversations and information sharing, not only for residents of our island, but other island communities as well. Some examples of other call-in opportunities were with Public Health on immunizations, Public Utilities on energy conservation during winter, Animal Protection on spay and neutering opportunities, and LEPC on emergency preparedness.
The Ketchikan Charter School has a social science program in which they start their school day with messages about how to get along and how to resolve conflict, how not to be a bully, how to make a friend, how to stay out of trouble, etc. The students wrote paragraphs on these topics then shortened them to 30-second public service announcements. We recorded six different messages at KRBD, using four to six student voices for each spot. These messages work for any age and remind us of good community behavior. We also understand through conversations with teachers that this program has created a much better environment both in the classroom and on the playground for all students. And, the students regularly listen to hear their messages.
Through our gardening interviews and call-in shows, we have more people gardening. In fact our local city museum is opening a retrospective on gardening in Southeast, which will feature a present-day gardening section. The idea and practice of food sustainability is more present in our neighborhoods as evidenced by more hoop houses springing up.
The LEPC recognizes KRBD as the public communication hub in the event of a disaster or areawide event. We supplied people with close to 1,000 hand-crank-powered radios in 2013 to use in the event of a disaster or power outages. Presently, the LEPC is compiling logoed bags filled with information and survival items for home kits. One of the items included in the bags are the remaining hand-crank radios.
Our candidate forums saw an uptick in questions and our polls saw an increased percentage of voter turnout.
When Ketchikan Indian Community decided to downsize its language department, we feared that would be the end of the Native language modules. We approached the three teachers and offered them the use of our facility to start a new round of modules. From this conversation, we are on to the next round of modules, which feature common conversational phrases.
CPB funding provides the means for us to offer listeners a broad array of programming that we could not afford otherwise. While we continually strive to raise more and more funds locally, we live on an island with a population that ebbs and flows with the seasons’ activities. The lose of CPB funds would mean a lose of our part-time reporter position and our programmer, leaving us with a manager, a news director and a development director. As we are the only on-air source for local news, our service to the communities would suffer. CPB funds are a cornerstone of our station’s financial health, helping us provide a service that makes a difference in the quality of life for the people in our communities out here on the edge of the North American continent. We hear from members again and again, “life here just wouldn’t be the same without KRBD.”
KRBD is a major source for local, state, national and world news and local weather. We are proud to say that 36 percent of the station’s programming is dedicated to news and public affairs. We are also proud to say that 48% of KRBD’s funding is raised locally through membership, underwriting, and special events!
We also adhere to the Public Media Code of Integrity http://www.codeofintegrity.org/
Interested in joining the KRBD Community Advisory Board? The Advisory Board meets twice a year, Spring and Fall, to discuss ways the station can better serve the community’s diverse population. This year’s members are:
Daniel Patton, Alan Rockwood, Pete Jensen, Paul Hamilton , Jeff DeFreest , Steve Patton- Board Member, Stuart Whyte- Development Director, Deb Turnbull- General Manager