Public radio stations faced with budget cuts

Posted: Friday, June 09, 2000

FAIRBANKS (AP) -- Seven public radio stations may have to rely solely on donations and money raised through gaming because of proposed budget cuts.

Alaska Public Broadcasting Commission is proposing a budget cut to two of its regions. The commission received 5 percent less funding this year from the state Legislature.

The Galena and Fort Yukon radio stations of Community Radio of Alaska are among those receiving nothing from the commission. Five stations in the Associated Alaska Public Broadcasting Service region, which includes stations in Sand Point, St. Paul and Unalaska, also will receive nothing. Other stations are faced with less severe cuts.

The commission's budget has slowly dwindled to two-thirds what it was in the mid-1980s, said Patty Kastelic, co-chair of the commission.

The seven stations, known as repeaters, relay programs from larger stations. They are often the only source for news and information in these areas.

Most of the money at the two Interior repeater stations is spent on diesel fuel for the generators that power the transmitters.

''I think we'll survive,'' Galena program director Brian Siewiorek said.

The money cut from the seven stations exceeded the $130,000 cut the commission received from the state. Now, the stations are hoping some of the money will be returned.

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