Public TV gets $3 million for digital equipment

Posted: Monday, June 17, 2002

FAIRBANKS (AP) -- Alaska's public television stations will receive $3 million to buy studio equipment and field gear for production of digital programming.

The money comes from Congress via the federal Corporation for Public Broadcasting. Sen. Ted Stevens, R-Alaska, secured $45 million for the work over the past two years.

The corporation announced $12 million worth of grants to 26 public broadcasters across the nation last week.

The money will pay for a digital production studio at KAKM in Anchorage. KUAC in Fairbanks, KYUK in Bethel and KTOO in Juneau will receive digital production gear.

The Alaska stations will receive the money following a review by the Public Broadcasting Service's Digital Strategic Services Group. Under federal law, broadcasters must convert from analog to the higher-quality digital transmissions by May next year.

This latest round of funding won't help the stations build digital transmitters, which cost more than $1 million, but it will help Alaska stations prepare programming they can use after the transmitters are in place, said Greg Petrowich, general manager of KUAC-TV and FM.

Petrowich said his station has applied for a grant from the U.S. Department of Commerce to help pay a portion of the cost of a transmitter. He expects to learn in September if the station will receive the money.

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