KIYU-Galena GM Rigs His Home for Temporary Broadcast

This is a story about dedication to public radio.

KIYU-Galena serves middle Yukon River area communities; it’s making do while the station’s building is being elevated. KIYU-Galena general manager Brian Landrum says the facility is being raised above the high water level as a precaution in case of floods like the one that inundated the village two years ago this month.

KIYU-Galena is broadcasting from the general manager's home until the station's 'face lift' is complete. Photo: KIYU.
KIYU-Galena is broadcasting from the general manager’s home until the station’s ‘face lift’ is complete. Photo: KIYU.

“We’re goin’ up about 3 feet higher,” Landrum says.

Rather than go off the air while the multiday operation is completed, Landrum says he’s continuing to broadcast the station from his home.

That's not an echo... it's 'Olive' the bird, who tries to repeat what reporter Tim Bodony says over the air. Photo: KIYU.
That’s not an echo… it’s ‘Olive’ the bird, who tries to repeat what reporter Tim Bodony says over the air. Photo: KIYU.

“We have a backup transmitter and back up console, and we moved it into the downstairs room. I’m using my son’s room, and so we’ve got wires strung all over the place and we’ve got a box that sends the signal to our other villages and — knock on wood — we’ve been able to stay on, and be able to broadcast. We’re hoping to be able to stay on a few more days while they move the building back into place.”

Landrum says things are going fairly smoothly, but there are challenges to broadcasting out of his family’s home.

“We have five kids, and a dog, and a cat, and a parrot, and so yeah, you never know what kind of noise can get on the air, especially when the younger ones decide to fight over Legos or something like that,” Landrum says.

Transmitter: check. Photo: KIYU.
Transmitter: check. Photo: KIYU.

Landrum expects he’ll be able to return to the station facility by the middle of next week. He says the project has provided an opportunity to clear old abandoned wiring from the building, as well as do other clean-up work. All of that is expected to improve KIYU’s sound and operational efficiency. A mix of federal, state and local funds will pay to elevate the station, which serves as a primary information conduit in the region.

Dan Bross is a reporter at KUAC in Fairbanks.

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