KYUK Radio, First Native Station on Air

by Peter Twitchell

In 1971 May 22, I went to work for KYUK. It was just starting to broadcast from 3rd road (ASHA) Housing. It was the 1st Native Station on the Air.

In 1972 October I embarked on a journey with my wife to learn more about broadcasting at the “Columbia School of Broadcasting” in Anchorage with Michael Porcaro & Associates.

It was there that I learned about AM radio broadcasting from a commercial radio perspective – it was exciting. I got my certificate and radio operator’s permit/license.

Before we returned to Bethel I got my bookkeeping certificate also.

I’ve had several excellent radio instructors along the way to my 24 year career in Radio Broadcasting at KYUK Radio when at first it was at 580 on the radio dial.

While working for Bethel Broadcasting, Inc. I had excellent support of Chief Edward Hoffman, Judge Nora Guinn and her husband Charlie Guinn, Paul Gregory, Martin B. Moore, Phillip Guy of Kwethluk, Martin Ivan of Akiak, and General Manager James Guy Croll who came up from Gallup, New Mexico KGAK Radio and took me on several trips to Washington, D.C. to meet with Senator Mike Gravel to lobby for KYUK Radio/TV and translators.

At that time we’d jump in to Don Porter’s Cessna 180 and rush over to Saint Mary’s on the Yukon to brush the ice and snow off the radio antenna so Yukon villages would get a better reception.

My wife came along with us one evening and while returning to Bethel at night it started snowing so heavy all we could see was snowflakes. Speaking of getting a better picture, James G. Croll felt I was ready to become radio manager and promoted as such. I was KYUK Radio manager from 1975 till I retired in 1994.