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FAIRBANKS - 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, an Alaska Republican, 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.