KUCB's annual Pledge Drive is this Friday, Oct. 4.
In the wake of state budget vetoes, General Manager Lauren Adams said this year's 24-hour fundraiser will be more important than ever.
KUCB's Laura Kraegel sat down with Adams to learn more.
LAUREN ADAMS: As I have told the community in the past, we had our funding vetoed. All of public media had a full veto of the funding from the state of Alaska, when Gov. Mike Dunleavy went back into the budget. Here in Unalaska, that represents about $76,000. It's a huge hit for us — about 12 percent of our budget. So we're doing our very best to make that up through local fundraising. Our first fundraiser [of 2019] was the Tundra Golf Classic, and we did better with that than ever before. We're hoping that we follow that trend with the Pledge Drive this year. Last year, we made $35,000. Right now, our goal is set for $32,000, and the thermometer on our website shows that. We're hoping to exceed our Pledge Drive goal in order to help offset some of the cut that we received this year.
KUCB: In terms of the funds that are raised, what will they go towards supporting? Because I know a lot of people may be listening to KUCB, but they may not be thinking about how they're actually helping the station and its services when they contribute.
ADAMS: That's a good question. Because when you turn on the radio, I think you hear music and you hear a little news. Really, just the two newscasts a day. But in reality, we're working really hard all day long to provide news and information. Our mission is to bring news and information and entertainment to the community of Unalaska. That's heard over 89.7 FM. It's also on Channel 8 Television. And I think one of our most essential services right now is our website, KUCB.org. That's where you see all of the news that gets consolidated throughout the week. All of the community events are on our community calendar. We also have classified ads on the sidebar of our website. The "Talk of the Town" section has more of the arts and culture reporting and some community contributions. All of that is brought to Unalaska through local fundraising. So when you're supporting our fall Pledge Drive, you're helping bring news, information, and entertainment to Unalaska. And it's not just here in Unalaska that that gets consumed. People all over the world read about Unalaska, read about what's going on here, and I think that's a really cool service that we provide. In addition to informing our own people, it's a great representation of our community to the outside audience.
KUCB: What should the community expect to hear on the air this Friday? It's a 24-hour event, starting at midnight. It's the only day of the year that we have deejays going for 24 hours straight.
ADAMS: It's almost a 24-hour party for public community media. We take requests. We have music you don't usually hear on the radio. We have voices you don't usually hear on the radio. It's just a really fun and energetic day. Some of the highlights will include piano performances. Starting at 2:30 p.m., we'll have students of Lynda Lybeck Robinson performing piano pieces. Then, we'll have the Shaler Mountain String Band coming on at 4:30 p.m. That's going to be exciting, because that's going to be seven people in the radio studio talking about their music and playing some songs for us.
KUCB: You also said local musicians Mary Heimes and Sharon O'Malley are on at 8 p.m. And Nick Cron may be on the piano during the 11 a.m. hour. So it sounds like there's a lot to look forward to?
ADAMS: Yeah, just tune in! There'll be some surprises. I don't even know what to expect. I never know what to expect. We'll have deejays that don't usually deejay, though I wish they did. Rainier Marquez is going to be on in the afternoon. He deejays at other venues, so this'll be his first time actually doing a radio set for KUCB. That'll be a fun, new sound. Rose [Sevilla], who's on our board of directors, is bringing her two kids in and they're going to do some music from the Philippines for an hour. And then, some of our amazing every-week deejays. Brett [Richardson], who does "The Beard." Carlos [Tayag of "Decametric Noise Storms"] is coming on. And Erica [Aus of] "Pangeaologie." She'll have a block in the evening.
KUCB: I've also heard about "Thomas on Tour" and "Colin's Power Hour"?
ADAMS: Yes. And Vic [Fisher of "AM Unalaska"], of course, in the morning. He'll have some special guests come on. Shawna Rudio is bringing in chimes, which is always a really fun part of the drive. Really, just lots of surprises. Lots of unique community radio that can only happen here in Unalaska — and a reminder of how fun and powerful community radio can be.
You can catch the 2019 Pledge Drive on Friday, Oct. 4 on 89.7 FM, Channel 8 TV, and KUCB's online stream. If you pledge here or by calling 581-1888, you can also earn thank-you gifts, including stickers, sweatshirts, OptimERA Wi-Fi, and entries into a drawing for a round-trip Alaska Airlines ticket.