Monday, September 24, 2007

"Truly Alaskan" Documentaries

Five very interesting and very Alaskan documentaries have recently been acquired to air on 360 North. They are all the work of long-time filmmaker Curt Madison of River Tracks Productions.

Four of the programs look deeply into Alaska Native culture and will be important contributions to the planned weekly block of Native programming. The fifth documentary, on mining, is a unique history offering.

Hitting Sticks, Healing Hearts - This documentary was produced at the request of village elders. It provides an in-depth, insiders view of an Athabaskan memorial potlatch. It aired on public television in Alaska and was used as part of the Death, A Trip of a Lifetime series produced by KCTS, Seattle.

Songs in Minto Life - Like 'Hitting Sticks,' the setting is the Athabaskan Indian village of Minto. This film is about music and the way it weaves through every aspect of life.

Tanana River Rat - This program is a vibrant drama of contemporary life in Interior Alaska. Brothers separated by the political realities of Alaska after the 1991 Native land claims are forced together on the river when a cousin drowns. The family and village come together as they always have in times of crisis.

Huteetl: A Koyukon Memorial Potlatch - Considered a valuable anthropological document, this video looks at the final death rites of a young couple who died in a small airplane crash. More than 200 people joined the 100 residents of Hughes for the week-long celebration releasing the deceased spirit from a year of wandering.

Bedrock Pay - This project gives viewers insight into some of the characters and the lifestyle of gold mining in the historic Manley and Eureka districts of the Interior.

Each of these "truly Alaskan" programs has won numerous awards and been recognized in North America and throughout the world.

Thursday, September 20, 2007

Great Progress in the Control Room

The first days of work in the KTOO control room by the Burst team has revealed big changes. Here you see the BEFORE picture when the drywall mud was still wet.And, below, you see the progress of the first three days of work from the same angle. There is still so much to be done, but seeing the racks and furniture in place is exciting for the staff.
We will continue to post pictures as the control rooms take shape with the help of KTOO's John Kelly who has been documenting the work and providing pictures.

Monday, September 17, 2007

First Day Progress

These guys from Burst are pretty good. At 8 am the room was empty. By the time they left for lunch, the racks were in place and furniture was being built. It's a good start. Of course, there are all of these wires that need to be connected to something....

A Truck Full of Stuff...

A truck full of stuff arrived in the KTOO parking lot on Friday. It took a forklift and several people to unload the equipment, destined for the rebuild project in the control rooms, into the building for unpacking.

The technicians from Burst, the integrator selected for the KTOO digital conversion project, arrive in the building this morning to begin unpacking. Eventually, all of the equipment that now fills the studio in large crates and on pallets will fit neatly into the new master control room and production control room.

Let's hope there is a lot of packing material in there because it looks like a lot of equipment. It weighs just under 20,000 pounds and has a value of about $750,000. It will be exciting over the next weeks to see it all installed and operating in KTOO's new state-of-the-art 360 NORTH and Gavel to Gavel facility.

Regular updates and pictures will continue to be posted.

Friday, September 14, 2007

Planning for the Public Launch of a Television Service

The KTOO staff has been meeting to propose ideas and work through details of the official launch of 360 North. In August a work session including everyone from the KTOO stations was held to identify a list of promotion, programming and public relations tasks. Since then, small groups have worked through planning of different facets of announcing and presenting the new television service to the public.

Above, Tim Olson describes progress on the promotion plan and spot production at a staff meeting while Bill Legere, KTOO CEO and General Manager, looks on.

Wednesday, September 12, 2007

Special Session Coverage

On October 18, Alaska Day, the Alaska State Legislature will convene in special session to consider issues related to the state oil and gas tax. This topic and the special session has garnered unique interest in light of the ongoing corruption charges and trials, some involving legislators who voted on the original legislation regarding petroleum taxes.

KTOO's Gavel to Gavel Alaska will provide full coverage of all of the proceedings from Juneau during the session. Although KTOO will be in the middle of its digital conversion and facilities upgrade, equipment is being configured to provide the extensive coverage that Alaskans have come to expect from KTOO over the past twelve years.

360 North is excited to be able to broadcast this important public affairs coverage of Alaska government. It is one of the important services that the people of Alaska have come to rely on their public television stations to provide.

Wednesday, September 5, 2007

ISER Lecture Series - Production Begins Next Week

Each month during the school year, ISER, The Institute of Social and Economic Research at the University of Alaska Anchorage, presents an informative public lecture. These Lunchtime Talks provide an opportunity for ISER researchers and their colleagues from other organizations to present their recent work and findings.

Beginning on September 11, 360 North will be teaming up with UAA and ISER to record and broadcast these events. In the first program we will hear from Antony Scott, an analyst with the state's Division of Oil and Gas, who will talk about trying to understand future natural gas pricing. He will describe how the state attempts to make informed policy decisions in an atmosphere of price uncertainty.

Additional program topics and guests will be announced each month. And, 360 North will work to produce a monthly television program of each talk. Broadcasts will begin in November.

Monday, September 3, 2007

Coverage of the National Conference of State Legislatures

360 North will be bringing coverage of a national event to its Gavel to Gavel Alaska programming this fall.

The National Conference of State Legislatures is a bipartisan organization that serves the legislators and staffs of the nation's 50 states, its commonwealths and territories. NCSL provides research, technical assistance and opportunities for policymakers to exchange ideas on the most pressing state issues. Each year, at their annual meeting, members from across the nation gather to discuss issues, attend workshops and conduct forums. This year, with the help of the National Association of Public Affairs Networks, 360 North will broadcast coverage of the sessions that took place in Boston.

KTOO's Gavel to Gavel Alaska is a member of NAPAN, and Bill Legere, KTOO general manager, serves on the NAPAN board. This year, another member, The Connecticut Network, produced programs of many NCSL sessions. They have made these recordings available to other public affairs channels like 360 North.

Topics range from energy policy, education and health care reform to climate change and media advances in the delivery of news.