Story last updated at 3:30 p.m. Thursday, November 21, 2002

Program director retires
It is with some regret but with much enthusiasm for trying something different that I have decided to retire as the program director at KBBI. In my 23 years at KBBI, I have seen much positive change and development at the station, have met and worked with many energetic and creative people and have had the privilege of training hundreds of folks in the skills of radio. And I have also had the fun of playing music of every kind.

KBBI is a valuable resource that ties our community together in very positive ways, including providing critical local news and information and top-quality network programs, giving a voice to numerous nonprofits, schools and agencies, as a production facility for the community and as a training ground for volunteers.

Thanks to the efforts of Susan Kernes, the NTIA, the Rasmuson Foundation and the Murdock Charitable Trust, KBBI is about to complete a large construction project that will replace all of the old, worn-out equipment with state-of-the-art digital equipment that will improve the sound of the station immeasurably and that will allow more people to become producers of high-quality programs.

Thanks also to the current board of directors, Hal Smith, Ginger VanWagoner, Ken Landfield, Diane McBride, Jean Murphy and Lauren Scharf, who have provided support and guidance to staff and who have worked to steer the station toward financial stability and the fulfillment of the mission statement. They have understood their roles as board members, allowing the professional staff to do their jobs without interference.

The staff includes dedicated individuals who work tirelessly to make the station the rare jewel that it is. It is complicated to keep two radio stations on the air, and the staff does a wonderful job gathering the resources and attending to the needs of the listeners, members, volunteers, the networks, the aging equipment, the FCC, the state of Alaska, the Corporation for Public Broadcasting and our community.

KBBI has come a very long way since 1979, when the only network news came over a scratchy telephone line and the station was known as a playground for hippies, to the full-service, award-winning, highly respected organization that it is today. Its growth and success have been due to the efforts of hundreds of dedicated staff, board members, on-air and off-air volunteers, members and agencies who provided the financial support, labor and vision to bring the station into the 21st century.

I will be a part of the team that makes the conversion to the new equipment and automation system in the next few weeks, and hope that the transition goes very smoothly. When the project is done, old and new volunteers will receive training on some seriously cool stuff. And I will join the ranks of the volunteer DJs.

KBBI is a wonderful station that deserves and needs your support.

Kathy Steberl