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Jan 12, 2022

KRBD is a non-commercial radio station in Ketchikan, Alaska, broadcasting on 105.3 FM. The station airs public radio programming from the National Public Radio network, the BBC World Service, and is a member of CoastAlaska. KRBD also airs some locally originated programming.

The KRBD studio
For the airport in Dallas, Texas, assigned the ICAO code KRBD, see Dallas Executive Airport.
Radio station in Ketchikan, Alaska
City Ketchikan, Alaska
Broadcast area Alaska Panhandle
Frequency 105.3 MHz (HD Radio)
Branding KRBD
Format Public Radio
Owner Rainbird Community Broadcasting
Former frequencies
105.9 MHz[1]
Technical information
Facility ID 54928
Class A
ERP 3,400 watts
HAAT 21 meters (69 ft)
Translator(s) See § Translators
Website www.krbd.org

As with many radio stations, the name is an abbreviation. In this case, RBD is short for “Rainbird,” which is one of the mascots of Ketchikan. (Ketchikan averages about 160 inches of rainfall each year.)

The station’s first broadcast, on May 22, 1976, opened with the song, “The Fool,” by Quicksilver Messenger Service on volunteer Tom Miller’s show, “Odds and Ends.” At that time, the station had seven licensed volunteers, each one covering a day of the week, and each one responsible for recruiting more volunteers.

At first, the station operated out of a single apartment space on the first floor of the 10-story Marine View Building. Its 10-watt transmitter broadcast mostly to listeners within a few miles of Ketchikan’s West End neighborhood.

The community licensee was conceived of and built by volunteers. Soon after it went on the air, the station hired a manager/engineer, Bob Kern, of Ketchikan. KRBD continued to grow along with the State of Alaska’s oil wealth. Within a few years, the station moved up to the Marine View’s 10th floor, where it occupied two large apartment spaces. As it continued to grow, KRBD increased power to its current 3,400 watts and moved to a downtown Ketchikan location at 716 Totem Way, overlooking Ketchikan Creek.

At one point in the 1980s, the station had 10 employees and was able to send them to various training opportunities in and outside of Alaska. Its volunteer crew also grew, numbering as many as 90 in its heyday in the 1980s. KRBD is notable for having a sizable group of youth and teens comprise a portion of the volunteer body.

When the state’s budget declined due to lower oil prices, and later due to declining oil production, so did KRBD’s. By 2007, the station had about four employees and a much reduced volunteer corp. Throughout its history, volunteers have played an important role in operating the station, especially in producing its varied music programming.

In the early 1990s, the station moved yet again, when it purchased the building at 123 Stedman Street, a few doors down the street from Totem Way. In 2010, KRBD moved to a fifth location known as “The Rock Pit” on Copper Ridge Lane.

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Broadcast translators of KRBD
Call sign Frequency
City of license Facility ID Class ERP
K269CA 107.1 Clover Pass, Alaska 54926 D 28
K269BA 101.7 Craig, Alaska 54930 D 45
K211AV 90.1 Hydaburg, Alaska 54927 D 9
K211AX 90.1 Klawock, Alaska 54931 D 90
K211AT 90.1 Mountain Point, Alaska 54934 D 81
K214BD 90.7 North Point Higgins, Alaska 54933 D 9
K211AU 90.1 Thorne Bay, Alaska 54936 D 18

. . . KRBD . . .

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. . . KRBD . . .