What KNOM Has Meant

In their volunteer days (circa 1980s), Lynette and Ric Schmidt smile outside the old KNOM station building.

June is often a bittersweet month at KNOM, with the turnover of service terms for the station’s full-time volunteers. This year, it’s doubly bittersweet, as we bid farewell to Ric Schmidt, our mission’s longtime general manager. Here’s Ric in his own words:

On June 30, 2017, I will be retiring as General Manager from KNOM. What can I say about the most challenging, surprising, amazing, scary, and rewarding experience of my life. I started 40 years ago in TV and radio, but in 1984, I arrived in Nome, Alaska, and found a treasure beyond all measure: KNOM. This blessing allowed me to work for an organization making a positive difference in the lives of thousands of people. That is what KNOM does, and that is what KNOM means to me. KNOM is a radio friend that never leaves your side.

The entire KNOM family is excited about KNOM’s new General Manager, Margaret DeMaioribus. She is an inspired leader who values the KNOM mission. I wish you could witness the love and care that goes into each broadcast day. And the energy, effort, and commitment the KNOM staff bring to their jobs. It is an honor to serve the people of Western Alaska with them.

Thank you to everyone who has contributed time and treasure to KNOM. Lifelong appreciation and thanks to the late Tom Busch and his beautiful wife, Florence. Tom was my mentor, my brother, and the rock that held KNOM together for over 30 years. Loving thanks to my wife, Lynette, who is a positive force for her family and KNOM. Thank you to all the great KNOM staff, volunteers, and supporters along the way. For all those who have donated, supported, and stood by KNOM, my deep thanks and appreciation. And finally, thank you to the wonderful people spread out across Western Alaska. For them, KNOM is Yours For Western Alaska.

With gratitude for the indelible mark he has left upon the mission, throughout his many years of service at KNOM, we wish Ric all the best and every future blessing as he begins his retirement. Stay tuned for more on our new general manager, Margaret!

photo at top: Ric and Lynette during their volunteer days.

Ric, Lynette, and their children pose with Father Ross Tozzi inside a Catholic church.

Ric, Lynette, and their children pose with Father Ross Tozzi after celebrating his first Mass.

Ric and Tom hold an award statue

Ric with then-general-manager Tom Busch at a Gabriel Award banquet.

In a KNOM-branded sweatshirt, Ric talks into a KNOM microphone, standing outdoors.

Ric narrates, on-air, dedication ceremonies for the Tom and Florence Busch Digital Studios on the station’s 40th anniversary, July 14, 2011. Photo: David Dodman, KNOM.


  1. Alfred Beronio on June 1, 2017 at 6:11 pm

    God Bless you and your family. May He grant you many more years.

  2. Jack & Kathy Mullaney on June 2, 2017 at 7:31 am

    Ric, I am sorry to see you go but if anyone deserves a happy retirement it is you & Lynette, my friends. You really look very young in the 1984 photo with your family (6 children – wow). I had not realized it has been over 30 years we have known each other and over 45 years we have known KNOM – how time flies.

    You, Lynette & the many other dedicated people making up the amazing KNOM workforce over the years really show the rest of us the meaning of being a Christian. Very few of us listen to and then take up God’s calling.

    We look forward to seeing Margaret continue the good work of KNOM in the future. Tell her your secret, that when your footprints look like those of the Abominable Snowman she should simply do what Tom & you have done these many years – wear Snowshoes and tighten the straps.

    God Bless & Happy Retirement – Jack & Kathy M.

  3. Fr. Gerald Ornowski, MIC on June 2, 2017 at 4:30 pm

    Ric and Lynette– a multitude of blessings for all you’ve done for western Alaska and many people in other places, including volunteers, who know of your dedicated work with KNOM.–Fr. Gerald Ornowski, MIC (old time helper)

  4. Yaayuk on June 30, 2017 at 10:44 pm

    Quyaana for your service to Western Alaska! KNOM is a blessing to us all. Have a great and wonderful retirement Ric! B. Yaayuk