780 AM | 96.1 FM 

“YOURS FOR WESTERN ALASKA”

(907) 443-5221

Thank You For 50 Years!

Whether you’ve been with us since the beginning, or you’re just getting to know us: it’s you, and your faithful support, that has made KNOM America’s oldest Catholic radio station. Thank you!
Bishop Whelan pushes the "on" button
Man wearing headphones in the recording studio of radio station.

KNOM has been broadcasting in Western Alaska since July 14th, 1971, when the station could first be heard in Western Alaska.

The continuing mission has been possible only by the hard work, sacrifice, dedication, and love of thousands of people: our staff and volunteers, listeners and community members, and thousands of loyal benefactors across the nation who keep the lights on and the transmitters running. KNOM stands on their shoulders.

Support Nurses

For the first three decades, much of KNOM’s income came from registered nurses and doctors at the Nome hospital. They lived as volunteers and donated their income to the radio mission. Here, two nurses – Candy Gleason (with the microphone) and Meg Gabriel – use a shortwave radio to give medical advice to a Western Alaskan village. Photo from the 1970s.

1970s nurses

International Impact

Elder Tim Gologergen and volunteer Sean Brennan co-host Radio Bridge to Siberia, a program with stories of interest to those living on both sides of the Bering Strait, whether in the United States or Russia. The show aired in both English and Siberian Yup’ik. Photo taken in the late 1980s.

Happy Sweet Birthday to You

Since the 1970s, listeners across Western Alaska have called in for daily “Village Hotlines”. Mary J. “MJ” Hartman, a 1988-89 volunteer, wrote KNOM’s birthday song regularly played during “Village Hotlines.”

Here is the song:

Black-and-white, vintage photo of woman with long hair, smiling at camera.

Some Moments from the past...

Below, take a listen to some fond audio memories from the first decade of KNOM.
From the first day of broadcast; July 14, 1971: a special blessing from Pope Paul VI to KNOM.

Governor William Egan greets KNOM listeners and welcomes the station to the Alaska airwaves.

Alex Hills and Harry Gallagher describe what KNOM’s news coverage will contain.

A shout-out to all those who originally helped KNOM get on the airwaves.

Tom Busch tells the story of the Broken Down Radio Announcer, including a confession of the announcer’s true identity.

Tom Busch tells the untold story behind the Monday morning Animals in the News segment.

Come Visit the Station

Yet, we've only just begun....

Fifty years into KNOM’s history, the radio station is deeply embedded in Western Alaska. As we look to the future, KNOM’s vision is to one day be ‘taken over’ by the region – existing entirely for, and by, Western Alaskans. As the very first song ever played on KNOM – “We’ve Only Just Begun”, by The Carpenters – proclaims, the mission is just getting started.

KNOM continues to live out its values each day – as it has for five decades – as a friend and companion offering respectful service based on Catholic ideals. It is centered on the four cornerstones of the mission: Encountering Christ, Embracing Culture, Empowering Growth, and Engaging the Listener. 

KNOM continues in sharing God’s love for Western Alaska through embracing its strength and beauty and being invested, long-term, in the growth of the region.

By engaging each listener with respect and companionship, KNOM hopes to amplify stories of hope, courage, and resiliency in Western Alaska.

Will you help us stay on air for another 50 years?

Thank you for your support. KNOM is sustained by volunteer efforts and private donations. Your generosity really does mean so much.

50th Anniversary Logo

KNOM’S NEW LOGO is intended to honor the mission’s 50-year history and carry the mission into the future. 

The logo is designed by Brendan Hollis of Utqiagvik, Alaska, for KNOM’s anniversary and beyond. The main logo graphic – the dogs and musher – has been updated from the old logo’s pen-and-ink drawing of a dog team pulling a traditional sled, to a stylized graphic of the same motif.

In keeping with KNOM’s direct style of speaking to “you, the listener” – instead of “all of you out there listening” – the dogs run directly toward the viewer. The dogs themselves look leaner, as sled dogs bred for modern mushing also do.

The dogs and musher not only represent Western Alaska’s long history of dog mushing, but symbolize the persistence and resiliency of the mission and region. Despite numerous hurdles, storms, accidents, and other challenges the mission carries on today largely thanks to the untold number of volunteers and staff who have made KNOM possible.

The constellation, the Great Dipper, symbolizes the Great Land of the State of Alaska. As in the night sky above Nome, the constellation naturally ends in the North Star, Polaris. The star’s cross shape is a reminder of KNOM’s Catholic identity, which both grounds and guides the station’s mission and public service.

Finally, the tag line, “50 Years in Western Alaska” riffs from KNOM’s slogan; “Yours for Western Alaska”. In the circular version of the logo, its placement makes “complete the circle” for KNOM.

Most Read Stories

Lawsuit Against Myrtle Irene’s Owner Moves Forward As Gold Mining and Reality T.V. Season Resumes

The Cost of Living in Alaska
Love Letters to Home: Katie Smith of Nome, Alaska

FBI Agents Begin to Leave Nome, Agency’s Involvement in Okpealuk Investigation Provides Clarity for Some

More

Newsletter:

Christmas 2023

Work for Us:

Jobs

Contact

Nome:

(907) 443-5221 

Anchorage:

(907) 868-1200 

Land Acknowledgement

We acknowledge that KNOM Radio Mission is located on the customary lands of Indigenous peoples. 

Based in the Bering Strait region, KNOM broadcasts throughout the homelands of the Iñupiaq, Siberian Yup’ik, Cup’ik and Yup’ik peoples.

Scroll To Top