CPB Awards NGWS Grants to Rural Alaska and Southwest Radio


Two rural Alaska radio stations and three signals serving the Four Corners area of the desert Southwest are the latest to receive grants from the Corporation for Public Broadcasting to upgrade their emergency alerting equipment.

Community Radio Project, which operates KZET, KSJD, and KICO in Colorado, Arizona, New Mexico, and Utah, will get up to $54,750 for equipment, including new transmitters and backup power supplies, to ensure continuous service during emergencies for underserved and tribal communities.

In Alaska, KSTK Stikine River Radio will receive up to $90,002 to improve its Emergency Alert System for Wrangell, Shoemaker Bay, and North Wrangell Island, including equipment replacement and backup power, while Silakkuagvik Communications’ KBRW gets up to $98,853 to update critical equipment for reliable emergency messaging to the Inupiat Eskimo population at the northernmost tip of Alaska.

CPB is also giving a grant to Michigan’s Delta College Public Media’ WDCQ-TV.

The funding is part of the Next Generation Warning System grant program, funded by the Federal Emergency Management Agency.

In 2022, FEMA selected CPB to establish and administer the NGWS grant program to enhance public media stations’ alerting capabilities nationwide. The program funds equipment upgrades and training, prioritizing stations serving rural, Tribal, and underserved communities.

Mississippi Public Broadcasting and Indian River State College Public Media in Fort Pierce, FL, were the first recipients of the CPB grants in October.

This initiative aims to create a more resilient and secure public alerting system digital radio broadcast technology and comparable NextGen TV broadcast technology.

Corporation for Public Broadcasting President and CEO Patricia Harrison said, “Public media stations have always played a vital role in emergency alerting in communities across the country. The Next Generation Warning System grant program is providing funding for public media organizations, especially in rural areas, to replace and upgrade their technology and infrastructure that enhances critical alerting and warning capabilities to help protect those communities.”

FEMA IPAWS Director Manny Centeno commented, “FEMA’s Integrated Public Alert and Warning System (IPAWS) provides tools and resources for local authorities to effectively send emergency communications to the public. We continue developing the Next Generation Warning System concept as we improve continuity and leverage new technologies, such as ATSC 3.0, that can reach the public wherever they are.”


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