KICY Radio To Increase Signal Reach

Post a Comment » Written on December 30th, 2003     
Filed under: News
NOME, AK (December 30, 2003)  – KICY Radio has been granted permission to go to 50,000 watts of non-directional power, thanks to recent approval by the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) regarding its transmission status.

KICY (found at KICY AM-850 and ICY 100.3 FM on the radio dial) has been granted permission for 50,000 watts non-directional (via one transmission tower antenna) 24 hours a day, according to a representative from Arctic Broadcasting Association (ABA), which oversees KICY. Previously, KICY could only broadcast 50,000 watts directionally (using a three-tower antenna system) and only during night-time hours beamed in the direction of Russia from 11:00 p.m. to 4:00 a.m.

The approval means that KICY’s nightly audience potential would grow from 40,000 (covering a 200-mile radius) to some 600,000 potential listeners throughout Alaska, says ABA Board Chair Ted Haney. KICY can also reach an unknown number of potential listeners in northwest Canada.

Approximately seven years ago KICY began the process of obtaining permission to put up two additional towers to that it can direct its nighttime signal toward the Russian Far East between the hours of 11 p.m. and 4 a.m.  The request by KICY was unique, said Haney – no other U.S. radio station had ever asked for permission to direct a signal outside of the country using the AM (850 kHz) or medium wave band.

KICY requested permission to increase its transmitter power from 10,000 watts to 50,000 watts, the maximum the FCC would allow for a U.S. radio station. After almost two years of discussion, the FCC agreed to allow KICY to increase its power to 50,000 non-directional watts during daytime hours- increasing KICY’s daytime coverage by an additional 40 to 60 miles. It also gave permission for KICY to install a new three-tower directional antenna system to broadcast toward the Russian Far East at night. KICY general manager Dennis Weidler said that the directional focus is equivalent to 243,000 non-directional watts being transmitted into Russia.

Once the FCC gave approval, it was then necessary to gain approval from the International Telecommunications Union (ITU) based in Geneva, Switzerland, because KICY might be heard in Russia, Japan, China and possibly other countries as well.  The ITU took nearly two more years before granting full permission.

KICY’s hopes to increase its transmission from 10,000 to 50,000 watts non-directionally at night became more viable after an Anchorage station went out of business. Previously, KICY’s signal might have affected that station’s transmission.

“The list of miracles, major and minor, just keeps getting longer and longer,” said Weidler of the recent news. “We’re one of the most powerful stations in North America – we can’t get any higher (in transmission). I’m just so glad that in the four and a half years I’ve been at KICY, supporters have seen that it is a viable ministry. We’re totally dependent on churches and individuals to support us. And we’re excited about our future.

“Because of the huge coverage we get, the AM dial is still a viable market in the villages,” Weidler continued. And our local coverage will only continue to expand.”

KICY will host a listener appreciation dinner and staff members hope to travel to Scammon Bay, a village of around 1,000, next month. On January 30, KICY representatives will be at Excelsior Covenant Church near the Twin Cities for a salmon fundraising dinner.

During the Covenant’s Pastors Midwinter Conference February 2-6 in Rosemont, Illinois, Weidler will be available to answer questions about KICY and its ministries. And on February 7, KICY will host a fundraising salmon dinner at Glen Ellyn Evangelical Covenant Church in Chicago’s western suburb of Glen Ellyn.

For more information about KICY and its upcoming fundraising dinners, call the station toll-free at 800-478-5429. Details pertaining to KICY’s recent transmission upgrade by the FCC can be found via email by contacting Haney at or Weidler at The KICY web site can be found at

Copyright © 2011 The Evangelical Covenant Church.

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