KUAC-TV is the Public Broadcasting Service member station for Fairbanks, Alaska and the Alaska Interior. Owned by the University of Alaska Fairbanks, it broadcasts a high-definition signal on digital channel 9 from a transmitter on Bender Mountain, with studios in the Great Hall on the UAF campus alongside the area's NPR station, KUAC-FM.
KUAC-TV signed on for the first time on December 22, 1971 as an early Christmas present to the Interior. It was the first public television station in Alaska, and the only one until KAKM in Anchorage signed on in 1975. It originally aired for only five hours a day, from 5 pm to 10 pm. As the difficulties associated with bringing PBS programming decreased, channel 9 increased its schedule, and now operates 24 hours per day.
In 1995, KUAC-TV joined with KTOO-TV in Juneau and KYUK-TV in Bethel to form AlaskaOne, a network of PBS stations serving all of Alaska outside of Anchorage. The three stations formed the Alaska Public Broadcasting Service to air a common PBS schedule. This move was made in hopes of sharing administrative costs. KTOO and KYUK occasionally broke off from the AlaskaOne feed to air programming relevant to their areas, while KUAC-TV used its massive translator network to deliver AlaskaOne programming across the Interior.
KUAC-TV signed on the first high definition public television service in Alaska in 2004, on channel 24. However, it opted to move its digital signal back to channel 9 when analog broadcasting ended in the United States in April 2009.
On November 18, 2011. the APBS board voted to transfer operation of the AlaskaOne feed to Alaska Public Telecommunications, owner of Anchorage's PBS station, KAKM. In response, UAF, which cast the lone dissenting vote, announced on December 11 that KUAC-TV would break off from AlaskaOne and revert to being a separate locally-focused PBS station on July 1, 2012. UAF contended that a single statewide PBS service would not meet the needs of the Interior. On July 1, KUAC-TV resumed its original branding of "KUAC TV9," while KTOO and KYUK joined with KAKM to form Alaska Public Television.
On March 25, 2016, KUAC announced that they are debuting a new look and the new logo, similar to the original logo of S4C from 1995, the call letters "KUAC" are in a Futura typeface with a tilde to next to the "C" as if it were breathing fire. All of S4C's idents will be borrowed to the station and was given a high-definition 1080i resolution for this PBS member station.
KUAC-TV's signal on channel 9 is multiplexed.
|9.1||Main KUAC-TV programming / PBS|
|9.5||KUAC FM and HD-1|