The Mel Sather Public Media Internship Program supports outstanding Alaskans in the pursuit of careers in public radio and television.

This two-tier Internship program will allow public media organizations to employ interns to learn the field of public broadcasting.  An advisory committee will thoughtfully select awardees. This process will give Alaskan residents looking to pursue a career in public broadcasting a chance to choose from a selection of internship opportunities. The goal is to match aspiring interns with the organization that best fits their career goals. In tandem, public media organizations operating with modest resources will have the qualified assistance they need. Preference will be given to Alaska Natives.

About Mel Sather

Mel Sather was born in Seward, Alaska. He was hired by broadcast pioneer Augie Hiebert at Northern TV when he was a student at Anchorage High School, running the control board, doing photography, and even occasionally hosting the classical program on KNIK. After serving as an electronics technician and seeing significant combat in the Navy in Vietnam, he returned to Northern Television as chief engineer and operation manager. Mel left Northern TV to teach electronics at Bartlett High School and also taught math and was involved in theatre productions. Over the years, he stayed in touch with and even hired some of his electronics high school students and got great joy from their successes. After five years at Bartlett, he joined the Mat-Su Community College as head of the Electronics Department.

Mel served as Chairman of the Board for KAKM, along with serving on NPR’s Satellite committee.

After leaving Mat-Su Community College to start his own business, Octagon Company, he began building new radio and TV stations all over Alaska and in the Lower 48, including places like Unalakleet, Chevak, Saint Paul, Fort Yukon, Valdez, Anchorage, Seattle, and Arizona. At one time or another, he had his hands on virtually every broadcast facility across Alaska—Utqiagvik (Barrow), Nome, McGrath, among them. His company also handled telecommunications projects from the North Slope of Alaska to Irian Jaya, Indonesia, and in many other places. One of his proudest achievements was building Koahnic Broadcast Corporation’s KNBA 90.3 FM, which was the first and only Native urban radio station in the nation.

He was honored to be inducted into the Broadcasters Hall of Fame by his friends and colleagues at the Alaska Broadcasters Association. ​

Support this Fund

Mel set a wonderful example for all of us who care deeply for public media. His work in this field has furthered the quality and reach of broadcasting in Alaska. His legacy in this sector will be forever remembered.

Please make a meaningful gift to honor the legacy of Mel Sather and support the next generation of individuals pursuing careers in public media.

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