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Historic radio station may be closing down

CKUA Radio, who have been in operation for almost 100 years, may be closing down if they can’t get any funding.

According to CEO Marc Carnes, the station may be forced to close unless they can manage to raise $3 million by September.

It’s been a rough few years at CKUA, with rising inflation, utility rates going up, and a flood in January that damaged their historic 100-year music collection. They are still rebuilding through the damage to this day.

CKUA, which is a donor-funded, tried raising funds through owning the Alberta Hotel and covering costs with rent. However, they’ve lost their revenue in the hotel following the insolvency of their main tenant.

Carnes added that CKUA has been trying to receive funding from multiple levels of government, stating that the federal government failed to match the funding of Edmonton and Alberta.

“When we started this process of talking with the federal government a year ago, we were told we can’t give you any money because we fund the CBC,” said Carnes in an interview with CTV Edmonton. “We’ve seen all the relief that they’re providing to Bell Media. We’re seeing relief go to private media all over the place.”

Bell Media received $40 million in relief funding earlier this year to cover their operating losses. However, despite receiving the funding, Bell Media laid off 4,800 workers.

CKUA will begin a fundraising campaign on Friday, with donations able to be made on their website.

The station has 16 transmitters, broadcasting from Lloydminster to Hinton.

CKUA's station in 1941.
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