KCHU incorporated as a 501(c)3 October 12, 1980 as Prince William Sound Public Broadcasting, Inc. In 1982, the corporation changed its name to Terminal Radio, Inc. (TRI) and began receiving funds from the Alaska Public Radio Commission. A construction permit, frequency allocation and a transmitter site lease with the City of Valdez were donated to TRI in 1984. Work on the transmitter site began in September 1985. KCHU signed on August 2, 1986 at 1,000 watts as a repeater for KSKA in Anchorage. Independent broadcast began in October 1986. KCHU upgraded to 10,000 watts in 1990 which allowed for a strong 770 AM signal. The station chose AM to better serve the maritime operations in the region as that frequency carries more effectively across the waters of Prince William Sound. The 10,000 Watts carries KCHU to the barrier islands and throughout the sound.
The Mission of KCHU is to make public radio available to everyone
in the Prince William Sound and Copper River regions
through the most appropriate technology.
KCHU is a 501(c)(3) non-profit and is publicly supported by the listeners throughout a 46,000 square mile broadcast area. The station serves seven communities around Prince William Sound and the Copper River Basin. KCHU is repeated by translators in Cordova, Whittier, Tatitlek, Chenega Bay and Chitina, and is carried by two full-service licensed stations in McCarthy and Glennallen.
KCHU provides news stories from all our communities, regional call-in shows and statewide information from the Alaska Public Radio Network. National and international news is available from National Public Radio and other national networks and local affiliates. KCHU supports local non-profit organizations with announcements several times a day. Public Service Announcements provide information about services and events. As a public station in Alaska, KCHU may broadcast messages and announcements for remote listeners who do not have phones or other methods of communication known as “bush messages.” Because KCHU is the only radio station available in some of the listening area, KCHU tries to offer a wide variety of entertainment, including diverse music options, news and educational programs. KCHU also participates in the Emergency Broadcast System.
KCHU presently serves Valdez, Glennallen, Copper Center, Cordova, the Native Village of Tatitlek, Ellamar, Chenega Bay, Whittier, McCarthy, Tok, and all of the Wrangell St Elias National Park.