Tom Busch

Tom Busch

Tom Busch is a longtime Alaska radio broadcaster.

Born in Philadelphia, Busch received an AB in Psychology from Boston College in 1969. Working for campus radio station WVBC starting in September 1965, Busch landed his first professional job in broadcasting in May 1966 at WLDB-AM in Atlantic City, New Jersey, where he continued to work summers. During college years, he also worked for WRYT-AM in Boston.

Holding a First Class Radiotelephone License, in February 1970, Busch arrived in Nome, Alaska to design and build an educational radio station for the Catholic Church. The station signed on as KNOM on July 14, 1971.

Busch joined KIAK-AM Fairbanks in May 1973 as chief engineer, and was named general manager of KNOM, returning to Nome in May 1975.

During his tenure as general manager, KNOM added a 4,000-square foot new studio facility and a companion FM station (1993), inaugurated 24-hour-a-day operation (1996), increased power from 10,000 to 25,000 watts (1997), and won dozens of awards from the Scripps-Howard Foundation, UNDA-USA and the National Association of Broadcasters, becoming possibly the station in the United States that has been most honored for community service.

Busch was a longtime member of the Alaska Broadcasters Association board of directors (1978-1995), serving twice as its president (1982-1983, 1993-1994), and ten years as its secretary (1983-1993).

Between 1982 and 1985, he led ABA in fighting potential radio interference from Canada, the effort resulting in extreme protection of Alaskan AM signals by the Federal Communications Commission.

The group named him "Alaska Broadcaster of the Year" in 1986, and inducted him into the Alaska Broadcasters Hall of Fame in 1997. Active in Rotary International, he is a past president and past secretary of the Nome, Alaska club, and starting in 2006, serves as secretary for Rotary District 5010, which covers Alaska, the Yukon Territory, and Russia east of the Ural Mountains.

In 2004, Boston College awarded him an honorary doctorate, Doctor of Humane Letters.

Busch stepped down as general manager of the noncommercial station in 2005, to become its development director and emergency engineer. He and his wife Florence now live in Anchorage, Alaska.


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