For nearly 40 years, Bede Trantina’s voice was a staple of public radio in Southcentral Alaska. Now, her work is being recognized by the state, through the Governor’s Arts and Humanities Awards.
Kameron Perez-Verdia is the President and CEO of the Alaska Humanities Forum. He presented Trantina the award for distinguished service in community at a ceremony in Juneau earlier this month.
“Bede Trantina spent four decades generating a profound sense of community in the most populous region of Alaska, as the voice of KSKA,” Verdia said.
Trantina joined KSKA as a volunteer in the late 1970s. But, it wasn’t long before founding General Manager Alex Hills hired her.
“She was reliable, she was conscientious, and then when we heard her on the air, she sounded good, so that pretty much clinched it,” Hills said.
Hills says he was struck by Trantina’s humility as an on-air host.
“The thing that interested me about Bede is, she never took a credit,” Hills said. “She never said her own name. And I used to kid her about that, and she’d say ‘well, it’s not about me. It’s about the air signal, it’s about the product, it’s about the content that we’re sending out to the people. And she never took a credit.”
That humility showed again, as Trantina thanked others while accepting her award.
“To Southcentral Alaska, thank you for believing in, and supporting, KSKA and public broadcasting for over 40 years,” Trantina said.
Trantina, KSKA’s longtime program director, retired last year after 39 years.