Usually, the news we report here at KMXT is about the community and not about us.
But we have some news to share with you about KMXT’s Alaska Fisheries Report, which has been Maggie Wall’s labor of love for many years. There are some changes in store for the show.
Listen to reporters reflect on Maggie Wall’s contributions to the Alaska Fisheries Report:
Ever since John Pfeiffer started the show in the early 1980’s, it’s become a “must listen to” program for fishermen, processors and people who love news about fisheries — so much so, they identify themselves as “Fish Heads.” Well you can count Maggie Wall as a true “Fish Head.” She’s been involved with the Fisheries Report in some way or another for at least the past two decades.
In last week’s Alaska Fisheries Report, she broke the news as she signed off.
“So now we come to the end of the program,” she said, “where I have to say goodbye not just goodbye for this week, but goodbye to the Alaska fisheries report and to all you wonderful listeners and to the great reporters around that state that have contributed to the show.”
The Alaska Fisheries Report has been a flagship program for KMXT for almost forty years, carried on public radio stations across the state. Its mission: to give Alaskans an appreciation for the importance and diversity of the state’s fisheries.
Reporters like Angela Denning at KFSK Radio in Petersburg say they’ll miss Wall’s dedication to telling the stories of fishing boats big and small.
“It’s hard to imagine not hearing, ‘I’m Maggie Wall,’ over the upbeat music at the end of the Fisheries Report,” said Denning, who valued the show’s news of the week, as well as Wall’s personal touch. “I appreciated your ‘Be safe out there’ personal reminders to fishermen out on the water.”
Jacob Resneck once hosted the show himself and is now news director for CoastAlaska. He calls the Fisheries Report a “big deal” for his chain of Southeast public radio stations.
“We really do look forward to the Friday show and hearing Maggie in particular,” he said. “She’s done a great job.”
Laine Welch, producer of Alaska Fish Radio, says Wall is a treasure to Alaska journalism.
“She’s of the old school where she can pull together a good story and be on the air in no time without missing a beat,” Welch said. “And she’s got the kind of historical memory that’s hard to find nowadays – not just for Alaska’s fisheries, but for the people and events that helped shape our state.”
Wall is retiring as News Director of KMXT but will remain in an advisory capacity. She will also help Terry Haines, the new host of the Fisheries Report, get off to a good start. His first show is this Friday.
Haines has been a longtime volunteer at KMXT and currently works as the station’s production assistant.
From his time as a commercial fisherman, Haines brings firsthand knowledge of Alaska fisheries. He’s also a well-known raconteur of authentic Alaskan fish tales, and who knows? Maybe some of those just might find their way into the show.