Extreme Winter Weather Knocks Out Smoky Hills PBS Regular Programming


BUNKER HILL, KS – Not seeing some of the shows on Smoky Hills PBS that you are used to seeing? Unfortunately, Smoky Hills PBS was affected by the extreme weather conditions last week.

Due to a power surge that took place in Bunker Hill on Tuesday, Feb. 16th, it caused several issues with equipment within our Master Control operations. Because of these issues, we are currently passing through national PBS programming with no localization. Meaning, no local programs and local scheduling by Smoky Hills PBS. The Kansas Legislature and Doctors on Call programs were also canceled last week due to these issues.

To add to the current situation, on the night of Feb. 17th, a water pipe burst at Smoky Hills PBS, damaging more equipment and throwing Smoky Hills PBS off-air throughout most locations. Staff was able to get Smoky Hills PBS back on-air at approximately 7 p.m. Thursday, Feb. 18th, but still without local programming.

Michael Quade, Smoky Hills PBS Interim General Manager stated, “There is no doubt that these two events are going to impact Smoky Hills PBS in the next few months. What I know for sure is that we have the best staff to get us up and running as quickly as possible. We have received many calls of encouragement over the weekend and we want to thank everyone for the continued support! We ask everyone to be patient as we resolve these issues. We know you love our local programming, and we are working very hard to bring it back!” It’s not clear when all our equipment will be back up and running. We encourage our viewers to visit,, or the PBS video app to access programming you might not find currently on-air.


Smoky Hills PBS serves 71 counties in central and western Kansas and has been named the KS Association of Broadcasters Non-Metro Station of the Year. Smoky Hills PBS is available on many cable systems, DirecTV, and Dish Network. It is also available to stream by clicking: More information on Smoky Hills PBS and its programs and projects are available at or by calling 1-800-337-4788.

Derek Nester
Derek Nester
Derek Nester was born and raised in Blue Rapids and graduated from Valley Heights High School in 2000. He attended Cowley College in Arkansas City and Johnson County Community College in Overland Park studying Journalism & Media Communications. In 2002 Derek joined Taylor Communications, Inc. in Salina, Kansas working in digital media for 550 AM KFRM and 100.9 FM KCLY. Following that stop, he joined Dierking Communications, Inc. stations KNDY AM & FM as a board operator and fill-in sports play-by-play announcer. Starting in 2005 Derek joined the Kansas City Chiefs Radio Network as a Studio Coordinator at 101 The Fox in Kansas City, a role he would serve for 15 years culminating in the Super Bowl LIV Championship game broadcast. In 2021 he moved to Audacy, formerly known as Entercom Communications, Inc. and 106.5 The Wolf and 610 Sports Radio, the new flagship stations of the Kansas City Chiefs Radio Network, the largest radio network in the NFL. Through all of this, Derek continues to serve as the Digital Media Director for Sunflower State Radio, the digital and social media operations of Dierking Communications, Inc. and the 6 radio stations it owns and operates across Kansas.

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