Minnesota Public Radio

Minnesota Public Radio  (Website) is a non-commercial 501(c)(3) public broadcasting service located in Minnesota.   It owns and operates about 38 FM radio stations and 41 FM Translators.


MPR traces its roots back to KSJR, a classical music station founded in 1967.   MPR is a subdivision of American Public Media, which produces many shows heard on public radio stations around the country.

The Minnesota EAS system utilizes the MPR network for distributing emergency information, which is part of the reason this Public Radio network has more full power FM stations than any other state.

MPR also owns Fitzgerald Theater, which is the broadcast location of Prairie Home Companion.

Major Stations – top 25 markets

MPR owns two stations in Minneapolis / Saint Paul.  All of the other stations are located in small or unrated markets.   For a complete list of licensed stations, follow this link.


MPR is a non-profit subsidiary of American Public Media, which also operates stations in Florida and California.   MPR claims to have 97,600 members.  Minnesota has a population of a bit more than 5 million people, so about 2% of the state are members.


According to the 2008 annual report,  MPR had about $48 million in donations, $13 million of which came from individuals, $5 million from the CPB, and $20 million in earned revenue from live events and sponsorships.

The station spent $9 million on fundraising, had $12 million in administrative expenses, and $56 million on Operations.

Of the expenses, $40 million was for salaries and fringe benefits.    $13 million was to purchase programming.

As of the end of June 2008, MPR had -NO- cash in the bank, as it had “loaned” $24 million to its parent organization, American Public Media Group.   APMG did not pay the required interest in 2008, so MPR gave APMG a “grant” of $731,000 to forgive the unpaid payments.

MPR has a total of $33 million in long term debt, mostly revenue bonds.

MPR also earned $25 million to lease its spectrum to Sprint and Clearwire for wireless broadband service for a period of 15 years.

Do you think maybe it’s time to lay off some of that staff?

In 2006, MPR and APMG refused to disclose how many employees earn in excess of $100,000 a year which had been added as a requirement to continue to get state funding.   in 2004, William Kling earned in excess of $500,000 a year.   More of the story about Mr Kling’s finances and the complicated story is here.

In December 2008, MPR announced staff cuts to deal with a $2 million shortfall

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