Spending wisely

Can anyone figure out why Minnesota public radio would have a radio station in Sun Valley Idaho?


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8 Responses to Spending wisely

  1. haiti222 says:

    It’s mentioned in this article: http://www.metroactive.com/papers/cruz/12.15.99/kusp-9950.html

    In short MPR has taken over or made deals to put its programming on stations that have budget issues. I remember when they took over WGGL in Houghton MI from Michigan Tech. They have their programming on stations in WI, MI, ND, and SD, I believe.

    • Art Stone says:

      Thank you for digging that up – it is interesting to read, but the person in the article has a mistaken impression – MPR did not “take over” an existing station in Sun Valley – MPR built the station themselves in 1991


      Here is my on background on them generally from 2009 – it gives huge hints pointing at some answers:

      Back in 2008/9, radio was in free fall – I did some serious research of all the major radio station owners, including the non-profits, looking at their financial statements. If you’re even slightly interested in radio, kill a couple hours reading some of it 😉


      And specifically MPR


      And the more interesting commentary


      Most people (especially Congress and me before I did the research) only have a vague notion of what public Radio is, who owns what and how it is all funded. NPR doesn’t own any radio stations. They produce programming and provide technical assistance to member stations (and some funding). NPR gets a small amount of Federal Funding directly from the Federal Corporation for Public Broadcasting, but most revenue comes from fees paid for the programming by member stations (which are funded by listeners, foundations, grants from the CPB and local business). In some cases, states also provide funding – especially ones with strong socialist histories like Minnesota

      American Public Media is the big competitor to NPR. NPR owns the business because of Morning Edition and All Things considered, but many programs carried during the day, and especially on the weekends are created by APM, and the local stations choose which programming they buy. PRI is the third major supplier to public radio, mostly selling BBC programs

      NPR is not a synonym for Public Radio

    • Art Stone says:

      Minnesota Public Broadcasting’s significant role in national programming was accidental. A few other big stations like the ones in Boston, DC and Chicago produce one or two recorded shows that they sell to other public radio stations. MPR’s mandate and state funding is to operate public radio and TV for Minnesota – not in a resort town in Idaho.

      Because Garrison Kielor made a mistake in the 1980s, MPR was suddenly flooded with money – so much that they were in danger of losing their tax exempt status. As a result, they created American Public Media, which owns MPR and creates national programming. APM decided it was also going to go into the public radio station owning business outside of Minnesota via their parent (funded by giving it all of MPR’s cash), which was not warmly received by the other folks in the Public Radio business and the State of Minnesota. I’ll double check – I vaguely remember APM building a station in Florida.

      Especially after 2009, APM’s funding fell apart and building radio stations outside of Minnesota stopped being something they tried to do.

    • Art Stone says:

      On WGGL specifically, radio station’s operated by schools are in serious decline. Most students don’t even listen to radio, let alone are fooled into thinking taking courses in college will get them a radio job in an industry shedding employees as fast as it can. Owning a license but not following FCC rules can earn you huge fines and you also have to pay ASCAP to play music. Generally you also need paid staff.

      Systems owned by public universities also get in trouble because of their indirect control by politicians who like to threaten to end funding. A number of states have removed their state Public Radio networks from University control and made them independent entities.

      WGGL was the first out of state taken over by MPR (in 1982)

      Here is MPR’s station list


  2. Art Stone says:

    If you’re hunting for the mother ship, look here


  3. Art Stone says:

    American Public Media also operates (but does not own) Southern California Public Radio, which operates KPCC-FM, which comes in loud and clear in Hollywood


    Why didn’t MPR go after stations in Tupelo Mississippi or East Saint Louis, Illinois?

  4. haiti222 says:

    Here is WGGL’s story by the guy that birthed it &, as you noted Bill Kling was who came along to take it over. http://www.mmnow.com/mm_archive_folder/03/0306/back_then.html

    Thanks for all your links, I am going to read them all.

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