South Dakota Public Broadcasting

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South Dakota Public Broadcasting
SDPB logo
statewide South Dakota
Branding SDPB/PBS South Dakota
Slogan Learn. Dream. Grow.
Channels Analog: see table below
Digital: see table below
Affiliations PBS (television; 1970-present)
NPR (radio)
Owner South Dakota Bureau of Information and Telecommunication
(South Dakota Board of Directors for Educational Telecommunications)
First air date May 29, 1922 (radio)
July 5, 1961 (television)
Call letters' meaning see table below
Former affiliations NET (1961-1970)
Transmitter power see table below
Height see table below
Facility ID see table below
Transmitter coordinates see table below

South Dakota Public Broadcasting, or SDPB for short, is a state network of non-commercial educational television and radio stations serving the state of South Dakota. The stations are operated by the South Dakota Bureau of Information and Telecommunication, a state agency which holds the licenses for all of the Public Broadcasting Service and National Public Radio stations licensed in South Dakota except KCSD in Sioux Falls, which is owned by the University of Sioux Falls and managed by the bureau. The studios and offices are located at 500 N. Dakota Avenue in the Allen Neuharth Media Center on the University of South Dakota campus in Vermillion, South Dakota.


Educational broadcasting in South Dakota began in 1919 with experimental broadcasts at USD's College of Engineering. USD was granted a full license in 1922, and went on the air that May 29 as WEAJ. It became KUSD in 1925. By 1952, the station settled at 690 AM at 1,000 watts, operating only during daylight hours to protect CBF in Montreal. In 1967, it acquired an FM sister station, KUSD-FM at 89.7. Also in 1967, South Dakota State University in Brookings signed on KESD-FM. The three stations merged in 1982 as South Dakota Public Radio, which in turn merged with the State Board of Directors for Educational Television (now the Bureau of Information and Telecommunication) in 1985. Between 1985 and 1991, five other stations joined the network. One of them was KCSD, which signed on in 1985 as part of a partnership between Sioux Falls College (now the University of Sioux Falls) and the ETV Board in an effort to improve the network's reception in South Dakota's largest city. While the University of Sioux Falls holds the license, it is operated by the state network under a management agreement.[1]

In 1992, a Chevrolet Suburban went on a joyride through the Vermillion Golf Course, where KUSD-AM's towers were located. The Suburban crashed into one of the AM station's towers and knocked it down. The insurance settlement was not large enough to restore full operations, and KUSD-AM went off the air for good in 1994.

South Dakota Public Radio stations in the lineup include:

Location Frequency Call sign
Vermillion 89.7 FM KUSD-FM
Rapid City 89.3 FM KBHE-FM
Sioux Falls 90.9 FM KCSD
Aberdeen 90.9 FM KDSD-FM
Brookings 88.3 FM KESD-FM
Watertown 90.3 FM KJSD
Eagle Butte 97.1 FM KPSD-FM
Lowry 91.9 FM KQSD-FM
Reliance 91.1 FM KTSD-FM
Spearfish 91.9 FM KYSD-FM
Martin 102.5 FM KZSD-FM

South Dakota Public Radio also rebroadcasts on the following stations:

Location Frequency Call sign
Aberdeen 91.7 FM K219CM
Belle Fourche 88.1 FM K201AP
Edgemont 90.7 FM K214BN
Hot Springs 88.1 FM K201AQ
Huron 91.3 FM K217CE
Lead 91.9 FM K220BA
Mitchell 90.9 FM K215AI
Pierre 96.1 FM K241AT
Pringle 88.5 FM K203BN
Spearfish 91.1 FM K216AO

In March 2007, South Dakota Public Radio started broadcasting on HD Radio.


The flagship TV station is KUSD-TV, channel 2 (digital 34) in Vermillion. It signed on the air on July 5, 1961 and it's the state's first Educational television station.

SDPB television stations included in the state network are:

Station City of license Channels
VC1 First air date Call letters’
Facility ID
Transmitter coordinates
KUSD-TV Vermillion 34 (UHF) 2 July 5, 1961 University of
236 kW 204 m 61072 43°3′1.4″N 96°47′2.3″W / 43.050389°N 96.783972°W / 43.050389; -96.783972 (KUSD-TV)
KBHE-TV Rapid City 26 (UHF) 9 September 13, 1967 Black
76.3 kW 191.7 m 61068 44°3′6.5″N 103°14′38.9″W / 44.051806°N 103.244139°W / 44.051806; -103.244139 (KBHE-TV)
KCSD-TV Sioux Falls 24 (UHF) 23 June 13, 1995 Clark
29 kW 75 m 60728 43°34′29.2″N 96°39′19.3″W / 43.574778°N 96.655361°W / 43.574778; -96.655361 (KCSD-TV)
KDSD-TV Aberdeen 17 (UHF) 16 January 1, 1972 AberDeen
19 kW 349 m 61064 45°29′54″N 97°40′28.9″W / 45.49833°N 97.674694°W / 45.49833; -97.674694 (KDSD-TV)
KESD-TV Brookings 8 (VHF) 8 February 4, 1968 Educational
15 kW 229 m 61067 44°20′16.2″N 97°13′42.1″W / 44.337833°N 97.228361°W / 44.337833; -97.228361 (KESD-TV)
KPSD-TV Eagle Butte 13 (VHF) 13 September 16, 1973 Public Broadcasting
27 kW 516 m 61071 45°3′13.6″N 102°15′48.6″W / 45.053778°N 102.263500°W / 45.053778; -102.263500 (KPSD-TV)
KQSD-TV Lowry 11 (VHF) 11 March 9, 1976 Quality
37 kW 312.7 m 61063 45°16′37.1″N 99°59′11.2″W / 45.276972°N 99.986444°W / 45.276972; -99.986444 (KQSD-TV)
KTSD-TV Pierre 10 (VHF) 10 August 1, 1970 Television
54.7 kW 487.7 m 61066 43°58′6.3″N 99°35′41.3″W / 43.968417°N 99.594806°W / 43.968417; -99.594806 (KTSD-TV)
KZSD-TV Martin 8 (VHF) 8 February 9, 1978 Zenith
44.7 kW 266 m 61062 43°25′59.7″N 101°33′19.1″W / 43.433250°N 101.555306°W / 43.433250; -101.555306 (KZSD-TV)


  • 1. Virtual channel (PSIP).


The television programming from SDPB is also rebroadcast on the following translator stations (low-power rebroadcasters):

Call sign Analog
K04GW-D 4 Spearfish
K06HG 6 Pine Ridge
K07JD 7 Aberdeen
K09UN 9 Mitchell
K13PN 13 Wasta
K19CG-D 19 Belle Fourche

Digital subchannels[edit]

SDPB's digital line-up, effective January 5, 2009:

Sub-channel Programming
x.1 Main SDPB programming / PBS
x.2 World
x.3 Create


Although SDPB provides PBS programming, it also produces original programs such as:

  • A Falconer`s Memoir (2000) PBS
  • Dakota Life — a magazine show focusing on South Dakota life.
  • Kids' Quest — an educational series for students.
  • On Call Television — a show which discusses medical topics.
  • South Dakota Focus — a panel discussion show.
  • Statehouse — a show which focuses on the South Dakota State Legislature.
  • Nature Adventures — a series about wildlife in South Dakota.

SDPB has also produced educational programs, such as:

  • By The People, For The People — a series about government in South Dakota.
  • Dakota Pathways — a series about the history of South Dakota.
  • Infinite Variety — a series about the geography and environment of South Dakota.
  • South Dakota Adventure — a series about the history and culture of South Dakota.
  • Our Statehouse A Capitol Idea — a multimedia project about the history of the South Dakota Capitol.
  • The Badlands: Nature's Time Capsule — a multimedia project about Badlands National Park.


External links[edit]