Wisconsin Public Radio
|Type||Public Radio Network|
|First air date||1948|
|Availability||Wisconsin, Eastern Minnesota
and Northern Illinois
|Owner||Wisconsin Educational Communications Board & University of Wisconsin–Extension|
|Launch date||April 1921|
|Sister PBS member network||Wisconsin Public Television|
|Affiliation||National Public Radio, American Public Media|
Listener Organization www.wpra.org
Wisconsin Public Radio is a network of 32 radio stations in the state of Wisconsin. WPR's network is divided into two distinct analog services, the Ideas Network and the NPR News and Classical Network, as well as the "HD2 Classical Service," a digital-only, full-time classical music service.
In 1932, WHA in Madison and WLBL in Stevens Point started limited simulcasting of certain programs. However, the first real steps toward the building of what would become Wisconsin Public Radio began in 1947, with the sign-on of WHA-FM (now WERN) as a sister station to WHA. Between 1948 and 1965, seven more FM stations signed on as part of what was initially dubbed Wisconsin Educational Radio. The network became Wisconsin Public Radio in 1971, when it became a charter member of NPR. Shortly afterward, the merger of the University of Wisconsin and Wisconsin State University systems greatly increased WPR's reach.
The Ideas Network ("Talk about issues that matter to you") is devoted mostly to discussion and call-in shows, focusing on the state of Wisconsin and issues involving the state. The name of the network comes from the Wisconsin Idea concept associated with the UW System.
During the week, the Ideas Network airs locally-produced talk programming, longtime daily reading showcase Chapter a Day, and WBUR's On Point and National Public Radio's Science Friday (Fridays only) throughout the daytime hours, while at night broadcasting repeats of the daytime talkshows and Chapter a Day, as well as the CBC's Q and As It Happens, and overnight, the BBC World Service. Friday nights feature nationally produced stage storytelling showcases, including The Moth Radio Hour and Snap Judgment.
On the weekend, it airs WPR-produced shows, such as Michael Feldman's Whad'Ya Know?, Zorba Paster On Your Health and To the Best of Our Knowledge. Weekends also include NPR/PRI/APM entertainment programming such as Wait Wait... Don't Tell Me!, Car Talk, This American Life, Radiolab, On the Media and A Prairie Home Companion on Saturdays, with Says You!, A Way with Words, America's Test Kitchen Radio and the TED Radio Hour on Sundays. Locally originated programming on that day includes University of the Air, the folk music focused Simply Folk, and a three hour block of old time radio comedies and dramas.
The flagship station of the Ideas Network is WHA 970 AM in Madison, one of the oldest existing radio stations in the world, with programming also originating from the Milwaukee studios of Delafield licensed WHAD, an FM station based between Milwaukee and Madison with facilities in downtown Milwaukee. All Ideas Network stations broadcast in analog monaural sound to provide those signals the largest coverage areas possible, while the HD Radio and Internet streaming feeds broadcast in stereo.
Personalities hosting call-in talk shows on the Ideas Network (as of July 2013) include Joy Cardin (early morning weekdays), 45 North with Anne Strainchamp (Friday evenings; reference to latitudinal parallel running through Wisconsin), Larry Meiller (late morning and early afternoon weekdays), Kathleen Dunn (afternoons Monday through Thursday, from WHAD's Milwaukee studios) and Central Time with Rob Ferrett and Veronica Rueckert (afternoon drive time), and a mix of new and encore presentations of To the Best of Our Knowledge. On the typical weekday, the Ideas Network broadcasts over nine hours of live, Wisconsin-produced call-in talk shows.
|Elgin, IL||88.9 FM||WEPS||High school station carries
WPRIN programming off-hours
|Green Bay||88.1 FM||WHID|
|La Crosse||90.3 FM||WHLA|
|Madison||107.9 FM||W300BM||Translator of WHAD|
|Madison||90.9 FM||W215AQ||Translator of WHHI|
|Park Falls||90.3 FM||WHBM|
|River Falls||88.7 FM||WRFW|
|Sheboygan||91.7 FM||WSHS||High school station carries
WPRIN programming off-hours
|Sister Bay||91.9 FM||WHDI|
|Stevens Point||930 AM||WLBL|
|Wausau||91.9 FM||WLBL-FM||Timeshare with WXPW;
airs WLBL programming 3am-6pm weekdays,
and from 5pm Sundays
|West Allis||97.9 FM||W250BN||Translator of WHAD
Owned by commercial broadcaster
see WHAD article
NPR News and Classical Network
The NPR News and Classical Network primarily broadcasts classical music but carries news and information programs, including NPR's Morning Edition, All Things Considered, Fresh Air and Weekend Edition, as well as APM's Marketplace, along with A Prairie Home Companion. The network also carries weekend jazz programming and by region, other forms of music such as blues, New Age, and Native American music. A few Ideas Network stations in areas not served by this network carry the above programs in place of the master Ideas Network schedule.
|Ashland||104.7 FM||W284AN||Translator of WHSA|
|Brule (Superior)||89.9 FM||WHSA|
|Eau Claire||89.7 FM||WUEC|
|Elkhorn||101.7 FM||W269BV||Translator of WGTD|
|Green Bay||89.3 FM||WPNE|
|Lake Geneva||103.3 FM||W277BM||Translator of WGTD|
|Kenosha||91.1 FM||WGTD||Affiliate owned by Gateway Technical College|
|La Crosse||88.9 FM||WLSU|
|Sister Bay||89.7 FM||WHND|
The HD2 Classical Network service is available through the HD Radio subchannel of at least one of the WPR stations serving each market and features music in HD Radio's CD-quality audio. Stations with HD-2 service include WERN, WHAD, WHWC, WHBM, WHRM, KUWS, WPNE, WHHI, WHLA, WHDI, and WHAA.
All three services are broadcast in real-time on the Internet through the Windows Media, and streaming MP3 formats, with streaming WPR program archives available to all visitors in Windows Media and SHOUTcast formats. Downloadable versions of WPR shows in MP3 are available, but restricted to certain downloading guidelines and timeframes.
The only HD-3 service in the WPR Network is on WHRM, with a full-time feed of the Ideas Network to serve the Wausau area, due to WLBL-FM being a time-share operation with Rhinelander's WXPR as WXPM.
WPR's stations are licensed to several different organizations; most stations belong to either the University of Wisconsin System and are administered by the University of Wisconsin–Extension, or to the Wisconsin Educational Communications Board, a state agency. Other stations are affiliates, owned by local schools or colleges.
The network's headquarters are located on the Madison campus, but a substantial amount of Ideas Network programming originates from studios in Milwaukee, and all of the regional studios produce some local programming, such as the University of Wisconsin–Green Bay facilities producing programming in the Hmong language for weekend broadcast over Green Bay Ideas Network flagship WHID. Not all UW-owned stations are part of the network; some are student-run, and others, like WUWM, are independently-operated public stations. Two high school radio stations (one, WEPS, is located in the northwest Chicago suburb of Elgin, and its signal does not reach the Wisconsin state line) carry the network outside of school hours and summer periods, providing a form of license protection to those stations (WEPS began to program the Ideas Network in order to fend off a license challenge due to being off-air after school hours), while WLBL-FM in Wausau shares time on its frequency with WXPW, a repeater of independently-owned NPR member WXPR in Rhinelander.
Wisconsin Public Radio shows with national distribution
- Michael Feldman's Whad'Ya Know?
- To the Best of Our Knowledge
- Zorba Paster On Your Health
- Tent Show Radio
- Chapter a Day
- National Public Radio
- Public Radio International
- Wisconsin Public Television
- Wisconsin Educational Communications Board
- Wisconsin Idea
- Wisconsin Public Radio
- Wisconsin Public Radio Association
- Wisconsin Public Radio on Facebook
- Wisconsin Public Radio on Twitter