Heartland Public Radio
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|Type||Public radio network|
First air date
|George Fair, President/Director of Programming|
Heartland Public Radio (HPR) is a non-commercial, listener-supported, non-profit media organization that broadcasts several Americana-formatted music radio feeds to a worldwide audience directly via the Internet and via affiliated terrestrial radio stations.
HPR was originally launched as a commercial Internet radio station in February 2004. It began operating under the name Heartland Public Radio on January 1, 2007, and that's when this commercial classic country station became known as "HPR1: The Classic Country Channel." On this date, Heartland Public Radio also launched a second live radio station known as "HPR2: The Western Music Channel."
On January 1, 2008, a third channel of non-commercial programming was launched - HPR3: The Bluegrass Channel.
On June 1, 2008, due to extremely scant ratings and listener support, HPR3: The Bluegrass Channel evolved into HPR3: The Bluegrass Gospel Channel and began featuring an all-Bluegrass Gospel format targeting an under-served audience niche. Contributions from very loyal classic country and western music listeners to HPR1 and HPR2 were able to preserve existing programming on those two channels. Heartland Public Radio reported a 60% decline in listener contributions since the beginning of 2008 - probably due to a growing economic recession.
On January 1, 2009, HPR3 again switched formats and names becoming HPR3: The Alternative Country Channel. This new format focused on a lot of the new and independent country music recordings that did not receive much, if any, airplay from commercial country radio stations.
On April 2, 2010, Heartland Public Radio rebranded "The Alternative Country Channel" as "Indie Country...Where Independent Country Lives!" While this was more of a name change than anything else, HPR3 has seemed to liven up its presentation some with more station announcements and a tighter rotation of some of the newer releases. It is interesting to note that HPR3: Indie Country sounds more like a "tomorrow's country hits, today" format as many of the songs that land on the station's playlists end up crossing over onto Top-40 Country playlists.
On July 1, 2010, Heartland Public Radio abruptly abandoned its Western Music format on Channel 2 flipping the station to a modernized rendition of its Channel 1 Classic Country format. HPR2 is now branded as "X Country...The Next Generation of Classic Country," and it features popular Classic Country music from the mid-1970s through the mid-1990s. HPR cited poor listener support for the Western Music format as the reason for the change in direction for Channel 2. Meanwhile, HPR1: The Classic Country Channel is now focusing on Traditional Classic Country music from the 1940s through the early 1970s.
In 2011, Heartland Public Radio rebranded HPR2: X-Country as HPR2: Today's Classic Country feeling that the latter best positioned the channel's musical approach.
On January 2, 2012, instead of shutting down a temporary fourth channel of music which was featuring Classic Country and Bluegrass Christmas Music for the holidays, Heartland Public Radio brought back Bluegrass Gospel music. HPR4: Bluegrass Gospel - the second go-around for the genre on HPR has been a huge ratings success with audience size sometimes rivaling the Classic Hit Country formats. Unfortunately, the reverse was true for HPR3: Indie Country later in 2012. On November 1, 2012, Heartland Public Radio brought back its annual Classic Country and Bluegrass Christmas Music - this time displacing HPR3: Indie Country.
On January 2, 2013, HPR3 was simply shutdown leaving an gap in HPR's channel allotment.
In December, 2013, HPR, for the first time in nearly 10 years of broadcasting, exceeded its fundraising goal by raising more than $6,000.
On February 8, 2014, Heartland Public Radio celebrated its 10th birthday.
In March 2014, after 9 years as host of "All Things Country," Rowena Muldavin resigned for personal reasons.
"Truckin' Across The Heartland" with Trucker Rod (Sunday, Wednesday and Friday on HPR1: Traditional Classic Country)