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KSMQ-TV logo.png
Austin/Rochester/Albert Lea, Minnesota
United States
ChannelsDigital: 20 (UHF)
Virtual: 15 (PSIP)
SloganBeyond Television... Infinite Possibilities...
Affiliations15.1: PBS
15.2: Deutsche Welle
15.3: Create
15.4: Minnesota Channel
OwnerKSMQ Public Service Media, Inc.
First air date
December 1971 (49 years ago) (1971-12)[1]
Former call signs
KAVT-TV (1971–1984)
Former channel number(s)
15 (UHF, 1971–2009)
Call sign meaning
Technical information
Licensing authority
Facility ID28510
ERP319.2 kW
HAAT302.7 m (993 ft)
Transmitter coordinates43°38′34″N 92°31′36″W / 43.64278°N 92.52667°W / 43.64278; -92.52667
Public license information

KSMQ-TV, virtual channel 15 (UHF digital channel 20), is a Public Broadcasting Service (PBS) member television station licensed to Austin, Minnesota, United States. The station is locally owned by KSMQ Public Service Media, Inc. KSMQ-TV's studios are located on the campus of Riverland Community College on 8th Avenue Northwest (near I-90) in Austin, and its transmitter is located in rural east-central Mower County, northwest of Ostrander.


The station signed on the air in December 1971[1] as KAVT-TV, broadcasting on analog UHF channel 15 from a transmitter located near Austin. It was owned by the Austin school board. The station changed to the current KSMQ callsign in 1984. The school board sold the station to KSMQ Public Media, a community group, in 2004

While much of the station's programming comes from PBS (which the station has been a member station since its inception), the station features additional programming supplied by numerous sources, including the National Educational Telecommunications Association (NETA) and American Public Television (APT). In the mid-2000s, the station signed on its digital signal on UHF channel 20 from the Ostrander tower shared by Fox affiliate KXLT-TV (channel 47).

KSMQ produces a wide variety of local content, including a weekly arts program, Off 90; On Q, a weekly public affairs program; and the agricultural educational program Farm Connections. Additionally, since 2012 the station has produced documentaries focused on topics of regional concern, including immigration and school bullying. During election years, KSMQ produces and broadcasts panel discussions featuring every state legislative district in its viewing area. KSMQ is the recipient of five regional Emmy Awards for excellence in its locally produced programs. On May 2, 2015, KSMQ was presented with the Commanders' Award for Public Service by the U.S. Army. The Commanders' Medal, the fourth-highest Army decoration bestowed to civilians, was given to KSMQ Public Television for its continuing educational and marketing efforts in support of its 2013 World War II documentary "The Typist."

During the early morning hours of September 5, 2012, KSMQ's STL tower collapsed due to damaging straight-line winds as severe thunderstorms moved through the Austin area, partially falling onto a building that housed the station's power equipment. No one was injured.[2] The station set up alternate transmitter facilities the following evening by installing a microwave dish atop its studios that was manually redirected at its transmitter near Grand Meadow.[3] While insurance is expected to cover the costs of constructing a new broadcast tower, the station subsequently set up a fund for the construction due to a minimum $7,000 deductible that the station must pay.[3] In December 2013, the station recouped a portion of its loss from an insurance settlement.

KSMQ has been digital-only since May 1, 2009.[4]

Digital channels[edit]

The station's digital signal is multiplexed:

Channel Video Aspect PSIP short name Programming [5]
15.1 720p 16:9 KSMQ-HD Main KSMQ-TV programming / PBS
15.2 480i KSMQ-WV Deutsche Welle
15.3 KSMQ-CR Create
15.4 KSMQ-MN Minnesota Channel

Cable and satellite[edit]

KSMQ is carried by Dish Network and DirecTV, and by cable operators in southeast Minnesota.

KSMQ is available alongside KTCA on Charter Spectrum in the Mankato area.


External links[edit]