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KSMQ-TV logo.png
Affiliations15.1: PBS
15.2: Deutsche Welle
15.3: Create
15.4: Minnesota Channel
OwnerKSMQ Public Service Media, Inc.
First air date
December 1971 (50 years ago) (1971-12)[1]
Former call signs
KAVT-TV (1971–1984)
Former channel number(s)
15 (UHF, 1971–2009)
Call sign meaning
Southern Minnesota Quality
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 (channel 15) is a PBS member television station in 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 (it 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 education 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 of September 5, 2012, KSMQ's STL tower collapsed due to 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 and manually redirecting it at its transmitter near Grand Meadow.[3] While insurance covered 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 owed.[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]


The station's digital signal is multiplexed:

Channel Video Aspect 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


  1. ^ a b "KSMQ | the History of Your PBS Station". Archived from the original on February 16, 2008. Retrieved February 7, 2008.
  2. ^ Storms downs Austin’s KSMQ tower, Albert Lea Tribune, September 5, 2012.
  3. ^ a b KSMQ station operating again, Austin Daily Herald, September 6, 2012.
  4. ^ http://hraunfoss.fcc.gov/edocs_public/attachmatch/FCC-07-138A2.pdf[bare URL PDF]
  5. ^ "RabbitEars.Info".

External links[edit]