Prairie Public Radio

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Jump to navigation Jump to search
Prairie Public
Type Public Radio Network
Country  United States
Availability North Dakota, northwestern Minnesota, eastern Montana
Headquarters Bismarck, North Dakota
Owner Prairie Public Broadcasting, University of North Dakota (KUND & KFJM), North Dakota State University (KDSU)
Launch date
February 1, 1999
Former names
Prairie Public Radio, North Dakota Public Radio
Prairie Public Television (PBS)
Affiliation National Public Radio, American Public Media, Public Radio International, Public Radio Exchange
Webcast Listen
Official website

Prairie Public is a network of 10 radio stations in the state of North Dakota. Prairie Public's radio network provides NPR news and programming, local and regional news, and two distinct music formats, the News and Classical network and the adult album alternative formatted Roots, Rock, and Jazz network.

It is a service of Prairie Public Broadcasting, in association with North Dakota State University in Fargo and the University of North Dakota in Grand Forks. Prairie Public maintains active studios in Grand Forks, Fargo, and Bismarck.


KUND's lineage can be traced to 1923, when KUND (now KWTL) signed on from the University of North Dakota, one of the first college radio stations in the United States. KUND moved to several frequencies over the years before finally settling on 1370 AM. By the 1970s, it had adopted the on-air name of Northern Lights Public Radio. It added two FM stations in 1980[1] and 1995.[2]

The two stations briefly went off the air in 1997 due to flooding in the transmitter. In August of that year, KFJM was renamed KUND-FM, and UND's college radio station, KFJY, became the new KFJM.[3]

In 1952, students at North Dakota Agricultural College signed on KDSC, a carrier current station. It began using the KDSU calls sometime in the early 1960s, when NDAC became North Dakota State University. The station went off the air in 1964 due to technical difficulties, but returned in 1966 as a fully licensed FM station. It originally tried to satisfy all tastes, airing jazz, blues, folk music, classical music, rock and opera. By 1981, however, it had evolved into a more traditional public radio station, airing news and jazz during the week and specialty programming on weekends.

Both stations were early members of NPR, but this still left western North Dakota without public radio. Prairie Public Television broadened its mission to include radio in the late 1970s, and in 1981 KCND in Bismarck signed on as the first public radio station in the western part of the state, under the on-air name of Prairie Public Radio. Between 1981 and 1993, four more stations signed on.

On February 1, 1999; Prairie Public Radio, KDSU and KUND merged to form North Dakota Public Radio, with the goal of providing a full public radio service to all of North Dakota. In 2004, KUND-AM was sold by the University of North Dakota, leaving the network.

On September 26, 2006, the service reverted to the Prairie Public name, chosen to achieve brand consistency with Prairie Public Broadcasting's television and other operations.[4]

In 2009, KPPD signed on as a full-power station for the Devils Lake region, and HD Radio was rolled out to all Prairie Public full-power stations.

In 2012, KPPW signed on as the new full-power News and Classical network station for Williston, with KPPR moving to the Roots, Rock, and Jazz network.


Prairie Public produces and broadcasts Main Street, an interview and call-in show hosted by Doug Hamilton,[5][6] "Dakota Datebook," "Into the Music with Mike Olson," Prebys on Classics," and Why?, hosted by UND philosophy professor Dr. Jack Weinstein.[7] Prairie Public is also the distributor for The Thomas Jefferson Hour.[8]

Prairie Public offers news programming on weekday mornings and afternoons from its newsrooms in Bismarck and Fargo. It also airs news from NPR and Native Voice One.

Prairie Public is a member station of National Public Radio, airing programs such as All Things Considered, and also carries programming from Public Radio International (such as The World) and American Public Media (such as A Prairie Home Companion), as well as from Public Radio Exchange (such as This American Life).

Prairie Public's radio network offers two programming services. The primary News and Classical network originating from KCND in Bismarck is carried on most stations, and split into eastern and western schedules. The adult album alternative formatted Roots, Rock, and Jazz network originating from KFJM in Grand Forks has gradually expanded its programming to additional stations since its launch in 2002. KDSU in Fargo carries a combination of both networks, airing Roots, Rock and Jazz programming when the rest of the main network airs classical music.

News and Classical[edit]

Most news and classical programming is produced at the Bismarck studio.

The primary network of Prairie Public airs classical music, news, talk, and weekend specialty shows, including jazz.

Roots, Rock, and Jazz[edit]

KFJM originates Prairie Public's second music format, a mixture of adult album alternative, blues, folk, and jazz. The network is rebroadcast full-time on KPPR Williston and the HD-2 channel of Prairie Public's other full-power News and Classical stations. KDSU of Fargo broadcasts the network midday weekdays and overnights.


Prairie Public has 10 full power stations and 9 low-power translators broadcasting across North Dakota, northwest Minnesota, and eastern Montana.

Location Frequency Call sign Network Call sign meaning
Beach 91.9 K220FI (KDPR) News and Classical
Bismarck 90.5 KCND News and Classical Capital of North Dakota
Bowman 91.9 K220FJ (KDPR) News and Classical
Crosby 91.9 K220FF (KPPW) News and Classical
Devils Lake 91.7 KPPD News and Classical Prairie Public Radio Devils Lake
Dickinson 89.9 KDPR News and Classical Dickinson Public Radio
Fargo 91.9 KDSU Mixed News and Classical & Roots, Rock, and Jazz North Dakota State University
Grand Forks 89.3 KUND-FM News and Classical University of North Dakota
90.7 KFJM Roots, Rock, and Jazz Folk and Jazz Music
Jamestown 91.5 KPRJ News and Classical Public Radio Jamestown
Hettinger 91.9 K220FG (KDPR) News and Classical
Minot 88.9 KMPR News and Classical Minot Public Radio
Plentywood, MT 91.9 K220FE (KPPW) News and Classical
Thief River Falls, MN 88.3 K202BK (KUND-FM) News and Classical
Tioga 91.9 K220FH (KPPW) News and Classical
Williston 89.5 KPPR Roots, Rock, and Jazz Prairie Public Radio
88.7 KPPW News and Classical Prairie Public Williston

HD Radio[edit]

Prairie Public's full power stations broadcast HD Radio signals, adding full-digital simulcasts of their analog channel, plus the Roots, Rock, and Jazz network on subchannel "HD-2" of the News and Classical stations.

Cable systems[edit]

Shaw Cable's Winnipeg system carried Prairie Public's News and Classical service at 107.9 FM (via KUND-FM), until Shaw discontinued FM distribution in 2012.[9]

Prairie Public's News and Classical network is carried on MTS Ultimate TV across Manitoba, on channel 733.[10]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ Staff, FCC Internet Services. "Call Sign History". Retrieved 21 August 2018. 
  2. ^ Staff, FCC Internet Services. "Call Sign History". Retrieved 21 August 2018. 
  3. ^
  4. ^ "Prairie Public Broadcasting » 2000s". Retrieved 21 August 2018. 
  5. ^ "Prairie Public Broadcasting » Pressroom". Retrieved 21 August 2018. 
  6. ^ "Prairie Public Broadcasting » Main Street Archive". Retrieved 21 August 2018. 
  7. ^ "Programs A-Z - Prairie Public Broadcasting". Retrieved 21 August 2018. 
  8. ^ "Archived copy". Archived from the original on 2016-01-24. Retrieved 2016-01-25. 
  9. ^ "FM Discontinuation". Retrieved 2012-10-06. 
  10. ^[permanent dead link]

External links[edit]