Prairie Public Radio

Prairie Public Radio
Prairie Public
Type Public Radio Network
Country  United States
Broadcast area  North Dakota
Owner Prairie Public Broadcasting
Launch date February 1, 1999
Official website

Prairie Public is the public radio network for the state of North Dakota. It is a service of Prairie Public Broadcasting, in partnership with 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.



Noncommercial radio has a rich tradition in North Dakota. In 1923, KUND signed on from the UND campus as one of the first college radio stations in the country. It 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 an FM counterpart in 1995. The two stations briefly went off the air in 1997 due to flooding in the transmitter. KUND-FM swapped callsigns with UND's college radio station, KFJM, before its return. By the end of the 20th century, the two stations aired jazz, adult album alternative music, and NPR programming.

In 1952, students at North Dakota Agricultural College, forerunner of North Dakota State, signed on KDSC, a carrier current station. It began using the KDSU calls sometime in the early 1960s. 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 had its mission broadened to include radio in the late 1970s, and in 1981 KCND 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 NPR service to all of North Dakota. On September 26, 2006, the service reverted to the Prairie Public Radio name, so chosen in order to achieve brand consistency with Prairie Public Broadcasting's other operations. [1]


Prairie Public is a member of National Public Radio, airing programs such as All Things Considered, and it also runs Public Radio International programs including Marketplace. Prairie Public also runs programming from Minnesota Public Radio's American Public Media, including A Prairie Home Companion. Prairie Public also has a locally produced call-in show, Hear it Now, hosted by Merrill Piepkorn. Most of the music played on Prairie Public is classical, adult album alternative or jazz.

Regional networks

The Prairie Public radio chain is split up into two networks: Radio Eastern Service (KUND, KPRJ, KDSU, KPPD) and Radio Western Service (KCND, KDPR, KMPR, KPPR).


KFJM in Grand Forks, formerly one of the FM stations of UND's now-defunct Northern Lights Public Radio, is a part of the Prairie Public radio network and carries some network programming, but originates its own programming as well. KDSU of Fargo rebroadcasts KFJM during the midday and overnights on weekdays outside of NPR and Prairie Public programming. KDSU is also part of Prairie Public's Radio Eastern Service. KFJM and KDSU primarily air an adult album alternative music format along with blues, folk, and jazz. KFJM is simulcasted the HD-2 channel of all of Prairie Public Radio's stations, branded as their Roots, Rock & Jazz service.


Prairie Public has 9 full power stations and 8 low-power translators broadcasting across North Dakota, northwest Minnesota, and eastern Montana.

Location Frequency Call sign Call sign meaning
Beach 91.9 K220FI (KDPR)
Bismarck 90.5 KCND Capital of North Dakota
Bowman 91.9 K220FJ (KDPR)
Crosby 91.9 K220FF (KPPW)
Devils Lake 91.7 KPPD Prairie Public Radio Devils Lake
Dickinson 89.9 KDPR Dickinson Public Radio
Fargo 91.9 KDSU North Dakota State University
Grand Forks 89.3 KUND-FM University of North Dakota
90.7 KFJM Folk and Jazz Music
Jamestown 91.5 KPRJ Public Radio Jamestown
Harvey 91.9 K220FD (KMPR)
Hettinger 91.9 K220FG (KDPR)
Lisbon 99.3 K257DW (KDSU)
Minot 88.9 KMPR Minot Public Radio
Plentywood, MT 91.9 K220FE (KPPW)
Thief River Falls, MN 88.3 K202BK (KUND)
Tioga 91.9 K220FH (KMPR)
Wahpeton 105.9 K290BI (KDSU)
Williston 88.7 KPPW Prairie Public Williston
89.5 KPPR Prairie Public Radio

Prairie Public's full power stations are now broadcasting digitally (in addition to their standard analog carrier) using HD Radio, with KFJM in Grand Forks being rebroadcast over these stations on their "HD-2" subchannel.

Prairie Public's eastern radio service is also carried in Winnipeg on Shaw Cable's radio system at 107.9 FM.

See also

External links

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