KSRQ 2016 Station Activity Survey – Local Content and Services Report
Describe your overall goals and approach to address identified community issues, needs, and interests through your station’s vital local services, such as multiplatform long and short-form content, digital and in-person engagement, education services, community information, partnership support, and other activities, and audiences you reached or new audiences you engaged.
KSRQ actively accesses the composition of its audience through market information provided by Radio Research Consortium. Though our main studio is located in a small northwest Minnesota community of 10,000 residents, we also have listeners in the metro area of Grand Forks North Dakota and in small towns on both sides of the border within a 60 mile radius. As a result, our coverage of news and events is more regional than local.
Station staff and volunteers ascertain items of community interest by surveying other local media, staying in touch with the directors of community groups, and by monitoring social media. KSRQ archives nearly all of its interview programs, which are posted to SoundCloud, embedded on its website, and shared on social media.
To better serve the interests of the people of our region, KSRQ features discussion of topical issues impacting our area each week – from agriculture, politics, and education, to arts, culture and history. Included are panel discussions, interviews, live performances, excerpts from author presentations, segments from area bloggers and contributions from other public radio stations. Stand-alone segments are made available on KSRQ’s website.
KSRQ’s plans for in-person engagement this year include a series of live broadcasts from county fairs, the State of the City Address, community festivals, and the Minnesota State Fair.
Describe key initiatives and the variety of partners with whom you collaborated, including other public media outlets, community nonprofits, government agencies, educational institutions, the business community, teachers and parents, etc. This will illustrate the many ways you’re connected across the community and engaged with other important organizations in the area.
KSRQ produces weekly segments with the directors of several area community institutions, including the North Dakota Museum of Art, Northwest Regional Arts Council, Campbell Library (East Grand Forks), and the Thief River Falls Public Library. The station has also aired interviews with leaders of the Thief River Falls Area Food Shelf, Thief River Falls Area Community Theater, Greater Grand Forks Community Theater, Minnesota Historical Society, Thief River Falls Concert Association, Northland Community & Technical College, and Thief River Falls Early Childhood Family Education. These groups benefit from increased awareness of their events and services.
KSRQ partnered with the Thief River Falls Chamber of Commerce to present RiverFest, July 31-August 1, 2015. KSRQ hosted Twin Cities musicians Martin Zellar & The Hardways. RiverFest has become the biggest summer event in Thief River Falls.
The station partnered with the Northwest Minnesota Arts Council to present weekly conversations with area artists who have received Minnesota Legacy funding for their projects.
KSRQ partnered with the Sons of Norway Snorre Lodge to present Norwegian Heritage Week, May 15-21, 2016. A variety of speakers and cultural events were held on the Northland campus and other locations in Thief River Falls.
The station partnered with the Minnesota Association of Songwriters, whose members receive airplay of their original compositions on “Minnesota Homebrew.”
KSRQ partnered with the Thief River Falls Area Community Theater, to record and broadcast their “Hometown Talent Show II,” June 7, 2016.
KSRQ also partnered with high school music departments in Thief River Falls, Greenbush, Red Lake Falls, Newfolden, Erskine, and Stephen Minnesota to record and broadcast holiday and spring concerts as part of its “Music Room” series.
After a KSRQ broadcast of a Greater Grand Forks Community Theater production, director Kathy Coudle-King commented, “Thank you for your enthusiasm in bringing the Greater Grand Forks Community Theatre’s little show to the world! Our Fire Hall Theatre actors sound fabulous!”
What impact did your key initiatives and partnerships have in your community? Describe any known measurable impact, such as increased awareness, learning or understanding about particular issues. Describe indicators of success, such as connecting people to needed resources or strengthening conversational ties across diverse neighborhoods. Did a partner see an increase in requests for related resources? Please include direct feedback from a partner(s) or from a person(s) served.
KSRQ offers free training to community members who wish to learn about broadcasting. From hosting a live show, to interviewing local newsmakers, creating feature stories about interesting people, conducting remote broadcasts from community events, and assisting with pledge drives and business underwriting, our volunteers are able to participate in every aspect of radio.
Having witnessed overwhelming enthusiasm for two volunteer-produced polka music programs, KSRQ now offers an HD-2 radio station and web stream exclusively featuring polka and old-time performers from Minnesota and other Midwestern states. Though the number of listeners to the HD radio service is unknown, the PolkaCast stream audience continues to see a steady increase. KSRQ has contracted with a third party content delivery network that offers more distribution and audience metrics than were previously available.
KSRQ HD-2 added a program called Polka Profiles, a series of conversations with Minnesota polka and old-time performers. Interviews are mixed with music and aired on KSRQ HD-2. This cultural and historic content is archived for on-demand play on the PolkaCast website and a mobile app currently in development.
KSRQ receives correspondence from listeners who are thrilled to have the polka service available on their computers and mobile devices:
“I listen to you from Monticello Indiana, 900 miles away. You guys come in loud & clear on the net. I love the music from your great station. 17,000 stations to choose from and I will be sticking with you. Thank you and keep up the good work!” – Wayne Goralski
“I listen to you from Morden, Manitoba across the border. You play great music like I grew up with. I also listen to Cathy Erickson. She comes to Morden to play at our Corn & Apple Festival every August. Your choice of music is excellent.” – Ted Stasiuk
“I grew up in Wisconsin and I’ve been living here down Georgia since 1985. I live 60 miles south of Atlanta, Georgia and you all come in loud and strong. I pick you up 24/7 on my computer and also on my T.V. I really enjoy all your music and I want to THANK YOU ALL for all the GOOD WORK you all are doing. THANK YOU ALL AGAIN.” – Jerry Pawlak
“The Polkacast is a wonderful thing developed by the Northland College in Thief River Falls. If you haven’t listened to 90.1 radio you’re truly missing something fun. It’s Minnesota Homegrown. Polka music is happy music. Old Tyme Music done right!” – Scott Dickover
Please describe any efforts (e.g. programming, production, engagement activities) you have made to investigate and/or meet the needs of minority and other diverse audiences (including, but not limited to, new immigrants, people for whom English is a second language and illiterate adults) during Fiscal Year 2016, and any plans you have made to meet the needs of these audiences during Fiscal Year 2017. If you regularly broadcast in a language other than English, please note the language broadcast.
Migrant laborers and families of Hispanic origin are becoming more prevalent in our region. KSRQ airs a regional Hispanic-interest program for one hour each week. A portion of that program is in Spanish. We’re interested in other opportunities to reach and involve this population, including severe weather announcements broadcast in Spanish. New arrivals to our area are most vulnerable to the dangerously cold conditions we face in northern Minnesota each winter. KSRQ is taking steps to inform new immigrants of the steps they must take to avoid frostbite, hypothermia, and getting stranded in harsh conditions.
KSRQ also airs Minnesota Native News, a weekly newscast dealing with issues important to the area’s Native American community. In addition, the station partnered with Ampers to broadcast live coverage of Minnesota’s 2nd Annual Bemijigamaag Sanford Center Powwow from the Sanford Center in Bemidji on April 23rd.
Issues related to immigration, race and sexual orientation are often featured on “Q” from the Canadian Broadcasting Corporation, a program that airs every weekday on KSRQ. ‘Day 6,” also from the CBC and broadcast Sundays on KSRQ, often covers similar topics.
Please assess the impact that your CPB funding had on your ability to serve your community. What were you able to do with your grant that you wouldn’t be able to do if you didn’t receive it?
CPB grants are essential to the continued operation of KSRQ. CPB funding allows KSRQ to employ a full-time station manager who serves as the station’s primary outreach staff.
National programming supported by KSRQ’s CPB grant includes Q From the CBC, Day 6, Living on Earth, Bluegrass Review, American Routes, FM Odyssey, On Story, Sound Opinions, Filmspotting, and Into the Music. A majority of these programs are not available on other stations in our rural area.