KSRQ 2017 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. To gauge listener interest and the effectiveness of programming, KSRQ uses these metrics:

Web traffic

Unique website visitors

Time spent listening to online stream

Arbitron listener estimates

The number of local artists who have their work featured on-air

Positive listener feedback through electronic media and personal interactions at events such as the Thief River Falls Community Expo, where KSRQ broadcast live in April of 2017

Our goal is to provide quality, relevant programming not heard on other area stations, and to provide access to those in our community who wish to produce original content.

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, with the goal of providing increased awareness of their missions and activities. These include 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 Safe Kids Program at Altru Hospital in Grand Forks, Falls Delivered Meals on Wheels, TRF Farmers Market, TRF Splash Park Committee, TRF Women of Today, Violence Intervention Project, Thief River Falls Area Community Theater, Greater Grand Forks Community Theater, Minnesota Historical Society, Thief River Falls Concert Association, Northland Community & Technical College, Thief River Falls Parks & Rec, TRF Area Food Shelf, and Thief River Falls Early Childhood Family Education.

KSRQ produced a wide range of community-interest programming in FY17:

The station partnered with the Thief River Falls Chamber of Commerce to present RiverFest, August 4-5, 2016. KSRQ hosted Twin Cities band The 4ontheFloor. RiverFest has become the biggest summer event in Thief River Falls. KSRQ broadcast interviews with Gabriel Douglas of The 4onthefloor and longtime Minnesota entertainer Johnny Holm.

Ashley Anderson, Community Education Coordinator in Warren, MN and Warren-Alvarado-Oslo school system media supervisor discussed a summer theater camp and a live stage production.

KSRQ broadcast live from the Education building at the Minnesota State Fair on August 30, 2016, with live performances from members of the Minnesota Association of Songwriters.

Kris Bergquist of the Minnesota Historical Society discussed the history of the state fair, last minute summer travel destinations, and upcoming exhibits at the museum in St. Paul.

The Warroad School District recently completed a mural in the Warroad Elementary cafeteria with the help of artist Victor Yepez and the 6th grade students. The theme of the mural is the four seasons around Lake of the Woods incorporating all the elements of northern Minnesota. Superintendent Paula Foley discussed the project’s history and its funding.

KSRQ aired holiday concerts from several local school bands and choirs – Warren Alvarado Oslo, Lincoln High School TRF Orchestra, Tri-County, Handel’s Messiah – TRF Community production, Greenbush-Middle River, Lincoln High School TRF Band, Red Lake Falls, Lincoln High School TRF Choir.

KSRQ continued its outreach to the community with a live broadcast featuring live music from The Fugitives of Baldor, Manitoba, Canada.

South African singer and performer Lorraine Klaasen and her ensemble conducted music workshops across the Upper Midwest, including northwest Minnesota. She talked about her work and the need for understanding through music.

Ross Hire is a 35 year-plus DNR official in northwest Minnesota. He maintains a love and respect for all aspects of nature and wildlife. Ross is also an artist, who paints the scenes that he sees on a daily basis. He talked about his work and an exhibition of his paintings at the NW Minnesota Arts Council’s Gallery and Gift Shop in downtown East Grand Forks.

Legislators in St. Paul make decisions that affect all Minnesotans. As they make those decisions, it’s important that they hear from constituents from all corners of the state. The Thief River Falls Chamber of Commerce 7th annual TRF Day at the Capitol trip was March 9, to promote issues that are important to Northwest MN communities. Here to tell us more was Ashley Nerhus, the executive director of the TRF chamber of commerce.

Thief River Falls Mayor Brian Holmer, speaking at the inaugural State of the City Address, talked about the options for building a splash park in the city, the work being done to renovate the old hospital into workforce housing rentals, and downtown redevelopment efforts.

Northland Community & Technical College President Dr. Dennis Bona, speaking at the State of the City Address, discussed the importance of athletics to the Thief River Falls campus; a new service learning requirement; four new agriculture program offerings; and the impact of student housing.

Pennington County Commissioner Daryl Tveitbakk, speaking at the State of the City Address, gave an update on the construction of the new Pennington County Justice Center, and the rationale for replacing the old facility.

Thief River Falls Public School Superintendent Brad Bergstrom, speaking at the State of the City Address, shared what drew him to the community as a first-time superintendent, the emphasis on career and technical training at Lincoln High School that will include student construction of a house, and the district’s commitment to technology.

With JC Penney announcing that its Thief River Falls store was on a list of 140 stores closing across the country, residents were asked to sign a petition to keep the store open. Thief River Falls Chamber of Commerce Executive Director Ashley Nerhus talked about what the store’s loss would mean to the community, and shared details of Digi-Key’s proposed expansion.

One in five women will be a victim of a sexual assault or an attempted sexual assault while in college. Almost all of those assaults – 90 percent — go unreported. Here to talk about the local impact of sexual assault were Kelly Taggart of the Violence Intervention Project in Thief River Falls, and Northland Community & Technical College Counselor Kelsy Blowers.

KSRQ airs the Workforce Center Jobcast several times each day. Carl Unbehaun from the local office shares a selection of job openings in the area and how to get assistance with job searches.

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.

Comments from Artists/Partners
Minnesota Homebrew:

“We appreciate all you do to promote songwriting in the Upper Midwest” — Steve & Kim Wolff, Eagan
“Thank you for the opportunity to get some airplay.” — Joey Purtell
“I wanted to thank you for including my song “Evening News with Walter Cronkite” on one of your shows.” — Eli Hoehn, St. Peter
“Thanks so much for promoting the homegrown music of Minnesota. Appreciate it!!” — Rod Kinney, St. Paul

The Scene
“On behalf of the Snorre Lodge of Sons of Norway and the Norwegian Heritage Week Committee, we want to thank you for helping us with booking rooms for our events at the college and for your work producing the Monday night event with Cathy’s show! It all adds so much to our success!” – Norwegian Heritage Week Committee

“As you know, Pioneer 90.1 FM and the Northwest Minnesota Arts Council have had a successful and mutually beneficial partnership promoting the arts in our region. The artists, arts organizations and other recipients of NWMAC grants who have been guests on your program have expressed gratitude for the opportunity to promote their art and promote the Northwest Minnesota Arts Council during their on-air interviews. These guests all spoke about the importance of the Northwest Minnesota Arts Council and the funding they received and how crucial this was for their art and artistic activities. Your listening audience learned of arts-related events, artists, ideas, and funding opportunities and resources that they otherwise might never have heard about.” – Kristen Eggerling, Northwest Minnesota Arts Council

Comments from Listeners
Pioneer PolkaCast KSRQ HD-2:

“I am from Foley, now married and living in Brazil. I love and have enjoyed your program since 2012. Keep going strong and God bless you and all at KSRQ. XXX OOO XXX Thank you. I receive you loud and clear in Sao Luis, Brazil – south of the Amazon River and the equator.” – Jeff Katchmazenski

“Enclosed is my check to keep the best music in the world streaming. We particularly enjoy its hosts Cathy Erickson, Ron West, and the Chmielewski’s. On days we are home, Pioneer PolkaCast is on our computer speakers playing a wonderful variety of music. God bless and keep up the good work.” – Alex Peplinski, Traverse City, MI

“Today I lost the first best friend I ever had, my Grandpa. To anyone listening that knows my grandfather I’d like to ask that in lieu of flowers or cards, please make a donation to this great radio program! This has been an awesome way to connect to my grandpa for the last 9 or so years! Thank you Cathy for giving my grandpa and I something to enjoy and look forward to every Monday! You are awesome!!” – Michael Bauer

“I have really enjoyed listening to PolkaCast the last several months. Thanks for all of the effort it has taken to put this station together! Thanks again for all you do with PolkaCast.” – Jeff Walter

“Enjoying your Polka programs in Abilene, Texas. Sharing your program with family and friends.” – Mark Botilla

“We appreciate all the variety you carry; especially the “old time music,” and the dances that are held (at Northland College). God bless you!” – Ted and Jan Curfman

“Thanks so much for all the wonderful hours of good listening, especially the Saturday Morning Barn Dance and Cathy’s Monday evening programs! Keep up the good work!!” – Bev Pawloski

Polka Profiles
“Fantastic and well-deserved interview with Matt Hodek. It is great to hear Matt talk with such pride about his band and band members. Great talent!! That third CD is a great work of art too. To Pioneer Polkacast – super job.” – Mary Ann Ring

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.

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 those 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, 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.