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Northern Lights Public Radio Will Cease Operations July 31
Source: Vastlane
(Posted by: Leaker )

The University of North Dakota will cease operating two of its three radio stations on July 31, UND President Charles E. Kupchella announced today.

The stations, KFJM FM (90.7) and KFJM AM (1370), known together as "Northern Lights Public Radio,"are currently managed by the Division of Continuing Education's television center.

The University's third licensed frequency, KUND FM (89.3), will continue to be operated by Prairie Public Radio as part of its National Public Radio-affiliated statewide network. The Grand Forks market is also served by two Minnesota Public Radio stations in Thief River Falls, KQMN FM (91.5) and KNTN (102.7).

The decision to end operations was made after an 18-month effort to significantly raise private funding, Kupchella said. However, in a market served by other public radio stations, the challenge proved to be insurmountable. To continue would require that UND reallocate at least $200,000 towards operating costs next year, as well as to prepare to cover needed capital improvements.

The stations first found themselves at risk in the early 1990s when the federal government drastically reduced its support of public radio, Kupchella said. The Flood of 1997 was also devastating, he said.

The University of North Dakota was one of the first institutions in the country to operate a radio station, Kupchella said, going on the air in 1923. For much of that period the stations relied upon the volunteer expertise of UND faculty and radio students in what today is the School of Communication. UND no longer offers a radio curriculum.