South Dakota Public Broadcasting, or SDPB for short, is a state network of non-commercial educational television and radio stations serving the U.S. state of South Dakota. The stations are operated by the South Dakota Bureau of Information and Telecommunication, a state agency which holds the licenses for all of the Public Broadcasting Service (PBS) and National Public Radio (NPR) stations licensed in South Dakota except KRSD in Sioux Falls, which is owned and run by Minnesota Public Radio, and KAUR, which is owned by Augustana College and operated by MPR. The studios and offices are located at 500 N. Dakota Avenue in the Allen Neuharth Media Center on the University of South Dakota campus in Vermillion.

History

Educational broadcasting in South Dakota began in 1919 with experimental broadcasts at USD's College of Engineering USD was granted a full license in 1922, and went on the air that May 29 as WEAJ. It became KUSD in 1925. By 1952, the station settled at 690 AM at 1,000 watts, operating only during daylight hours to protect CBF in Montreal. In 1967, it acquired an FM sister station, KUSD-FM at 89.7. Also in 1967, South Dakota State University in Brookings signed on KESD-FM. The three stations merged in 1982 as South Dakota Public Radio.

On July 5, 1961, KUSD-TV signed on the air as the state's first educational television station. Seven more stations signed on from 1967 to 1975, extending its reach to parts of Minnesota and Iowa.

South Dakota Public Radio merged with the State Board of Directors for Educational Television, which operated the television network, in 1985 to form South Dakota Public Broadcasting under the ownership of the Bureau of Information and Telecommunication. Between 1985 and 1991, five other stations joined the radio network. One of them was KCSD, which signed on in 1985 as part of a partnership between Sioux Falls College (now the University of Sioux Falls) and the ETV Board in an effort to improve the network's reception in South Dakota's largest city. Until 2013, KCSD's license was held by the University of Sioux Falls and operated by the state network under a management agreement.[2] The network bought KCSD outright in 2013.

In 1992, a Chevrolet Suburban went on a joyride through the Vermillion Golf Course, where KUSD-AM's towers were located. The Suburban crashed into one of the AM station's towers and knocked it down. The insurance settlement was not large enough to restore full operations, and KUSD-AM went off the air for good in 1994.

KUSD-TV's signal had long been spotty in parts of Sioux Falls, even though the channel 2 analog signal traveled a very long distance under normal conditions. Some parts of the area didn't get a clear signal from KUSD-TV until cable gained more penetration in the 1980s. To solve this problem, KCSD-TV signed on in 1995, significantly improving coverage in the state's largest city. It was likely that KCSD-TV would have been necessary in any event due to the digital transition, since FCC rules required a station's digital signal to cover at least 80 percent of its analog footprint.

As of February 2017, SDPR now broadcasts both their main network over the DT5 subchannel of the SDPB Television stations, and classical music (which airs on the radio stations' second HD channel) on the television stations' DT6 subchannels.

Radio stations

South Dakota Public Radio airs a mix of news and talk from NPR, Public Radio International, American Public Media, BBC World Service and other sources. Stations in the lineup include:

LocationFrequencyCall sign
Vermillion89.7 FMKUSD-FM
Rapid City89.3 FMKBHE-FM
Sioux Falls90.9 FMKCSD
Aberdeen90.9 FMKDSD-FM
Brookings88.3 FMKESD-FM
Watertown90.3 FMKJSD
Eagle Butte97.1 FMKPSD-FM
Lowry91.9 FMKQSD-FM
Reliance91.1 FMKTSD-FM
Spearfish91.9 FMKYSD-FM
Martin102.5 FMKZSD-FM

South Dakota Public Radio also rebroadcasts on the following translator stations:

LocationFrequencyCall sign
Aberdeen91.7 FMK219CM
Belle Fourche88.1 FMK201AP
Edgemont90.7 FMK214BN
Hot Springs88.1 FMK201AQ
Huron91.3 FMK217CE
Lead88.7 FMK204GC
Mitchell90.9 FMK215AI
Pierre96.3 FMK242CH
Pringle88.5 FMK203BN

In March 2007, South Dakota Public Radio started broadcasting on HD Radio.

Television stations

SDPB television stations included in the state network are:

StationCity of licenseChannelsFirst air dateCall letters’meaningERPHAATFCC
Facility ID
Transmitter coordinates
KUSD-TVVermillionDigital: 34 (UHF)
Virtual: 2 (PSIP)
July 5, 1961 (1961-07-05)University of
South
Dakota
236 kW204 m (669 ft)61072
KBHE-TVRapid CityDigital: 26 (UHF)
Virtual: 9 (PSIP)
September 13, 1967 (1967-09-13)BlackHills
Educational
76.3 kW191.7 m (629 ft)61068
KCSD-TVSioux FallsDigital: 24 (UHF)
Virtual: 23 (PSIP)
June 13, 1995 (1995-06-13)Clark
South
Dakota
29 kW75 m (246 ft)60728
KDSD-TVAberdeenDigital: 17 (UHF)
Virtual: 16 (PSIP)
January 1, 1972 (1972-01-01)AberDeen
South
Dakota
19 kW349 m (1,145 ft)61064
KESD-TVBrookingsDigital: 8 (VHF)
Virtual: 8 (PSIP)
February 4, 1968 (1968-02-04)Educational
South
Dakota
15 kW229 m (751 ft)61067
KPSD-TVEagle ButteDigital: 13 (VHF)
Virtual: 13 (PSIP)
September 16, 1973 (1973-09-16)Public Broadcasting
South
Dakota
27 kW516 m (1,693 ft)61071
KQSD-TVLowryDigital: 11 (VHF)
Virtual: 11 (PSIP)
March 9, 1976 (1976-03-09)Quality
South
Dakota
37 kW312.7 m (1,026 ft)61063
KTSD-TVPierreDigital: 10 (VHF)
Virtual: 10 (PSIP)
August 1, 1970 (1970-08-01)Television
South
Dakota
54.7 kW487.7 m (1,600 ft)61066
KZSD-TVMartinDigital: 8 (VHF)
Virtual: 8 (PSIP)
February 9, 1978 (1978-02-09)Zenith
South
Dakota
44.7 kW266 m (873 ft)61062

Translators

The television programming from SDPB is also rebroadcast on the following translator stations (low-power rebroadcasters):

Call signTV ChannelLocation
K04GW-D4Spearfish
K10PS-D10Pine Ridge
K19CG-D19Belle Fourche
K39LT-D39Pringle
K08PM-D8Wagner
K15IZ-D15Edgemont

Digital television

Digital channels

The digital signals of SDPB's stations are multiplexed:

ChannelVideoAspectPSIP Short NameProgramming[3][4][5][6][7][8][9][10][2]
x.11080i16:9SDPB 1Main SDPB programming / PBS
x.2480iSDPB 2World
x.3SDPB 3Create
x.4SDPB-4PBS Kids
x.5Audio OnlySDPB-5SDPB Radio audio
x.6SDPB-6SDPB Classical HD2 network audio

Analog-to-digital conversion

During 2009, in the lead-up to the analog-to-digital television transition that would ultimately occur on June 12, SDPB shut down the analog transmitters of its stations on a staggered basis. Listed below are the dates each analog transmitter ceased operations as well as their post-transition channel allocations:[2]

  • KUSD-TV shut down its analog signal, over VHF channel 2, on February 17, 2009, the original date in which full-power television stations in the United States were to transition from analog to digital broadcasts under federal mandate (which was later pushed back to June 12, 2009). The station's digital signal remained on its pre-transition UHF channel 34. Through the use of PSIP, digital television receivers display the station's virtual channel as its former VHF analog channel 2.
  • KBHE-TV shut down its analog signal, over VHF channel 9, on February 17, 2009. The station's digital signal remained on its pre-transition UHF channel 26. Through the use of PSIP, digital television receivers display the station's virtual channel as its former VHF analog channel 9.
  • KCSD-TV shut down its analog signal, over UHF channel 23, on February 17, 2009. The station's digital signal remained on its pre-transition UHF channel 24. Through the use of PSIP, digital television receivers display the station's virtual channel as its former UHF analog channel 23.
  • KDSD-TV shut down its analog signal, over UHF channel 16, on February 17, 2009. The station's digital signal remained on its pre-transition UHF channel 17. Through the use of PSIP, digital television receivers display the station's virtual channel as its former UHF analog channel 16.
  • KESD-TV shut down its analog signal, over VHF channel 8, on February 17, 2009. The station's digital signal relocated from its pre-transition UHF channel 18 to VHF channel 8 for post-transition operations.
  • KPSD-TV shut down its analog signal, over VHF channel 13, on June 12, 2009, the official date in which full-power television stations in the United States transitioned from analog to digital broadcasts under federal mandate. The station's digital signal relocated from its pre-transition UHF channel 25 to VHF channel 13 for post-transition operations.
  • KQSD-TV shut down its analog signal, over VHF channel 11, on February 17, 2009. The station's digital signal relocated from its pre-transition UHF channel 15 to VHF channel 11 for post-transition operations.
  • KTSD-TV shut down its analog signal, over VHF channel 10, on February 17, 2009. The station's digital signal relocated from its pre-transition UHF channel 21 to VHF channel 10 for post-transition operations.
  • KZSD-TV shut down its analog signal, over VHF channel 8, on February 17, 2009. The station's digital signal relocated from its pre-transition UHF channel 23 to VHF channel 8 for post-transition operations.

Programming

Although SDPB provides PBS programming, it also produces original programs such as:

SDPB has also produced educational programs, such as:

  • By The People, For The People — a series about government in South Dakota.
  • Dakota Pathways — a series about the history of South Dakota.
  • Infinite Variety — a series about the geography and environment of South Dakota.
  • South Dakota Adventure — a series about the history and culture of South Dakota.
  • Our Statehouse: A Capitol Idea — a multimedia project about the history of the South Dakota Capitol.
  • The Badlands: Nature's Time Capsule — a multimedia project about Badlands National Park.

SDPB has also syndicated educational programs, such as:

  • Once Upon a Time — a children's show produced by Nebraska ETV in the 1980s which focused on children's reading.[2]