Impact and Programs
In FY22, MPR provided vital daily news coverage and in-depth reporting, joyful and inspiring music, essential cultural content, and engaging podcasts. Here are examples across our three services. MPR News, YourClassical MPR and The Current reached nearly 1M listeners each week. Art Hounds featured 157 artists or performances, highlighted 26 different kinds and styles of art, and included creative work by and for people of all ages and backgrounds. The Current featured 800+ Minnesota artists, who received 15,000 spins for nearly 1,000 hours of Minnesota music. Our Classical music education program provided more flexibility for schools by producing video concerts and learning tools as well as virtual residencies in real time through Zoom. Content was accessed more than 183,000 times by 91,000 unique visitors and featured 15 different ensembles representing 55 artists. MPR News launched a new project called North Star Journey, a journal exploring history and culture in Minnesota's communities of color that published more than 40 content pieces. In addition, MPR News has received more than 1,000 awards, including the Alfred I. duPont-Columbia University Award, George Foster Peabody Award, and numerous national Edward R. Murrow Awards. A few recent awards: MBJA Eric Sevareid Award - Documentary/Special - First Place, MPR News: “Special report: Host Angela Davis explores how George Floyd changed us”; National Headliner Award for Radio - Pandemic Coverage/Project, First Place, MPR News: “Coverage of the COVID-19 Pandemic from MPR News”; Public Media Journalists Association Awards (3); and Society of Professional Journalists Page One Awards (7).
Our five-year strategic plan, Audiences First 2025, is equipping us to be the leader in producing indispensable content and experiences that engage diverse audiences to connect people with each other, their communities, their country, and the world. We seek to: Deliver trusted, meaningful content that promotes civil conversation, bridges differences, and empowers communities to solve problems; Promote a more just, connected, and healthy region and country through equitable reporting and programming on important issues; and Connect people to essential arts and culture to support a thriving creative economy. The following are key examples of our strategies in action. MPR News launched North Star Journey, a journal exploring the history and culture that make up diverse communities throughout our state and a podcast, Untangled Roots. MPR News’ Art Hounds is a weekly segment in which three Minnesotans share information on an arts happening in their community that they’re excited about. MPR News, Art Hounds, and the APM Research Lab hosted a celebration of the art and artists that have been essential to Minnesota’s communities - detailing how we can ensure art, theater and music are serving diverse communities in Minnesota. The Current launched Carbon Sound, a music service dedicated to the depth, breadth, and influence of Black musical expression. And reaching young people through our programming on YourClassical MPR with Class Notes (in-person/virtual lessons and curriculum, performances and conversations between kids and musicians) and Project DJ (bringing young performers, 14 to 24, to join Steve Staruch as co-hosts on Friday Favorites).
Community or Constituency Served
As a statewide convener, MPR reaches curious audiences who want to be informed, inspired, entertained, and energized. Our programming helps strengthen communities, fosters dialogue, and celebrates the diversity and creativity that makes Minnesota civic-minded and culturally vibrant. MPR reaches nearly 1 million listeners each week through its three regional services - MPR News, YourClassical MPR and The Current - and produces programming for radio, digital, and live audiences. Reaching global audiences, MPR’s web pages receive an average of 8.4 million monthly page views and our online audio and video content is streamed or downloaded more than 9.5 million times each month. In addition, tens of thousands of Minnesotans connect with MPR at live events and forums, including the Minnesota State Fair, Rock the Cradle family event at the Minneapolis Institute of Art and Children’s Theatre Company, and at concerts, policy discussions, sing-a-longs, and events throughout the state.
Programs produced by MPR’s national programming brand, American Public Media (APM), reach over 17 million listeners via approximately 1,000 public radio stations and nearly 400 commercial stations nationwide each week. Among its portfolio are such public radio staples as the BBC World Service, Marketplace, The Splendid Table, and Performance Today. APM Studios offers a diverse array of podcasts featuring the best in food, culture, entertainment, business, and investigative journalism. Across these podcasts we have over 18 million downloads every month. APM is the largest producer and distributor of classical music programming in the country.
Geographic Area Served
MPR serves nearly all of Minnesota and parts of surrounding states and operates a 46-station terrestrial radio network. MPR uses its network to deliver vital public services throughout the state, including maintaining the technical infrastructure for Minnesota’s Emergency Alert System (EAS), distributing Minnesota’s AMBER Alert System to all broadcasters in the state, and special signals for Radio Talking Book, a reading service for the blind and visually impaired. Our radio broadcast services are shared at no cost to the public through our vast network of stations.
APM, MPR’s national programming brand, is the largest station-based public radio organization in the U.S., combining multi-regional station operations, national content creation and distribution in one organization. Its multi-regional station operations include 49 public radio stations and 42 translators in the Upper Midwest and California.