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1980-1989: Expanding The Vision


  • Prairie Public Television broadcasts a new weekly series, “North Dakota This Week.” This weekly news broadcast features a roundtable of journalists from across the state.
  • KSRE-TV in Minot signs on.
  • Major capital campaign is initiated to build new facilities in Fargo, to establish radio in western North Dakota, and to set up an endowment fund.


  • Fargo tower relocation is completed.
  • KCND-FM in Bismarck signs on as the first Prairie Public Radio station.
  • With legislative approval of charitable gaming, Prairie Public Television begins gaming operation to diversify its fund raising efforts.


  • KDSE-TV in Dickinson signs on.
  • Dickinson radio translator signs on.


  • KWSE-TV in Williston signs on.
  • Prairie Public Television purchases American Life Building in Fargo.
  • KMPR/Minot radio signs on.


  • Corporate name is changed from Prairie Public Television to Prairie Public Broadcasting.
  • Prairie Public Broadcasting moves to American Life Building (1984-1985).


  • Prairie Public Broadcasting receives major federal grant for new studio equipment.
  • Williston radio signs on.
  • The Communications Department wins 5 first places and 10 merit awards at the annual North Dakota Addy Awards competition.


  • KDPR, Prairie Public Radio for Dickinson, signs on the air.


  • SERC (Satellite Educational Resource Consortium) is formed. Prairie School Television is a founding member, and North Dakota schools receive federal funding to have access to the programs it distributes. They are called Star Schools.
  • The North Dakota Telecommunications Council is formed with Dennis Falk in a major leadership role.
  • Prairie School Television grows to service 60,000 students.
  • Prairie Public Television produces “Joyful We Adore Thee: The Concordia College Christmas Concert.” The program is distributed nationally the following year and more than 100 PBS stations carry it.


  • “Prairie Filmmakers,” a showcase of regional filmmaking, is launched. As it continues annually, the program is attracting dozens of entries.
  • New mission statement is adopted. It reads: The mission of Prairie Public Broadcasting is to provide for the people of its viewing and listening area an indispensable radio and television programming service that educates, entertains, informs, and enlightens.
  • Prairie Public Television broadcasts 24 hours a day in Fargo and Winnipeg.
  • Arbitron ratings show Prairie Public Radio now attracts 15,000 listeners a week.

Sesame Street kids
National Friends of Public Broadcasting’s representative from Fargo, ND, Mrs Carlton J. Hunke and KFME general manager, Dennis Falk, at a NFPB conference

North Dakota this week
“North Dakota this week” with Boyd Christenson.