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1990-1999: Award Winning Productions


  • Prairie Public Broadcasting receives state funding for interactive Spanish course.
  • “Prairie News Journal,” a locally produced regional news digest, is launched. The program will go on to win an Iris award and an Emmy nomination.
  • Prairie Public Television sends reporters to Saudi Arabia to cover the Gulf War for “Prairie News Journal.”


  • The board of directors amends mission statement to read: Prairie Public Broadcasting will provide for the people of its viewing and listening area an indispensable radio and television programming service that educates, entertains, informs and enlightens.
  • “Concordia College Christmas Concert” is produced in conjunction with Concordia College and distributed nationally. It receives a Gabriel Award given in recognition of programs which uplift and nourish the human spirit.
  • “Hablemos espanol!,” Prairie Public Television’s live interactive Spanish language program, premieres.
  • Using satellite uplinks and remote broadcast technology, the “Prairie Town Meeting” specials explore topics of interest to rural communities.


  • Prairie Public Broadcasting begins production of interactive “Hablemos espanol! 2” course.
  • A series of four “Prairie Town Meeting: Business Edition” programs discuss the basics of starting and growing a small business.
  • KJRE/Channel 19 signs on. Licensed to Ellendale, N.D., the transmitter is located near Kulm. The transmitter effectively makes Prairie Public Television available to all of North Dakota.


  • Prairie Public Television launches “KidZone,” a lively, fun and innovative approach for scheduling and promoting children’s programs.
  • KPRJ/91.5FM signs on, bringing Prairie Public Radio to Jamestown and becoming the fifth station in Prairie Public Broadcasting’s radio network.


  • Prairie Public Radio receives two First Place and one Second Place awards from the Associated Press Broadcasters, as well as an Award of Merit from the Northwest Broadcast News Association and a Regional Award from the Radio Television News Directors Association.
  • Prairie Satellite Network is completed with 70 downlink dishes across North Dakota, providing access to distance learning within 30 miles of every North Dakota resident.
  • Prairie Public Television premieres “Pyramids on the Prairie,” a one-hour documentary featuring the history and architecture of the Winnipeg Exchange District, known as the “Chicago of the North.”


  • Nearly 700 North Dakota educators take part in Prairie Satellite Network’s inaugural teleconference at 76 sites across the state.
  • An innovative 26-program series “Entrepreneurs North Dakota and Let’s Talk Business” delivers entrepreneurial training using the Prairie Satellite Network to adults in 33 locations.
  • Prairie Online service begins in Fargo-Moorhead.


  • “Rivers, Roads, Rails and Air,” North Dakota’s transportation story, premieres on Prairie Public Television.
  • Through “Cyberbusiness,” a series of four free seminars on the Prairie Satellite Network and two broadcast television programs, small business owners throughout North Dakota learn how to use computers to maximize business potential.


  • The broadcast of Concordia College’s “Celebration of Hope for the Valley” gospel concert is nominated for a regional Emmy award in recognition of excellence in live directing.
  • Using Web-based video technology on prairiepublic.org, Floodcam shows the world up-to-the-minute images of the rising Red River. The Floodcam site receives 17,000 visits a day during the height of the flood.
  • In partnership with the Dakota Medical Foundation, Prairie Public launches “Healthworks,” a series of specials exploring important personal health issues.
  • prairiepublic.org is named Best of the Web by Snap!. The “Healthworks” section is named in Best in Health by Microsoft Bookshelf.


  • “Prospering” spotlights alternative agricultural opportunities being explored by farm families in North Dakota.
  • “PlainsTalk,” a weekly television/radio interview program hosted by Matt Olien to examine a range of issues from the arts to the farm crisis, marks the return to Prairie Public Television of a regularly scheduled series.
  • Prairie Public explores the history and culture of two important ethnic groups with the documentaries “Germans From Russia: Children of the Steppe, Children of the Prairie” and “Mennonites of Manitoba.”
  • The “Voters’ Interactive Project,” a partnership with the League of Women Voters on prairiepublic.org, gives candidates a Web-based forum for discussions and debates.
  • A major planning effort results in a digital television transition plan — a multi-phase, multi-year and multi-million dollar transformation of the broadcast capability of Prairie Public in response to the federal mandate of conversion to digital by the year 2003.


  • Prairie Public Radio goes off air, and North Dakota Public Radio is launched on February 1, with Prairie Public Broadcasting as the managing partner in association with North Dakota State University and University of North Dakota, marking the first time in history that public radio delivers programming to the entire state.
  • “Germans From Russia: Children of the Steppe, Children of the Prairie” is a finalist in the U Siebe International Film Festival, the only American documentary to be invited to participate in the juried competition.
  • “Pulse of the Prairie,” a public forum for the agricultural community, features the Buschkoetters from the popular documentary “The Farmer’s Wife.” This outreach event is produced in conjunction with many state and private agencies in response to the farm crisis.
  • “Hear It Now,” North Dakota Public Radio’s live call-in program, premieres.

Mister Rogers
“Mister Rogers’ Neighborhood” still is the longest running children’s program on public television.