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IDAHO

  State population (2000 census)
1,293,953
     
  Population receiving a FM public radio signal
1,187,120
91.7%
  (from both in and out-of-state stations)  
  Population in uncovered areas
106,833
     
  Stations in State FM stations
13
    FM translators
22
    AM stations
2
     
  1989 PTFP Study: Population receiving a
    FM public radio signal
487, 000
52%
         

Broadcast Coverage Maps

FM Stations - Detail         FM Stations - Printable

AM Stations - Detail         AM Stations - Printable


Public Radio Stations in State

Main stations in bold followed by associated repeaters
Translators are shown at the end of the narrative  
Facilities in italics operated by out‑of‑state broadcasters
Location in ( ) - actual location of transmitting facilities
N - new facility since 1989 study     # - Station now meets study criteria    
[ ] - AM main station

FM Stations
     
       
KBSU
90.3
Boise KIBX 1
92.1
Bonners Ferry
   KBSM N
91.7
McCall KRFA 2  
91.7
Moscow
[KBSU(AM) Boise]    KNWO N
90.1
Cottonwood
   KBSK N
89.9
McCall KISU N
91.1
Pocatello
KBSX N
91.5
Boise KBYI #
100.5
Rexburg
   KBSY N
88.5
Burley KWRV3 N
91.9
Sun Valley
   KBSQ N
90.7
McCall KBSW N
91.7
Twin Falls

AM Stations
KBSU N
730
Boise KEZJ N
1450
Twin Falls

1 Operated by KPBX, Spokane, WA.
2 Operated by Northwest Public Radio, Pullman, WA.
3 Operated by Minnesota Public Radio, Minneapolis-St. Paul, MN.


General Comments

Most public radio service in Idaho is provided by stations licensed to the state's universities with additional service provided by universities from bordering states.  Boise State Radio is the primary public radio broadcaster in the state and provides four distinct services in the state.  Most of the population covered by public radio is found in two areas: along the Snake River Plain which follows a broad U‑shape across the southern counties of the state, and in the Panhandle on the state's Washington border where the Columbia Plateau crosses the state line.   Communities along the western border of the Panhandle receive public radio from multiple stations, as do Boise and Sun Valley. There are two AM public radio stations in the state.

FM Service  

The 1989 PTFP study reported that two FM stations and six translators served the state. 

Several new stations extended coverage to the territory in Idaho identified as unserved in the 1989 study.  By 2003, nine FM stations and 13 translators operated by three Idaho educational institutions provided public radio service.  Four additional stations and nine additional translators located in Idaho are operated by university licensed stations in Utah, Wyoming, and Washington and by community licensees in Washington and Minnesota.

The Boise State Radio network now provides four distinct program services in the state through its network of three main FM stations, four repeater FM stations, and nine FM translators. KISU and its repeater are now serving Pocatello in the southeast corner of the state.  KBYI and its four translators provide service to the major communities in the eastern part of the state. A list of the translators serving Idaho is at the end of this narrative.  KBYI was on the air on 1989 but did not meet criteria for inclusion in the 1989 study.  KBYI now meets criteria for inclusion in this study and this is indicated with a # symbol on the lists of stations and translators.   
KRFA Moscow, operated by Northwest Public Radio, has expanded service to Idaho with the addition of KNWO Cottonwood and two translators south and west of Moscow.  KIBX and its two translators, operated by Spokane Public Radio, are now providing service in the northern end of the Idaho panhandle.

The percentage of Idaho residents that receive public radio increased from 52% in 1989 to 91.7% currently.  The number of people who cannot receive a public radio station decreased from 457,000 to 106,833.        

AM Service  

Boise State Radio operates two AM stations.  KBSU(AM) 730 kHz broadcasts from Boise on an unlimited basis and operates at 15 kW during the day and 500 watts at night. KEZJ(AM) 1450 kHz broadcasts from Twin Falls on an unlimited basis at 1 kW. 
KWSU(AM) Pullman, Washington, also serves portions of northern Idaho.  It operates on an unlimited basis at 5 kW.   

Service from Adjacent States

Public broadcasters from Washington, Wyoming, Utah, and Minnesota operate four FM stations and nine translators within Idaho.  Public radio service is also received by Idaho residents along the state's borders from stations in Washington, Utah, and Wyoming.

Unserved Areas

Eighty mountain ranges are located in Idaho.  Over 40% of the state is national forest.  Some of the most inaccessible territory in the lower 48 states is in Idaho.  Even so, public radio signals are found in every county though some of this coverage is ineffective.  The unserved areas extend westward into the interior of the state from the Montana border and in the southwestern corner of the state.  Both of these areas have very low population density.  

Region A  

Boundary and Bonner counties in the northernmost end of the Idaho panhandle receive KIBX, a service of KPBX Spokane, WA.  Still there are 12,000 people without public radio in those counties.  Just south of Bonner, Shoshone County borders Montana and has some 6,000 individuals without public radio service.  These counties are all within the boundaries of the Kaniksu National Forest.  

Region B  

This area is composed of national forest holdings, the River of No Return Wilderness Area, the Bitterroot Wilderness Area, and the Sawtooth National Recreation Area.  Public radio signals serve communities bordering and within these areas.  This extensive unserved area has limited road access and tiny towns.  Even so, limited public radio service exists.

About two-thirds of the population of Clearwater County has service, leaving 3,500 people without service.  In Idaho County, of the more than 15,000 residents, only 4,300 are without public radio.  In Lemhi County, which is within Salmon National Forest and Lemhi Mountain Range, only about 1,000 of its nearly 8,000 residents receive service. About half the people in Custer County, 2,000 of the 4,300 residents, have no public radio service.  In Blaine County, in the center of the state, 15,000 of the 18,000 residents are unserved by public radio.

Region C 

Owyhee County, south of the Snake River toward the southwest corner of Idaho, has only one paved road traversing the area from Mountain Home on I‑84 to Nevada. About 1,100 persons do not receive a signal in the area.

Region D  

About 7,500 residents are without FM public radio service in Twin Falls County. Gooding County, northwest of Twin Falls, has over 10,000 residents unserved by FM public radio service.  These individuals may, however, actually receive public radio service via the public radio AM service which is available 24 hours a day.

Translators listed by operating station
Facilities in italics operated by out‑of‑state broadcasters
Location in ( ) - actual location of transmitting facilities

KBSU Boise, ID K220CG
91.9
Salmon
K215BN N
90.9
Cascade KUSU Logan, UT 
K216CD N
91.1
Lower Stanley K299AH N
107.7
Pocatello
K292EK
106.3
Stanley, Bonanza KUER Salt Lake City, UT
KBSX Boise, ID K213BB N
90.5
Soda Springs
K228CZ
93.5
New Meadow KRFA Pullman, WA
K216CY N
91.1
Sun Valley (Moscow, ID)
KBYI Rexburg, ID K274AS N
102.7
Kamiah
K216CG N
91.1
Blackfoot K272DO N
102.3
Orofino
K297AB #
107.3
Burley KPBX Spokane, WA
K285CO #
104.9
Pocatello K220AE1 N
91.9
Bonners Ferry 
K252CZ #
98.3
Twin Falls K220BX
91.9
Couer d'Alene
KBSW Twin Falls, ID K220BW
91.9
Kellogg
K207BD N
89.3
Bellevue K269DU
101.7
Sand Point
K209AQ
89.7
Challis KUWR Laramie, WY 
K228DO N
93.5
Ketchum K217ED N
91.3
Driggs


  1 Licensed to Boundary County TV Translator District, Bonners Ferry, ID. Operated by KPBX, Spokane, WA.

 

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