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MONTANA

     
  State population (2000 census)
902,195
     
  Population receiving a FM public radio signal
694,712
77%
  (from both in and out-of-state stations)
  Population in uncovered areas
207,483
     
  Stations in State FM stations
12
    FM translators
31
    AM stations
0
     
  1989 PTFP Study: Population receiving a
    FM public radio signal
376,000
48%
         

Broadcast Coverage Maps

FM Stations - Detail         FM Stations - Printable


Public Radio Stations in State

Main stations in bold followed by associated repeaters and translators
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

FM Stations
KEMC
91.7
Billings KGPR
89.9
Missoula
   KBMC N
102.1
Bozeman KUFM
89.1
Great Falls
   KNMC1  N
90.1
Havre    KAPC N
91.3
Butte
   KECC N
90.7
Miles City    KUFN N
91.9
Hamilton
KGLT #
91.9
Bozeman    KUHM N
91.7
Helena
KGVA N
88.1
Ft. Belknap    KUKL N
89.9
Kalispell

AM Stations  

None

1 Licensed to Northern Montana College Harve, MT. Operated by KEMC, Billings, MT.

General Comments

Public radio in Montana is provided by three educational institutions, a non-profit community organization and a Native American community college.  There are two primary public radio broadcasters in the state.  Montana Public Radio (KUFM) is a joint radio-TV licensee that operates a network of stations and translators in the central and western part of the state.  Yellowstone Public Radio (KEMC) operates a network of stations and translators throughout the state as well as in northwestern Wyoming.  The principal population centers of Montana are covered by public radio, but Bozeman is the only community where multiple program services are available. 

FM Service

Since the PTFP 1989 study, Montana's public broadcasters have made significant progress to provide public radio service. The 1989 study reported only three stations in the state, in Billings, Great Falls and Missoula. The number of stations has increased to twelve. KUFM Missoula constructed four new repeater stations in Butte, Hamilton, Helena and Kalispell. KGPR Great Falls is licensed to Great Falls Public Radio Association. KGPR provides local programming to Great Falls and has an agreement to broadcast network news and other nationally distributed programming with KUFM.

KEMC constructed new stations in Bozeman, Havre, and Miles City and three new translators.  KGVA was built on the Fort Belknap Reservation in north-central Montana.  Additional translators were built by several stations and the number of translators increased from 19 in 1989 to 31 currently.  A list of the translators serving Montana is at the end of the narrative. KGLT did not meet the criteria of the 1989 PTFP study but now meets the study criteria and is included on the station list. 

The percentage of Montana's population who can receive a public radio signal increased from 48% in 1989 to 77% currently.  The number of unserved residents decreased from 376,000 in 1989 to 207,483.

AM Service

None

Service from Adjacent States

Small portions of Montana receive public radio from stations located in North Dakota and Idaho.  KCND Bismarck, North Dakota operates a translator at Plentywood in Sheridan County in the far northeast corner of the state. KBYI Rexburg, Idaho, operates a translator at West Yellowstone inside the Idaho-Montana border and west of Yellowstone National Park.

Unserved Areas

In general, the combination of Montana's eastern prairies covering nearly two-thirds of the state, the Rocky Mountains across the remaining third and a statewide population density of six persons per square mile results in many engineering and economic challenges to extend public radio coverage across the state.  About 27% of the land in Montana is owned by the Federal Government.  In only 26 of Montana's 50 counties do more than half the county's residents receive public radio service.  In 13 counties, less then 5% of the residents receive public radio signals.  

Region A  

In Lincoln and Sanders counties, in the northwest corner of the state bordering British Columbia and Idaho, there are over 28,000 people who do not receive public radio service.  KUFM has an application on file at the FCC to install facilities in Libby, the only town of significant size in the county.  The Libby installation will provide new service to the area.  KUFM also has an application on file at the FCC to install new facilities in Whitefish in Flathead County.  The new Whitefish station will replace the translator that is currently in operation.  

Region B  

Glacier County, farther east along the Canadian border, is divided nearly in half by Glacier National Park and the Blackfeet Indian Reservation.  It has about 9,000 residents unserved by public radio.  

Region C  

In the center of the state, Fergus County has over 10,000 unserved people.  Six counties in Eastern Montana do not receive any public radio signals: Daniels, Fallon, Garfield, McCone, Petroleum, and Treasure counties.  These six counties contain 9,400 persons scattered over 13,000 square miles of northern prairie, or less than one person per square mile.     

Region D  

Roosevelt and Richland counties, which are located in the northeast part of the state bordering North Dakota, have a combined unserved population of over 17,000.  Much of Roosevelt County is devoted to the Ft. Peck Indian Reservation.

Region E

Most of Big Horn County, bordering Wyoming, is covered by the Crow Indian Reservation and a portion of the Northern Cheyenne Indian Reservation.  Over 11,000 people in that county are unserved by public radio. 

Translators listed by operating station
Facilities in italics operated by out‑of‑state broadcasters

KBYI Rexburg, ID K246AC5 N
97.1
Helena
K220GV N
91.9
W. Yellowstone K203AE N
88.5
Lewiston
KEMC Billings, MT K203AG N
88.5
Livingston
K206BN N
89.1
Ashland K206BA N
89.1
Red Lodge
K240CI N
95.9
Big Sky K212BC N
90.3
Shelby
K213AU1 N
90.5
Big Timber K220DF4 N
91.9
Terry
K294AC N
106.7
Bozeman KGLT Bozeman, MT
K220FL N
91.9
Broadus K251AC N
98.1
Helena
K261CC2 N
100.1
Chester K208BX N
89.5
Livingston
K203AF N
88.5
Colstrip KUFM Missoula, MT
K203AI
88.5
Columbus K219DN N
91.7
Dillon
K220HL3 N
91.9
Conrad K288DZ6
105.5
Dillon
K205BZ N
88.9
Cut Bank K216BE7 N
91.1
Ferndale
K216CH N
91.1
Emigrant K296BI N
107.1
Marysville
K216DC N
91.1
Forsyth K218AI N
91.5
Rattlesnake Valley
K220DN N
91.9
Glasgow K219BN N
91.7
Whitefish
K203AS4
88.5
Glendive KCND Bismarck, ND 
K219FF N
91.7
Harve K220FE N
91.9
Plentywood

1 Licensed to Sweet Grass County, Big Timber, MT. Operated by KEMC, Billings, MT.
2 Licensed to Randall D. Rocks, Billings, MT. Operated by KEMC, Billings, MT.         
3 Licensed to Pondera Arts Council, Conrad, MT. Operated by KEMC, Billings, MT.    
4 Licensed to Dawson Community College, Glendive, MT. Operated by KEMC, Billings, MT.
5 Licensed to Last Chance Public Radio Association, Helena, MT. Operated by KEMC, Billings, MT.
6 Licensed to Dillon NPR, Dillon, MT. Operated by KUFM, Missoula, MT.
7 Licensed to Swan Hill TV, Big Fork, MT. Operated by KUFM, Missoula, MT. 

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