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  State population (2000 census)
  Population receiving a FM public radio signal
  (from both in and out-of-state stations)
  Population in uncovered areas
  Stations in State FM stations
    FM translators
    AM stations
  1989 PTFP Study: Population receiving a
    FM public radio signal

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 and translators
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
Lincoln    K212AV N
Alliance    K224CH N
Bassett    K219CE N
Falls City
Chadron    K208CB N
Hastings    K227AC N
Lexington KZUM
Merriman KIOS
Norfolk KVNO
North Platte

AM Stations


General Comments

Public radio in Nebraska is provided primarily through a statewide network of nine stations and five translators operated by the Nebraska Educational Telecommunications Commission (NETC), which also operates a statewide public television network.  In the late 1980's NETC embarked on a plan to extend public radio service throughout the state with FM radio transmitters co-located with its existing statewide public television system.  Of the three other radio stations, one is licensed to a non-profit community organization, the second to a school board, and the third to a university.  Omaha and Lincoln, the state's two largest population centers, are served by multiple program services.     

FM Service

The state of Nebraska has shown dramatic improvement in public radio coverage since the 1989 PTFP study.  Prior to implementation of the state coverage plan only Omaha, Lincoln and the surrounding communities received programming from one of the four public radio stations in the state. 

NETC's implemented plan built eight additional repeating stations located along the state's two principal east-west highway corridors, US 20 across the northern portion of the state and I-80/US26 along the southern portion of the state. Five translators reinforce coverage in communities that lie at the edge of the 60dBu coverage of the repeating stations. The 13 new facilities repeat the service provided by KUCV Lincoln.

KIOS and KVNO provide service to Omaha. Because of these existing stations, the statewide network did not construct a facility to provide coverage to Omaha.  KZUM Lincoln provides additional radio services and local origination to Lincoln and the surrounding communities.

The percentage of Nebraska residents receiving a public radio signal increased from 57% in 1989 to 94% currently.  The number of unserved people decreased from 679,000 to 102,111.

AM Service

While there is no public AM radio station in the state, residents of the Nebraska counties adjoining Iowa can receive daytime only service from WOI Ames, Iowa.    

Service from Adjacent States

Public radio coverage is provided to Nebraska residents by public broadcasters in the bordering states.  KIWR Council Bluffs, Iowa, covers Omaha and surrounding communities while KWIT Sioux City covers portions of Dixon, Dakota and Thurston counties along the Nebraska-Iowa border.  KUSD Vermillion, South Dakota, reaches the neighboring Nebraska counties of Cedar, Dixon and Dakota.  In western Nebraska, along its border with South Dakota, KILI Porcupine on the Pine Ridge Reservation provides programming of interest to Sioux residents.  Slight coverage occurs from translators operated by public radio stations in Colorado and Kansas on Nebraska's southern border.  As noted, AM Service is available to Nebraska residents living near the Iowa border.

Unserved Areas

Typical of the Plains states, much of the uncovered population in Nebraska is widely dispersed throughout expansive territory located between Nebraska's larger cities. Under NETC's original plan for extending public radio throughout the state, local communities contributed financially to cover the costs of building facilities that serve their communities. This model may continue to be employed to fund the construction of translators and repeaters to extend coverage to currently unserved areas of the state.    

Region A  

This area includes the largest county in Nebraska.  Covering nearly 6,000 square miles (larger than Connecticut), Cherry County contains only 6,148 residents, 4,175 of whom do not receive public radio service.  This region of the state, covering seven counties, finds slightly over 7,000 residents unserved.    

Region B

The largest area of unserved residents lies in the six counties east of the center of the state.  Over 25,000 residents in Custer and the five other counties, covering an area of almost 6,000 square miles, do not receive a public radio signal.  Nearly 10,000 of these unserved people live in Custer County.     

Region C

The five counties in east central Nebraska contain nearly 13,000 residents who are unable to receive public radio service.    

Region D  

Three counties in the southeast corner of Nebraska bordering Missouri and Kansas contain about 8,000 residents without public radio service.    

Region E

Nearly 10,000 people live in the six counties in the southwest corner of Nebraska bordering Colorado and Kansas without public radio service.  A channel 6 television station in Hayes Center may present difficulties for future FM expansion in this area.

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