Company Profile

Company Overview

Broadcast Media Center

The Broadcast Media Center houses KUFM-TV and KUFM Radio.

Both are 24-hour-a-day, professionally staffed, CPB-qualified stations, broadcasting as a public service of the University of Montana (UM). Both stations extend educational and culturally enriching programming: in radio to western and north-central Montana, and statewide in television through MontanaPBS, a collaborative service of UM and Montana State University (MSU). The center provides broadcast-quality video and audio production for campus departments on all the University of Montana campuses, as well as national, state and local government agencies.

Company History

Montana Public Radio began in 1965 by University of Montana Journalism professor Phil Hess. KUFM-FM started as a small student training facility, a part-time operation, dependent on the availability of students and volunteers. With 10 watts of power, the station barely broadcast past the campus boundaries. Today MTPR is a media network serving all of western and central Montana with eight transmitters, five translators and digital content. We broadcast to a population of about 500,000 Montanans, with an estimated weekly audience of 70,000 listeners. MTPR has about 7,000 members who support the station financially, providing 75% of our annual operating funds.

MontanaPBS is a joint operation of Montana State University in Bozeman and the University of Montana in Missoula. KUSM in Bozeman signed on for the first time on October 1, 1984, making Montana the last state with an educational station within its borders, 14 years after Mississippi became the last state east of the Mississippi River with its own PBS station. The transmitter was donated by Montana broadcasting pioneer Joe Sample. MSU didn't have enough funding at the time to support a public television station, and the Gallatin Valley didn't have nearly enough people at the time for viewer-supported public television. Station engineers switched to and from the signal of KUED in Salt Lake City for most PBS programming until 1987.

Prior to 1984, Montana viewers had to rely on cable or translators for PBS programming. Depending on the location, cable systems in western Montana piped in KSPS-TV in Spokane or KRMA-TV in Denver, while cable systems in eastern and central Montana piped in Prairie Public Television from North Dakota or KUED; KSPS and KRMA still operate translators in Montana. Additionally, some commercial stations in Montana, including KTVQ in Billings and KFBB in Great Falls, carried Sesame Street and may have carried other PBS programs.

Also in 1987, KUSM was added to TCI's cable systems in central and eastern Montana, completely replacing KUED in that part of the state by 1990.

UM had won a construction permit for KUFM-TV in 1992, but had trouble getting on the air until 1996. UM and MSU joined forces to form Montana PBS, which broadcast for the first time as a network on New Year's Day 1997.

Benefits

Montana University System (MUS) Professional Contracts include a comprehensive and competitive benefits package including Insurance package, mandatory retirement plan, partial tuition waiver, and wellness program.

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