The scene as I walked into the building of Minnesota Public Radio (MPR) was nothing short of 2001 a Space Odyssey. As I walked in the doors, I saw a building equipped with a 300in television screen, white bubble chairs that broadcast MPRÕs three radio stations inside, and a wide open structure filled with floating staircases. It made the single floor of KFAI studios look like a storage closet.
Aside from the aesthetic, MPR also has several state of art recording studios for recording live music during their segments. These studios are completely climate controlled to protect the instruments and equipment. Also, the studios are completely soundproof from the outside. Imagine quiet rooms where you actually canÕt hear a pin drop.
In the newsroom, the energy was palpable. At one point a technician ran out of one of the studios yelling about a problem patching the governor through to their show. The class stood and watched as the man banged his hand against a cubicle and seemed to come up with a solution in his head. He then quickly parted through our mob and went back into the studio.
For keeping up with the latest headlines, there is an entire room of equipment and professionals dedicated to monitoring satellite feeds on world news. MPRÕs news station covers most of Minnesota and also broadcast in various cities internationally. You can find out more about their coverage area and broadcast affiliates on their webpage (listed below).
The studio runs on the dollars of their listeners. The station does a 9-day telethon three times a year that brings in most of their dollars. They also rely on federal and state grant money, and by product endorsements, an enterprise similar to advertising, but with very specific guidelines for content, to bring in the rest of their multi-million-dollar annual budget.
MPR is dedicated to providing the Mid-West with the latest news, the biggest repertoire of quality classical music, and sounds of the latest local bands on their contemporary music station, The Current. You can catch the sounds of MPR broadcasting in the Twin Cities on 89.3fm(current), 99.5fm(classical), 91.1fm(news), or catch the live feed of all three on the web at minnesota.publicradio.org.