KBXE is KAXE's new sister station! It will
serve Bagley, Bemidji and the surrounding
area. It's a big project, and lots of people
are helping! If you
want to know more, email firstname.lastname@example.org or
call Northern Community Radio at
800/662-5799 or 218/326-1234.
Thanks for taking the time to learn more
What is community radio?
Community radio is distinguished by
community support, community control, and
community programming. It is radio "of, by
and for" the community. Community
radio stations may be licensed to local
organizations, universities, tribal
councils, or others. All community radio
stations are educational in mission and
non-profit in structure.
90.5 KBXE will be licensed to Northern
Community Radio and governed by Northern Community Radio's
board of directors. KBXE will
make connections, bring people
together, and encourage a sense of
regional identity and belonging. 90.5 KBXE
will use its broadcast and Internet
facilities to support the efforts of
community groups and organizations. 90.5 KBXE's broadcast license,
studios and transmission facilities will be
a community asset!
How is community radio different from other
kinds of radio, like public radio and
Community stations like 90.5 KBXE are a
special type, or subset, of public
educational radio. Like other public radio
stations, 90.5 KBXE will receive some of its
funding from the Corporation for Public
Broadcasting, conduct pledge drives, and
will carry some programs from organizations
like National Public Radio. But KBXE will be
independent and focused on northern
Minnesota in its daily operation and
programming. It will be locally owned and
operated and will involve people from this
area in all aspects of its operation.
90.5 KBXE is part of a tax-exempt 501(c)(3)
nonprofit. This means any
profit it makes will go back into the
organization rather than to a private owner
Will I be able to produce a radio show on
Volunteers will be extremely important to
90.5 KBXE. In fact, they will be the
foundation of its programming!
Some volunteers may be interested in
producing music shows. Others may want to
produce public affairs segments, write
commentary, or help produce specialty
programs. 90.5 KBXE will provide free
training classes for new volunteers that
will teach them how to create professional
radio programs. There will also be plenty of
opportunities to volunteer off the air.
What kind of music will be on 90.5 KBXE?
Because it is planned that volunteers will
produce music programming for KBXE and KAXE
simultaneously, the music on 90.5 KBXE will
be similar to the music you hear now on 91.7
KAXE. That is, it will be a mix of folk,
rock, blues, jazz and world music that is
50% male/female. Each program is hand-made
by a volunteer from the community, who will
bring his or her special knowledge and
creativity to the airwaves.
KBXE will eventually create specialty
programs and share those with KAXE. It will
include many local musicians and musical
performances in its musical mix, and music
that is part of the cultural heritage and
cultural present of northern Minnesota.
Who's behind this project...Who's in
charge...Why is this happening?
Northern Community Radio (NCR) will own 90.5
KBXE's broadcast license on behalf of the
community. Northern Community Radio has
operated community radio station 91.7 KAXE
since 1976. NCR is an independent, nonprofit
membership organization headquartered in
Grand Rapids MN. Northern Community Radio
also operates Northern Community Internet
dot org, which consists of 18 websites for
individual communities in northern
Northern Community Internet is a place where
people can share their online content with
A ten-person board of directors governs
Northern Community Radio and establishes its
mission. Members elect four of the
directors, and the board itself appoints six
more. You are considered a member of both
KAXE and KBXE if you join either one!
When 91.7 KAXE was founded it was one of the
original FM signals in northern Minnesota.
Its signal reached people in Bemidji and
beyond with little trouble. When more
stations started crowding the FM dial,
Northern Community Radio had to provide
KAXE's signal to the Bemidji area via a
250-watt translator (currently operating at
105.3 FM, located atop the Federal Building
in Bemidji). This worked fairly well - at
least within Bemidji city limits - for about
20 years. However, for a number of reasons
(including other stations crowding in, the
advent of HD radio, and the fact that 105.3
is in the commercial part of the radio
spectrum) it is getting harder to provide
KAXE's signal to the area.
Northern Community Radio procured a
construction permit for an entirely new
broadcast station in the summer of 2009,
from a community group that wanted to bring
a community radio signal to the Bemidji area
(Headwaters Unitarian Universalist
Fellowship - HUUF). HUUF transferred
the permit to Northern Community Radio
because they had confidence that the
organization could fulfill that purpose.
This was perfect for Northern Community
Radio too, because of the signal
difficulties it was having.
Northern Community Radio will provide
management and administrative support for
KBXE. It will provide experience, systems,
and resources that will help 90.5 KBXE
operate efficiently, legally, and
Will KBXE be affiliated with Minnesota
Public Radio (MPR)?
No, KBXE will not receive any money or
support from MPR. KBXE will be operated by
Northern Community Radio, which is totally
independent from MPR.
MPR is much larger than Northern Community
Radio. MPR is headquartered in St Paul and
operates almost 40 public radio stations
across the United States. In turn, American
Public Media Group (APMG) is the parent
organization that operates Minnesota Public
Radio, Southern California Public Radio, and
Classical South Florida, as well as American
Public Media, the Greenspring Company and
the Fitzgerald Theater. APMG also directly
operates the Pretty Good Goods Catalog, The
Lake Wobegon USA Store at the Mall of
America and Public Radio Market, an Amazon
dot com affiliate.
Northern Community Radio is locally owned
and operated by people in northern
Minnesota. It is a membership organization
that holds an annual meeting and allows its
members to vote and submit resolutions.
Northern Community Radio is a member of NPR,
National Public Radio. This membership
allows Northern Community Radio to pay dues
and purchase programming like Morning
Edition, Car Talk, World Cafe
and All Things Considered from NPR.
Minnesota Public Radio is also an NPR
member, just as Northern Community Radio is.
MPR pays NPR dues and purchases NPR
programs. Some members of Northern Community
Radio pledge money to MPR too. Money given
to either one of these organizations does
not support the other.
Will I get 90.5 KBXE on my radio where I
90.5 KBXE's signal will originate from a
500-foot tower near Shevlin. The primary
signal will probably encompass all of
Clearwater County, plus parts of Mahnomen,
Red Lake, Becker, Hubbard and Beltrami
Counties. Depending on terrain, conflicting
radio signals, the quality of your antenna
and the selectivity of your tuner, you may
be able to hear KBXE beyond the primary
If you live in certain areas (east of
Bemidji, for example) you may be able to
receive both KAXE and KBXE, but with a less
robust (fringe) signal.
Will KBXE be just like KAXE? What will the
programming be like?
People in the communities served by KBXE and
KAXE will co-create programming that will be
broadcast all across northern Minnesota
because shows created in either station's
studio can be broadcast on both stations.
Volunteers and staff at KBXE will originate
some special programs that grow out of the
culture of the Bemidji and Bagley area, and
those programs will be shared with KAXE.
What we hear on both stations will be better
because of this relationship, and because of
the influx of new volunteers and
communities! It will expand our sense
of the northern Minnesota region and our
understanding of its people, communities,
It takes a long time and a lot of input and
experimentation to make high quality radio
programs that will help build community. We
think KBXE will rely more heavily on KAXE
for programming at first, and will
contribute more programming of its own as
time goes on. It will grow its capacity and
its ability to develop new programs over a
period of months or years.
Like KAXE, 90.5 KBXE's programming will
reflect our community, our culture and the
natural environment. You will hear the
voices of your neighbors, local musicians
and artists, local events, businesses,
community groups and organizations, history
and humor. KBXE will be inclusive and
participatory, will provide companionship
and entertainment, and will help you learn
more about where you live.
In community meetings so far, people have
told us that they would like KBXE's
programming to include news and information
from National Public Radio. They would like
a morning show and other programs that
include information and people specific to
northwest and north central Minnesota. They
would like to hear live performances by
local artists on KBXE. They would like to
help produce programs that might be
broadcast simultaneously on both KBXE and
KAXE. They are interested in KBXE
possibly operating a live performance venue.
We will be gathering more input throughout
the process of building KBXE.
Where will KBXE's studios be?
Studios will be located in Bemidji
at 305 America Avenue NW, in space leased
from Harmony Natural Foods Cooperative,
adjacent to their new grocery.
Is there a deadline for building KBXE?
The station has to be on the air by March
Can I stop in for coffee?
Sure, but only after the station has walls,
an electrical outlet and a coffee pot.
Will KBXE have an official bird or an
Possibly, but that's up to the community!
Is it true that a KBXE bumper sticker will
add value to my car/truck?
Definitely. It will also add character to
your car, help hold your vehicle together
better than duct tape, and allows your car
or truck to hang out with likeminded
vehicles that also sport KBXE bumper
What can I do to help?
KBXE is a grassroots community project. You
can give time, money, input or all three!
Here are some helpful things you can do:
Help spread the word! Tell your friends
and neighbors about 90.5 KBXE.
Serve on a committee. You can help with
special events, publicity, technical
committees, building committee or
fundraising. More committees may be
developed in the future! Call
800/662-5799 or email email@example.com to
find out more.
give generously to the
capital campaign. You can pay your
pledge all at once or over as much as
three years' time! Call 800/662-5799 or
email firstname.lastname@example.org to find out more.
What will my contribution be used for?
We are conducting a capital campaign. If you
contribute to KBXE right now, your money
will be used to help build the station. The
campaign includes "brick and mortar,"
broadcasting and studio equipment, land for
a tower, transmitter building, fundraising
materials and expenses (your money will not
be used for the staff time Northern
Community Radio is contributing directly but
may be used for consultant fees), publicity
costs, events related to the campaign, legal
fees, license costs, contingency, and other
We believe the final cost of this project
will be around $1,000,000, but it may be
more or less depending on the results of
tower studies and final decisions about the
studios. Of this total, we hope to
raise about $250,000 from individuals,
businesses and special events. The rest will
come from federal sources and foundations.
How do I sign up?
Call 800/662-5799 (those are Northern
Community Radio's offices) or email