|Type||Public Radio Network|
|First air date||April 1979|
Wisconsin, Eastern Minnesota
and Northern Illinois
|Founded||Wisconsin Public Radio Association
|Owner||University of Wisconsin System & University of Wisconsin–Extension|
|Launch date||April 1921|
|Affiliation||National Public Radio|
Wisconsin Public Radio is a network of 31 radio stations in the state of Wisconsin. WPR's network is divided into two distinct analog services: the Ideas Network and the NPR News and Classical Network, and the "HD2 Classical Service" a digital-only, full-time classical music service.
The Ideas Network is devoted mostly to discussion and call-in shows, focusing on the state of Wisconsin and issues involving the state. The name of the network comes from the Wisconsin Idea concept associated with the UW System.
During the week, the Ideas Network airs locally-produced talk programming and National Public Radio's Talk of the Nation/Science Friday, throughout the daytime hours, while at night broadcasting repeats of the daytime talkshows, as well as WBUR's On Point, the CBC's As It Happens, and, overnight, the BBC World Service. On the weekend, it airs WPR-produced shows, such as Michael Feldman's Whad'Ya Know? and To the Best of Our Knowledge. Weekends also include NPR/PRI/APM entertainment programming such as Car Talk, Wait, Wait, Don't Tell Me and A Prairie Home Companion.
The HD2 Classical Network service is available through the HD Radio subchannel of the NPR News and Classical stations (and WHAD-HD2 for the Milwaukee market) and features music in HD Radio's CD-quality audio.
All three services are broadcast in real-time on the Internet through the Windows Media, Real, and streaming MP3 formats, with streaming WPR program archives available in Real. Downloadable versions of WPR shows in MP3 are available only to WPR members who have contributed to the network.
WPR's stations are licensed to several different organizations; most stations belong to either the University of Wisconsin System and are administered by the University of Wisconsin–Extension, or to the Wisconsin Educational Communications Board, a state agency. Other stations are affiliates, owned by local schools or colleges.
The network's headquarters are located on the Madison campus, but a substantial amount of programming originates from studios in Milwaukee, and all of the regional studios produce some local programming, such as the University of Wisconsin–Green Bay facilities producing programming in the Hmong language for weekend broadcast over Green Bay Ideas Network flagship WHID. Not all UW-owned stations are part of the network; some are student-run, and others, like WUWM, are independently-operated public stations. Two high school radio stations (one, WEPS, is located in the northwest Chicago suburb of Elgin, and its signal does not reach the Wisconsin state line) carry the network outside of school hours, while a station in Wausau is split-licensed with another non-commercial public radio operation.