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Editor’s Note: Encyclo has not been regularly updated since August 2014, so information posted here is likely to be out of date and may be no longer accurate. It’s best used as a snapshot of the media landscape at that point in time.

American Public Media is the second-largest producer and distributor of public radio in the United States, behind NPR, and the largest owner and operator of public radio stations.

APM, based in St. Paul, Minn., produces national programs including A Prairie Home Companion and Marketplace. The company owns and operates the statewide Minnesota Public Radio network and Los Angeles news station KPCC.

MPR is a network of 42 stations throughout Minnesota, beginning in 1967 as a single classical music station in Collegeville, Minn. It is the largest employer of local journalists in public media. The network formed APM as its parent company after taking over KPCC from Pasadena City College in 2000.

APM’s founder and previous chief executive, Bill Kling, has advocated for stations severing their ties to universities has called for the largest metro stations to hire 100 reporters starting mid-2011, at a total cost of $100 to $150 million.

In fall 2010, Kling announced he would retire after 45 years as MPR’s chief. Jon McTaggart succeeded Kling in July 2011.

Public Insight Network

Public Insight Network is a crowdsourcing tool for journalists created by Minnesota Public Radio in 2003. Members of the public are invited to share their expertise about particular subjects and volunteer as sources.

The database is shared with more than 40 partner organizations, including NPR, NPR stations, daily newspapers, and ProPublica, with plans to expand to 50 more newsrooms by 2012. MPR alone has accumulated some 100,000 sources so far.

In 2011, it acquired the crowdsourcing project Spot.us.

Public Insight Network was tested on a large scale in 2007, when a bridge collapsed in Minneapolis. MPR received numerous firsthand accounts and photos from people at the scene, which stations could use to help report stories while details were still emerging.

APM also owns and operates WKCP, a classical music station in Miami.

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Primary author: Andrew Phelps. Main text last updated: March 21, 2012.
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