Subscribe: Newsletters | Podcasts | RSS

What is American Public Media?
American Public Media is the largest owner and operator of public radio stations, including Minnesota Public Radio, Southern California Public Radio and Classical South Florida, also producing top programs reaching more than 17 million listeners weekly. American Public Media's award-winning portfolio of more than 20 nationally distributed programs and specials include A Prairie Home Companion®, Marketplace®, The Splendid Table®, On Being™, and Performance Today®. American Public Media is also the largest producer and distributor of classical music programming in the United States.

Learn more about who we are»

Source: Data are copyright Arbitron, Inc. Arbitron data are estimates only. Spring 2011/Fall 2011 average.

Why was American Public Media created?
Minnesota Public Radio, founded in 1967 with a single classical music radio station in Collegeville, Minn., quickly expanded into a regional broadcast network featuring news and classical music on stations around the state. Programs like A Prairie Home Companion® and Pipedreams® proved to succeed with audiences beyond state lines, so American Public Media was created in 2004 to change the way national programs are delivered to radio and to better serve stations, producers, funders, listeners and other partners.

Where is American Public Media located?
Headquartered in St. Paul, Minnesota, American Public Media has broadcast facilities in Los Angeles and Pasadena, California and Miami, Florida, plus bureaus in Boston, New York City, Washington, D.C., London and Shanghai.

What is the difference between American Public Media, National Public Radio and Public Radio International?
American Public Media, National Public Radio and Public Radio International are organizations that produce and/or distribute programming to public radio stations nationwide. They vary in structure and principal activities.

American Public Media is the nation's largest owner and operator of public radio stations and a premier producer and distributor of programming. It is responsible for programs such as A Prairie Home Companion®, Marketplace® and Performance Today®. Learn more about American Public Media's organizational structure»

National Public Radio operates a news department, produces Morning Edition® and All Things Considered® and other national programs, distributes a select number of public radio programs produced by member stations, is responsible for the public radio satellite system and represents the political interests of public radio nationally and in Washington, D.C. NPR is governed by a board elected by its member stations.

Public Radio International is principally a marketer and distributor of programming such as The World® and This American Life®, produced by stations and other independent producers. PRI is also involved in several production partnerships with the BBC and individual public radio stations. PRI is governed by an independent community-based board of directors.

What do we mean by "public radio system"?
There is no technical or legal definition for "public radio." There are approximately 2,500 non-commercial radio stations in the United States, but these include religious and school or community-based volunteer stations that are not included in "public radio" as it is commonly meant. Probably the best way to define the "public radio system" is to think of it as the universe of Corporation for Public Broadcasting-qualified stations, which consists of about 800 stations operated by 400 entities that receive financial support from CPB through Community Service Grants.

For the general public, "public radio" has become a de facto brand, and is typically used to describe stations with formats based primarily on the NPR newsmagazines Morning Edition® and All Things Considered® and a few other major public radio programs, such as Car Talk®, A Prairie Home Companion®, This American Life®, Marketplace®, etc.

Music stations, principally classical music, jazz and Triple-A (adult album alternative) formats, are also considered "public radio" whether their program schedules include NPR news or are purely music. For example, classical KUSC/Los Angeles and Triple-A WXPN/Philadelphia are commonly thought of as "public radio" by listeners, even though they do not carry any NPR news programming.

For many listeners, an important identifying trait for "public radio" is that these public radio stations ask their audiences—listeners and underwriters—for financial support.

How can I support American Public Media?
As a nonprofit, 501(c)(3) organization, American Public Media relies on contributed income from individuals, foundations and corporations. Contributors are American Public Media's most important source of financial support for our online news, music and cultural programming efforts.

There are many ways to support American Public Media, whether you are an individual or foundation looking to make a contribution or a corporation seeking opportunities to associate your company and products with American Public Media programs to our national audiences on the air or on the Web.

Find out more about how to support American Public Media»
Learn about underwriting opportunities with American Public Media»