|Owner||KUON: The University of Nebraska|
Others: Nebraska Educational Telecommunications Commission
First air date
|November 1, 1954 (television)|
October 10, 1989 (radio)
1965 (Statewide network launch)
Former call signs
Call sign meaning
|all stations, except University of Nebraska as Lincoln affiliate:|
2nd letter: see table below
|Facility ID||see table below|
|ERP||see table below|
|HAAT||see table below|
|Transmitter coordinates||see table below|
Nebraska Public Media, formerly Nebraska Educational Telecommunications (NET), is a state network of public radio and television stations in the U.S. state of Nebraska. It is operated by the Nebraska Educational Telecommunications Commission (NETC). The television stations are all members of the Public Broadcasting Service (PBS), while the radio stations are members of National Public Radio (NPR).
The network is headquartered in the Terry M. Carpenter & Jack G. McBride Nebraska Public Media Center which is located at 1800 North 33rd Street on the East campus of the University of Nebraska in Lincoln, and has a satellite studio in Omaha.
Nebraska was one of the first states in the nation to begin the groundwork for educational broadcasting. The University of Nebraska successfully applied to have channel 18 in Lincoln allocated for educational use in 1951.
Meanwhile, broadcasting pioneer John Fetzer purchased Lincoln's two commercial TV stations, KOLN-TV (channel 12) in August 1953 and KFOR-TV (channel 10) in February 1954. In order to avoid running afoul of Federal Communications Commission (FCC) ownership regulations and to create a commercial broadcast monopoly for himself in the Lincoln market, Fetzer moved KOLN from its sign-on channel 12 to KFOR's channel 10 and offered to donate the channel 12 license to UNL. Since this would allow UNL to use more signal at less cost, the school quickly jumped at this proposal. KUON-TV went on the air on November 1, 1954, from KOLN-TV's studios, where the stations had to take turns using studio space; when KOLN was live, KUON had to broadcast a film, and vice versa. The station joined the nascent National Educational Television network (which had begun operations in May) upon its sign-on. It was operated in trust for UNL until 1956, when the FCC granted the channel 12 license to the school's Board of Regents. In 1957, KUON moved to its own studios in the Temple Building on the UNL campus. In 1960, the Nebraska Council for Educational Television was created by six school districts in Nebraska. By 1961, five VHF and three UHF channels were allocated for educational use in Nebraska—the largest set ever approved for educational use in a single state. In 1963, the state legislature, per a committee's recommendation, approved plans for a statewide educational television network under the control of the Nebraska Educational Television Commission. A deal was quickly reached in which Lincoln's KUON-TV would remain under UNL's ownership, but serve as the new state network's flagship.
In 1965, KLNE-TV in Lexington became the first station in the new state network, followed a month later (October 1965) by KYNE-TV at channel 26 in Omaha. The state network grew quickly; six stations signed on from 1966 to 1968 to complete the state network. It began a full seven-day schedule in 1969. The Nebraska Educational Telecommunications Center opened in 1972; it is named for Carpenter, a state senator who introduced legislation in 1969 to fund the center, and McBride, NET's founding general manager and leader for 43 years. (The KLNE-TV and KLNE-FM transmission tower () is on the site of the World War II prisoner-of-war camp, Camp Atlanta, near Holdrege, Nebraska.) National Educational Television would be absorbed into the Public Broadcasting Service (PBS) in October 1970, and KUON-TV joined the new network.
In 1974, Nebraska ETV adopted a new logo – a red stylized abstract "N" formed from two trapezoids. A year later, NBC unveiled the same logo that Nebraska ETV was using, but for the blue coloring of the right trapezoid in the NBC logo. The commission sued NBC for trademark infringement in February 1976, a suit which generated national attention. In an out-of-court settlement, Nebraska ETV agreed to allow NBC to keep its logo. In return, NBC donated a color mobile unit and other equipment totaling over $800,000. It also paid the commission an additional $55,000 for the costs of rolling out a new logo and eliminating the old logo from all advertising; Nebraska ETV's new logo was unveiled in late 1976.
A CPB study, Study of School Use of Television and Video, found Reading Rainbow (a co-production of NET and Buffalo, New York's WNED-TV until 2006) to be the most used and viewed children's television program in America during the 1990–1991 school year.
Since 1974, NET has operated a studio in Omaha, on the campus of the University of Nebraska–Omaha. It is primarily used when KYNE breaks off from the state network to broadcast programming of specific interest to the Omaha market.
In January 2005, Nebraska ETV and Nebraska Public Radio were united under a single name, Nebraska Educational Telecommunications.
In May 2021, NET changed its name to Nebraska Public Media to more accurately represent the organization's entire impact.
The Educational Television Commission had its mission broadened to radio in 1984, but it was 1989 before it could begin the groundwork for building a statewide public radio network. For many years, there were only two NPR members in the entire state—Omaha's KIOS and Lincoln's KUCV, which had signed on in 1974. In 1989, however, UNL bought KUCV from Union College. KUCV officially relaunched from its new studios on October 10, 1989. In 2001, KUCV moved from 90.9 FM (where it had been since its sign-on) to 91.1.
In 1990, the commission opened stations in Alliance, Lexington, Columbus, Norfolk, and Hastings. North Platte, Bassett, Merriman, and Chadron followed in 1991. The entire Nebraska Public Radio Network (NPRN) was formally dedicated on October 8 in a special ceremony, broadcast live on NPRN and NETV.
The Nebraska Educational Telecommunications Facilities Corporation was established to facilitate lease/purchase of the GTE SpaceNet 3 transponder.
Nebraska Public Media consists of nine full-power TV stations that make up the network; all stations have callsigns beginning with the letter K, as licensed by the Federal Communications Commission (FCC), and ending in NE (the postal abbreviation for Nebraska) except "UON" (University of Nebraska) for the Lincoln station. Combined, they reach almost all of Nebraska, as well as parts of Colorado, Iowa, Kansas, Missouri, South Dakota, and Wyoming. Eight of the stations are owned by the NETC. Flagship station KUON is owned by the University of Nebraska, but is operated by the Commission through a long-standing agreement between the Commission and NU.
|Station||City of license||Facility ID||ERP||HAAT||Call sign
|Transmitter coordinates||First air date||Public license information|
|KTNE-TV||Alliance||13 (13)||47996||27 kW||466 m (1,529 ft)||Television Nebraska||September 7, 1966||Public file|
|KMNE-TV||Bassett||7 (7)||47981||27 kW||453 m (1,486 ft)||Middle Nebraska||September 1, 1967||Public file|
|KHNE-TV||Hastings||29 (28)||47987||200 kW||366 m (1,201 ft)||Hastings, Nebraska||November 18, 1968||Public file|
|KLNE-TV||Lexington||3 (26)||47975||375 kW||331 m (1,086 ft)||Lexington, Nebraska||[a]||September 6, 1965||Public file|
|KUON-TV||Lincoln||12 (12)||66589||75 kW||253 m (830 ft)||University of Nebraska||November 1, 1954[b]||Public file|
|KRNE-TV||Merriman||12 (12)||47971||75 kW||322 m (1,056 ft)||Merriman, Nebraska||December 9, 1968||Public file|
|KXNE-TV||Norfolk||19 (19)||47995||475 kW||253.2 m (831 ft)||Across Nebraska||November 10, 1967||Public file|
|KPNE-TV||North Platte||9 (9)||47973||85 kW||334 m (1,096 ft)||North Platte, Nebraska||September 12, 1966||Public file|
|KYNE-TV[c]||Omaha||26 (17)||47974||21.5 kW||283.6 m (930 ft)||Your Nebraska||October 19, 1965||Public file|
Nebraska Public Media operates 15 translators to widen its coverage area. Nine directly repeat KUON, four repeat KXNE and one repeats KMNE.
|Station||City of license||Channel||Parent station||Facility ID|
Nebraska Public Media is available on nearly all cable systems in Nebraska. Selected cable systems in northern Kansas carry Hastings' KHNE in addition to Smoky Hills PBS; these counties are part of the Hastings/Kearney side of the Lincoln/Hastings/Kearney media market. Additionally, Omaha's KYNE is carried on most cable systems in southwestern Iowa.
On satellite, KUON, KYNE, KPNE, KXNE, and KTNE are carried on the local Lincoln, Omaha, North Platte, Sioux City, and Cheyenne, Wyoming Dish Network feeds, respectively. KTNE is the sole PBS station available to satellite viewers in the Cheyenne market, due to FCC regulations that prohibit Wyoming PBS to be seen in that market, since KWYP-TV in Laramie is located in the Denver television market. KHNE, KYNE, and KXNE are available on the Lincoln, Omaha, and Sioux City DirecTV feeds, respectively.
The digital signals of Nebraska Public Media's stations are multiplexed:
|xx.1||1080i||16:9||NE-PBS||Main Nebraska Public Media programming / PBS|
|xx.5||NE-FNX||First Nations Experience|
During 2009, in the lead-up to the analog-to-digital television transition that would ultimately occur in 2009, Nebraska Public Media shut down the analog transmitters of its stations on a staggered basis. Listed below are the dates each analog transmitter ceased operations as well as their post-transition channel allocations:
Nebraska Public Media's radio stations are governed by the NET Commission and the NET Foundation for Radio Board. It consists of all NPR member stations in the state except for KIOS in Omaha; that station is operated by the Omaha Public Schools. Programming consists of classical music and NPR news and talk.
There are nine full-power stations in the state network:
|KUCV||91.1 FM||Lincoln (flagship)||100,000||210 meters (690 ft)||Union College (original owner) Voice|
|KCNE-FM||91.9 FM||Chadron||8,400||103 meters (338 ft)||Chadron, Nebraska|
|KHNE-FM||89.1 FM||Hastings||68,000||329 meters (1,079 ft)||Hastings, Nebraska|
|KLNE-FM||88.7 FM||Lexington||65,000||296.8 meters (974 ft)||Lexington, Nebraska|
|KMNE-FM||90.3 FM||Bassett||100,000||402 meters (1,319 ft)||Middle Nebraska|
|KPNE-FM||91.7 FM||North Platte||88,000||288 meters (945 ft)||North Platte, Nbraska|
|KRNE-FM||91.5 FM||Merriman||100,000||294 meters (965 ft)||Merriman, Nebraska|
|KTNE-FM||91.1 FM||Alliance||100,000||404 meters (1,325 ft)||Towards Nebraska|
|KXNE-FM||89.3 FM||Norfolk||45,000||300 meters (980 ft)||Across Nebraska|
The state network also has five low-power repeater/translator signals.
|K205FP||88.9 FM||Falls City||KUCV|
K209FS went off the air in July 2023 due to the dismantling of its broadcast tower. NPM is seeking a new location for the translator but ultimately will replace it with a higher-power station, KUNE-FM.
Although Nebraska Public Media provides PBS programming, it also produces original programs, such as:
The Nebraska Public Media News team was led by News Director Dennis Kellogg until 2022. The news department produces regular "Signature Stories" for air on Nebraska Public Media's radio stations.