How Can I Help?

How can I help?" was the first thing he asked me.

Now understand, I had never met John Wade. But the executive director of the Rochester Area Chamber of Commerce sought me out for a personal meeting shortly after I joined KSMQ-TV and I gladly accepted his invitation. His question came from the perspective of a seasoned business professional who understands the value that a PBS television station brings to a city and a region. He's also a fan of KSMQ, complimenting me on a recent "Off 90" segment he had viewed. ("Off 90" is our locally produced weekly arts and cultural heritage program.)

Mr. Wade suggested a few ideas regarding potential partnerships with businesses in the Rochester community, and encouraged us to meet for further idea sharing and dialog.

I left that meeting feeling engaged and excited about the possibilities.

Partnerships. Community involvement. Financial support. These are the kinds of goals that build success personally and for a region. And all of you, our forward-thinking friends of KSMQ-TV, need to help us in these ways as we move into the most challenging years since our corporate reorganization in 2005.

As is the case nationally, our membership numbers are dwindling due to population, and the business community is stretched financially. We, too, have had playfuddle difficulties, leading to several job losses last year. And yet, the work of television continues and our staff continues to produce outstanding, relevant content.

Sometimes I think that PBS is the last relevant television source on the dial. We must continue through our broadcasts, to honor, inform, and inspire. The viewers, here and across the country, know that our programming is top-notch. Just last month a national survey confirmed what many of us already knew: For the 12th year in a row, PBS was named the most trusted name in television. Our national and local programming is created thoughtfully and with the viewer in mind. As is our motto at KSMQ: we honor, we engage, we inspire.

These programs don't just happen.

Now I want you to know how much I appreciate all of you who have helped us by continuing your memberships, through good times and bad ones.
Call 866-859-7908 or click here to join.

Two weeks ago on Friday I received a phone call from a concert promoter, who also happened to be from Rochester: "Say, can you help us out?" A non-profit group was trying to bring a music concert to town and were looking for a partner who could quickly promote the concert on its airwaves. We said, "Absolutely." Our internal team quickly arranged an informational announcement, we recorded some on-camera inserts and we were able to help. "You're always there for us when we need a hand." A nice thing to hear, for this newcomer.

These are the kinds of things that KSMQ has done for 40 years. Bring people together. You don't necessarily see it on the airwaves but in so many ways, we help strengthen the cultural fabric of southern Minnesota and northern Iowa. It is vital that our region maintains a PBS television presence. I urge you to connect with us—financially and otherwise—so that we can celebrate another 40 years together.


KSMQ Public Television began in 1972 as an educational broadcast training facility that ran 90 minutes of programming a day. In 46 years, the station has blossomed into a professional television outlet that brings quality public broadcasting to over 655,000 households in our region. Last year we broadcasted nearly 33,000 hours of programming on four channels: KSMQ, MHz Worldview, Create, and the Minnesota Channel.

The continued support from our viewers makes KSMQ possible. We need you now more than ever. Become a member today and help us continue to provide quality programming for our region.

Click here to become a member!


Eric Olson – KSMQ President and CEO


KSMQ supports the public media code of integrity




Public broadcasters have adopted shared principles to strengthen the trust and integrity that communities expect of valued public service institutions.

Public media organizations contribute to a strong civil society and active community life, provide access to knowledge and culture, extend education, and offer varied viewpoints and sensibilities.

The freedom of public media professionals to make editorial decisions without undue influence is essential. It is rooted in America's commitment to free speech and a free press. It is reflected in the unique and critical media roles that federal, state, and local leaders have encouraged and respected across the years. It is affirmed by the courts.

Trust is equally fundamental. Public media organizations create and reinforce trust through rigorous, voluntary standards for the integrity of programming and services, fundraising, community interactions, and organizational governance.

These standards of integrity apply to all the content public media organizations produce and present, regardless of subject matter, including news, science, history, information, music, arts, and culture. These standards apply across all public media channels and platforms - broadcasting, online, social media, print, media devices, and in-person events. 

Public media, individually and collectively:

  • Contribute to communities' civic, educational, and cultural life by presenting a range of ideas and cultures and offering a robust forum for discussion and debate.
  • Commit to accuracy and integrity in the pursuit of facts about events, issues, and important matters that affect communities and people's lives.
  • Pursue fairness and responsiveness in content and services, with particular attention to reflecting diversity of demography, culture, and beliefs.
  • Aim for transparency in news gathering, reporting, and other content creation and share the reasons for important editorial and programming choices.
  • Protect the editorial process from the fact and appearance of undue influence, exercising care in seeking and accepting funds and setting careful boundaries between contributors and content creators.
  • Encourage understanding of fundraising operations and practices, acknowledge program sponsors, and disclose content-related terms of sponsor support.
  • Maintain respectful and accountable relationships with individual and organizational contributors.
  • Seek editorial partnerships and collaborations to enhance capacity, perspective, timeliness, and relevance and apply public media standards to these arrangements.
  • Expect employees to uphold public media's integrity in their personal as well as their professional lives, understanding that employee actions, even when "off the clock," affect trust, integrity, credibility, and impartiality.
  • Promote the common good, the public interest, and these commitments to integrity and trustworthiness in organizational governance, leadership, and management.

The Public Media Code of Integrity was developed by the Affinity Group Coalition and the Station Resource Group, collectively representing public television and radio stations and service organizations from across the country, with support from the Corporation for Public Broadcasting.

September 2013


KSMQ Public Television is governed by a citizen Board of Directors. The Board oversees the finances of the organization and certain operational functions. The Board does not make programming decisions. The Board of Directors currently meets six times each year. There are also smaller board committee meetings. All of these meetings are open to the public. Meetings are held at Riverland Community College, 1900 8th Ave. NW, Austin, Minn. Below is the 2018 meeting schedule.

KSMQ Channels

Channel 15 Dish Network, Direct TV, Jaguar or Antenna.
Channel 779 Charter.
Channel 8 Mankato Charter.
And Other local Cable Systems.

Cron Job Starts