theTICKER
Traverse City News and Events
Wednesday, April 23, 2014
Today's News
Share | RSS Feed  

Interlochen Public Radio Turns 50

June 21, 2013
Interlochen Public Radio Turns 50

Back in 1963, nobody in Traverse City had yet considered planting a vineyard, there was no Sleeping Bear Dunes National Lakeshore, and native American tribes still had no recognition by the federal government. But it was that year that Interlochen Arts Academy Founder Joseph Maddy had a dream to launch a radio station. And in July of that year, just after Interlochen became a year-round institution, WIAA went on the air. Now it’s called Interlochen Public Radio or IPR.

“As far back as 1958, Joseph Maddy planned a classical music FM station,” IPR General Manager Thom Paulson tells The Ticker. “Maddy was acting on his own. In July of ’63, there were maybe only five FM stations on the air in northern Michigan.”

WIAA launched with four full-time workers and one part-timer on weekends. It broadcast only eight hours a day, from 1:55 p.m. to 9:55 p.m. The station now airs 24 hours a day with seven full-time on-air staffers and one part-timer, according to Paulson, who marked his 37th year at IPR earlier this month. In addition to his GM gig, Paulson plays classical music on a Saturday morning show.

IPR’s classical music airs at 88.7 in Interlochen, 94.7 in TC, 88.5 in Mackinaw City and 109.4 in East Jordan/Charlevoix. The news broadcasts are at 91.5 in TC, 89.7 in Manistee and 90.1 in Harbor Springs.

In 1970, WIAA was one of the 90 charter members to form National Public Radio (NPR). “Most of those were college radio stations,” says Paulson. “We’re still one of a handful that are not college stations.” In 2000, the station added News Radio, greatly increasing its emphasis on news content.

Financing is one of IPR’s biggest challenges. It operates on a $1.4 million annual budget with about half of that coming from donations by listeners. About three times a year the station launches fundraising efforts and fans have been supportive, according to Paulson.

Starting July 1, IPR celebrates its birthday with “50 Years of Big Ideas,” a series of historic reports looking back at major events in the region over the past five decades. “These reports aren’t comprehensive,” explains news reporter Linda Stephan, who prepared the series. “They don’t cover every event during the past 50 years. We chose topics that had a major impact on the region and that made good radio.”

The series includes reports on:
• The founding of the Sleeping Bear Dunes National Lakeshore, a center of controversy.
• The Kalkaska Schools crisis of 1993 when the cash-strapped schools shut down mid-year.
• The Natural Resources Trust Fund and the unprecedented use of oil and gas royalties.
• Salmon planting and the growth of the sport fishing industry.
• Native American fishing rights and the federal recognition of area tribes.
• The planting of vineyards and the growth of winemaking in the region.
• The refurbishing of the State Theatre and its impact on downtown TC.

To learn more, visit ipr.interlochen.org.
 


Most Recent Comments

 
Lynn in TC on June 25, 2013 10:02am

Once again... opinion and personal attack. No substantive data, no hard facts, no measurable metrics, no neutral party objective assessment, and no civility, much less respect. Just more "This is what I THINK and therefore you (with whom I disagree) are an idiot. Sad. Thankfully this was NOT the methodology of Abraham Lincoln and Stephen Douglas.

C Lobdell on June 24, 2013 12:38pm

Sara, Ira and others, you actually have an intuitive clear view and thanks for doing so. So many times others are not willing to call out the saps such as Deb for what their true agenda is. NPR does that and I applaud their work through the years. Keep it going another 50 WIAA and IPR, good job!

Lynn in TC on June 24, 2013 10:31am

Wow. “Deb” offers both critical and supportive commentary, and rather than refuting her assertions with substantive facts, “Ira” and “Sara” instead resort to personal attack, speculating not only on “Deb’s” political leanings, but questioning the nature of her very existence. It has been my experience that people resort to personal attack only when their own position will not withstand healthy debate. I seriously doubt that NPR itself would have responded to “Deb” as its “defenders” have here.

Sara Mossberg on June 23, 2013 12:51pm

Deb: obviously the only thing fictional here is trying to justify your fictional existence for over 50 years! Interlochen Public Radio and NPR are synonymous with bringing us a very clear and inside view to things where other "news" organizations just make it up. Congratulations WIAA, IPR on your mile stone and the fine job you do!

Ira G on June 23, 2013 9:21am

Deb, you obviously have been living under a rock for quite some time..Come out into the fresh air..and crank that squeaky dial on your radio. IPR gives you a very balanced and inside view... They just report on the shenanigans of the area (very right leaning area at that)and some great introspective entertaining talk and shows. When you don't like what you hear.. well, there ya go, look about you and ask why! Have a nice teaparty tinfoil hat wearing day Deb.

Deb on June 21, 2013 10:20am

NPR's news programming has an unabashedly left slant but if you know that going in , it's a pleasant way to find out what the enemedia is up to( with the exception of Diane Rhem) . I do like the weekend programming and am a huge fan of Ira Glass, the Tappet Bros, Garrison Keillor , et al.. It's purely coincidental but this is also my 50th anniversary of paying federal income tax and subsidizing this. Oh well, I've spent that much on other sources of fictional entertainment, I suppose.

Kathy Mead on June 21, 2013 9:54am

Interlochen Public Radio is a breath of fresh, Northern Michigan air every time I turn it on... for music or for news. I really appreciate their focus on stories relevant to our region. Thank you for this story as IPR celebrates 50 years of quality programing.

Chris MacInnes on June 21, 2013 6:55am

IPR is a jewel that enhances the quality of life in northern Mi. Thank you and happy birthday!

Local Resources
Classifieds

Classifieds

Real Estate

Real Estate

Obituaries

Obituaries

Marriages

Marriages

New Businesses

New Businesses

 
More News
Your Preview of a Crowded 104th Race
Your Preview of a Crowded 104th Race
Break-In at Toys R Us
Break-In at Toys R Us
72nd Rotary Show Opens Tonight
72nd Rotary Show Opens Tonight
Try Curling This Saturday
Try Curling This Saturday
New Looks, Brands for Downtown Traverse City Bars
New Looks, Brands for Downtown Traverse City Bars
Feds Sue Sugar Loaf's Polselli for $5.1M in Taxes
Feds Sue Sugar Loaf's Polselli for $5.1M in Taxes
City Moves Forward on Madison, Garland
City Moves Forward on Madison, Garland
Brian Regan, Judy Collins Coming to Opera House
Brian Regan, Judy Collins Coming to Opera House
your ad here