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BrandingPioneer PBS
Affiliations10.1: PBS
10.2: Create
10.3: Minnesota Channel
10.4: World
10.5: PBS Kids
OwnerWest Central Minnesota Educational TV Corp.
First air date
January 21, 1966 (57 years ago) (1966-01-21)
Former channel number(s)
10 (VHF, 1966–2009)
31 (UHF, 2009)
NET (via KTCA, 1966–1970)
Call sign meaning
West Central Minnesota
Technical information[1]
Licensing authority
Facility ID71549
ERP50 kW
HAAT381 m (1,250 ft)
Transmitter coordinates45°10′3″N 96°0′2″W / 45.16750°N 96.00056°W / 45.16750; -96.00056 (KWCM-TV)
Translator(s)See below
Public license information
Satellite station
Brandingsee KWCM-TV infobox
Affiliations20.1 PBS
20.2: Create
20.3: Minnesota Channel
20.4: World
20.5: PBS Kids
OwnerWest Central Minnesota Educational TV Corp.
First air date
February 3, 1997 (26 years ago) (1997-02-03)
Former call signs
KMSW (CP, 11/20/1995–12/8/1995)
Former channel number(s)
Analog: 20 (UHF, 1997–2009)
Call sign meaning
Southern Minnesota
Technical information[2]
Facility ID71558
ERP200 kW
HAAT290.1 m (952 ft)
Transmitter coordinates43°53′52″N 95°56′51″W / 43.89778°N 95.94750°W / 43.89778; -95.94750
Public license information

KWCM-TV (channel 10) is a PBS member television station in Appleton, Minnesota, United States, owned by the West Central Minnesota Educational TV Corp. KWCM-TV's studios are located on Pioneer Drive in Granite Falls, and its transmitter is located near Appleton.

KSMN (channel 20) in Worthington operates as a full-time satellite of KWCM-TV; this station's transmitter is located near Chandler, Minnesota. KSMN covers areas of southwestern Minnesota that receive a marginal to non-existent over-the-air signal from KWCM, although there is significant overlap between the two stations' contours otherwise. KSMN is a straight simulcast of KWCM; on-air references to KSMN are limited to Federal Communications Commission (FCC)-mandated hourly station identifications during programming. Aside from the transmitter, KSMN does not maintain any physical presence locally in Worthington.

The two stations are collectively branded as Pioneer PBS. Their combined signal can also be received in parts of Iowa, South Dakota and North Dakota. Several other translators carry the signal into other communities.


Logo used from mid-2000s until November 3, 2019

KWCM went on the air for the first time on February 7, 1966. In the early years, it repeated the signal of KTCA-TV in the Twin Cities. It adopted the Pioneer Public Television name in 1982, and added KSMN in 1997.

The station is available on the DirecTV and Dish Network feeds for the Twin Cities and Sioux Falls markets. Appleton is part of the Twin Cities market, while Worthington is in the Sioux Falls market. This gives Pioneer a potential audience of 4.8 million people in Minnesota, Iowa, South Dakota, North Dakota and Wisconsin. As of November 3, 2019, the station became Pioneer PBS due to PBS' overhaul.

Pioneer-produced shows[edit]

Some locally produced shows include Postcards, Prairie Sportsman, Funtime Polka, Your Legislators, Country Spires and programs produced with the University of Minnesota Morris, Prairie Yard and Garden, Academic Challenge, Echoes of Cry of the Marsh and Minnesota Rivers and Fields. Some of these shows have also been shown on the Minnesota Channel, a statewide network originated at KTCI-TV in the Twin Cities which carries local programs on Saturday and Sunday evenings.

Technical information[edit]


The stations' digital signals are multiplexed:

Channel Res. Aspect Short name Programming
10.1 20.1 8.1 720p 16:9 KWCM-HD KSMN-HD Main programming / PBS
10.2 20.2 8.2 480i Create Create
10.3 20.3 8.3 KWCM-MN KSMN-MN Minnesota Channel
10.4 20.4 8.4 KWCM-WD KSMN-WD World
10.5 20.5 8.5 PTVKids PBS Kids
10.6 20.6 8.6 PTVFNX First Nations Experience

Analog-to-digital conversion[edit]

KWCM-TV and KSMN shut down their analog transmitters on June 12, 2009.[3] KWCM-TV's digital signal relocated to VHF channel 10 from UHF channel 31, while KSMN's digital signal remained on its pre-transition UHF channel 15.


A network of digital translators in western Minnesota translates KWCM.

City of license Callsign Channel ERP HAAT Facility ID Transmitter coordinates Owner
Alexandria K27KN-D 27 1.1 kW 123 m (404 ft) 59645 45°55′59.0″N 95°26′51.0″W / 45.933056°N 95.447500°W / 45.933056; -95.447500 (K27KN-D) Selective TV
Fergus Falls K08QE-D 8 3 kW 202 m (663 ft) 71562 46°28′48.0″N 96°01′46.0″W / 46.480000°N 96.029444°W / 46.480000; -96.029444 (K08QE-D) West Central Minnesota Educational TV Corporation
Olivia K20JY-D 20 0.79 kW 87 m (285 ft) 55749 44°45′32.9″N 94°52′24.0″W / 44.759139°N 94.873333°W / 44.759139; -94.873333 (K20JY-D) Renville County TV Corporation
Willmar K22ND-D 22 0.7 kW 155 m (509 ft) 68708 45°09′58.0″N 95°02′38.0″W / 45.166111°N 95.043889°W / 45.166111; -95.043889 (K22ND-D) UHF TV, Inc.


  1. ^ "Facility Technical Data for KWCM-TV". Licensing and Management System. Federal Communications Commission.
  2. ^ "Facility Technical Data for KSMN". Licensing and Management System. Federal Communications Commission.
  3. ^

External links[edit]