Skip to main content

About Us

Pioneer PBS is an award-winning, viewer-supported public television station dedicated to sharing local stories of the region with the world. 


Pioneer PBS is a Non-Profit 501(c)(3) regional public television network in Minnesota, primarily serving the southwest and west-central portions of the state Minnesota, northwestern Iowa, eastern South Dakota, southwestern North Dakota and beyond. For more than 52 years, Pioneer PBS has served its rural audience through a mix of local and national programs rich in cultural heritage, diversity and educational opportunities. Pioneer PBS is currently based in Granite Falls, Minnesota. It's original operations, based in Western Minnesota: KWCM-Appleton, Minnesota, began in February of 1966, doing business as West Central Minnesota Educational Television Company. Now, operations also run in KSMN-Worthington and K08QE-D Fergus Falls together with Appleton and Granite Falls.

Our Shows

Our Mission

Pioneer PBS fosters civil discourse and improved quality of life through thought-provoking and inspiring media productions that connect people to rural stories and shared values. Pioneer PBS services and programs facilitate educational growth, support cultural opportunities and promote economic development for western Minnesota, eastern South Dakota, northern Iowa and beyond.

Our Vision

Our vision is to be a forward-thinking media and technology leader whose viewers are engaged and inspired to advance rural values of cooperation, resilience and innovation.

Our Values

Pioneer PBS is committed to the values of: 

  • Relevance,
  • Localism,
  • Family, 
  • Diversity and Inclusion, 
  • Equity, 
  • Forward-Thinking, 
  • Life-Long Learning, 
  • Independence 
  • and Quality


Our programming and services are focused on the needs of our viewers. We tell stories about our region and the richness of its people. We value family as a cornerstone of our work. We engage and tell the stories of the diverse rural region we serve. We believe in fairness and justice for all people. We aspire to provocative inspiration and technological innovation. We help viewers of all ages learn and grow. We strive to keep Pioneer PBS a balanced and independent media voice. We provide excellent programming of enduring value.

Our History

A Short History of Pioneer PBS | By Brendan Stermer | 1952 - 2014

The origins of public television in the United States can be traced to 1952, when the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) reserved 242 channels on the public spectrum for non-commercial, educational use. The first of these stations to launch in the upper Midwest was KTCA-TV, channel 2, which began broadcasting in St. Paul, MN in 1957. Soon after, KTCA officials developed plans for a six-state educational television (ETV) network to serve North Dakota, South Dakota, Nebraska, Minnesota, Iowa, and Wisconsin through a series of linked microwave towers. Appleton, in western Minnesota, was identified by the FCC as a logical location for a new link in this network because it was in the geographic center of an area not yet covered by an ETV signal and, once constructed, it could serve as a relay point to carry KTCA programming via microwave signal to other stations in the network. 

Contact Us

📍 1 Pioneer Drive
Granite Falls, MN | 56241

Regulatory reports image
Work with us image