The broadcasting education program that spawned KBEM was established at Minneapolis Vocational High School in the mid-1960s. The station signed on in 1970, carrying a widely varied checkerboard of programming. In 1983, it moved to new facilities in North High School as part of the District’s desegregation initiative and it continues to reside there today. Jazz music became the main programming focus in the mid-1980s and the station started to build a loyal and sizeable audience.
Today, Jazz88 is financially self-sufficient through listener donations, grants, partnerships, and business support, taking no cash subsidy from the school district. The Radio curriculum now teaches general professional and academic skills and media literacy through project-based work on and off the air. The majority of students involved with the Radio curriculum and school-year Jazz With Class program attend North High School, but students from all around the city participate as reporters for the School News segment, and as summer employees through the Step-Up program.
Mission: KBEM is Minneapolis Public Schools’ voice for education and jazz.
Vision: Expand our educational program while inspiring the support and participation of our listening audience.
As a licensed broadcaster, KBEM-FM is obliged to maintain a collection of documents relating to its lawful authority to operate and documenting its commitment to operate in the public interest, convenience, and necessity. Recent changes in regulations have moved this file from a physical form at the studios to a Web-based repository. The Online Public Inspection File for KBEM-FM can be found here.
The Board of Education, Special School District #1 is licensee of non-commercial FM Radio Station KBEMFM, Minneapolis, Minnesota. Board of Education, Special School District #1 operates the Minneapolis Public Schools and as such has since the station’s inception been an Equal Opportunity Employer (Exhibit A) who has followed a consistent outreach to the Minneapolis Community, providing broadcast opportunities and education to Minneapolis citizens. KBEM employed 9 full-time and 3 part-time employees in the reporting year. You can view the full 2020 report right here.
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Jazz88 broadcasts at 2,900 watts from 479 feet above average terrain, from a tower in Falcon Heights solidly serving the Twin Cities metropolitan area. View our coverage map. Out to the light blue circle, acceptable reception is possible on high-quality car radios and home stereos with outdoor antennas. Inside the red circle, most radios will receive us in most situations. Reception is highly dependent on the location and quality of the radio being used, local interference and terrain, building construction, and atmospheric conditions. Better results can generally be achieved by relocating the radio, reorienting its power cord, attaching an inexpensive wire dipole antenna, or connecting to an outdoor antenna (purpose-built or already in place for TV reception).