PRSS Announces 27 ‘Tornado Alley’ Public Radio Stations for CPB-Funded Metadata Project

Stations to expand emergency messaging on mobile, other digital platforms

April 2, 2018

WASHINGTON, D.C. (April 2, 2018) – The Public Radio Satellite System (PRSS) has announced the 27 public radio stations that are participating in a project aimed at helping them improve and expand their local emergency-messaging capabilities on mobile devices and other digital platforms. The project is being funded by a $419,000 grant from the Corporation for Public Broadcasting (CPB).

The stations, which are located across 10 Midwest, South Central, and Gulf Coast states, will be outfitted with the PRSS MetaPub delivery service. The goal of the project is to help stations generate locally produced tornado test alerts and to synchronize these alerts with their audio broadcasts. Stations involved in this initiative include:

  • KASU - Jonesboro, Arkansas    
  • KUAF - Fayetteville, Arkansas 
  • KUAR - Little Rock, Arkansas   
  • KUVO - Denver, Colorado         
  • KRCC - Colorado Springs, Colorado       
  • KUNC - Greeley, Colorado        
  • WOI - Ames, Iowa
  • WVIK - Rock Island, Illinois
  • KMUW - Wichita, Kansas
  • KANZ - Garden City, Kansas
  • KHCC - Hutchison, Kansas
  • WRKF - Baton Rouge, Louisiana
  • WWNO - New Orleans, Louisiana
  • KRVS - Lafayette, Louisiana
  • KDAQ - Shreveport, Louisiana
  • KCUR - Kansas City, Missouri
  • KWMU - St. Louis, Missouri
  • KSMU - Springfield, Missouri
  • KBIA - Columbia, Missouri
  • KUCV - Lincoln, Nebraska
  • KGOU - Norman, Oklahoma
  • KOSU - Stillwater, Oklahoma
  • KWGS - Tulsa, Oklahoma
  • KAMU - College Station, Texas
  • KPAC  - San Antonio, Texas
  • KTTZ - Lubbock, Texas          
  • KUHF - Houston, Texas

​As part of the CPB grant, the PRSS will ensure that all of these stations have the necessary hardware, software and training to enable the use of MetaPub, a system developed by NPR Distribution that allows local stations to issue text and graphic alerts synchronized with their over-the-air broadcast messages to be heard and seen on mobile phones, HD radios, “connected car” devices, Radio Data System (RDS) displays, and via online streaming.

“This is a particularly exciting project for us because not only does it continue our collaboration with CPB to improve emergency communications capabilities in the radio industry, it also lets us work with our stations to share and implement the MetaPub system,” said Michael Beach, Vice President of NPR Distribution, which manages the PRSS. “Our goal is to capitalize on the power of MetaPub’s use of metadata, and we are very thankful to CPB for continuing to work with us on making that happen.”

PRSS will also provide extensive engineering support and conduct quality-assurance tests. Participating stations will provide feedback about the installation and implementation of MetaPub and ways to improve usage that may help not only their communities but communities across the country.

“Public media provides essential information services to local communities, and this project aims to incorporate new and existing technologies to improve and expand stations’ emergency communications,” said CPB Vice President of Radio Erika Pulley-Hayes. “Integrating digital and broadcast technologies maximizes the potential to help save lives.”

Stations participating in the project have reported that listeners are already responding positively to metadata-enhanced broadcasts. One listener tweeted at KUCV in Lincoln, Nebraska: “Love having the programming info on the screen while I’m driving!”

“We at KUCV were very happy to participate in this project, as we are committed to keeping our listeners informed, enlightened and safe,” said Ling Ling Sun, Assistant General Manager of Technology Services at the station. “We’ve seen the potential of metadata to increase our audience and strengthen our relationship with them, and we’re looking forward to increasing our work with MetaPub with our broadcasts.”

To learn more about the PRSS’ MetaPub service, please visit

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About the PRSS
The Public Radio Satellite System (PRSS) is the distribution network through which thousands of hours of news, music, and specialized audience programming are delivered every year to public radio stations throughout the United States. Managed by NPR Distribution, the PRSS is a unique, cooperative enterprise. Each participating station is a stakeholder in the collective assets of, and services provided by, the satellite system. Interconnected stations own their own downlink and uplink equipment. The satellite transponder capacity as well as the national operating system equipment located in Washington are owned by the Public Radio Satellite Interconnection System Charitable Trust.

About CPB
The Corporation for Public Broadcasting (CPB), a private, nonprofit corporation created by Congress in 1967, is the steward of the federal government’s investment in public broadcasting. It helps support the operations of nearly 1,500 locally owned and operated public television and radio stations nationwide. CPB is also the largest single source of funding for research, technology and program development for public radio, television and related online services. For more information, visit, follow us on Twitter @CPBmedia, Facebook and LinkedIn, and subscribe for email updates.

NET is Nebraska's statewide public media service dedicated to creating opportunities for Nebraskans to engage with critical issues, compelling stories and quality entertainment. NET serves each of Nebraska’s 93 counties with 52,560 hours of programming each year on four television and two radio channels, plus online and mobile content. In addition to providing free, high-quality educational programming for children, NET provides programming in the arts, award-winning news and current affairs information and emergency alert services. For more information about NET, visit


For more information, contact:
Letitia King, CPB

Erich Shea, NPR / PRSS
​(202) 513-2620