WTIP Turns 25!
The North Shore’s first local radio station celebrates its 25th birthday this year. WTIP was conceived around a kitchen table by a small group of citizens with visions of a local radio station serving the local community. The first broadcast was Apr. 29, 1998; the first schedule consisted of a few hours of locally-produced programming a day, airing KUMD’s (Duluth) signal the rest of the day…and playing music from a CD changer overnight. The studios were housed in two small windowless rooms in the Arrowhead Center for the Arts.
Since then, WTIP has grown to become the trusted source for news, information, and entertainment for the North Shore, with a staff of 10, including two full-time news reporters, its own building, and a budget of $600,000+.The station now originates all programming locally with the help of nearly 50 volunteers, and listeners tune in from all over the world through WTIP’s stream.
WTIP has garnered numerous awards and recognition both inside and outside the industry, and has been called “the poster child for community radio.” In 2022, the station was chosen to be one of only six public media stations in the entire country for One Small Step, a project by StoryCorps to bring together people from different parts of the political spectrum for conversation. WTIP is part of the AMPERS network of 18 public radio stations across Minnesota, whose cooperative fundraising and program-sharing model has been part of WTIP’s ability to grow and thrive.
With over 1,300 members today, WTIP is an integral part of connecting people and building community along the North Shore.
The following WTIP History episodes celebrate 25 years of serving Minnesota’s arrowhead community by talking with community members who made the dream of community radio a reality.