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Document Type

Thesis - University Access Only

Award Date


Degree Name

Master of Science (MS)

Department / School


First Advisor

Richard W. Lee


A commercial radio station is a profit oriented business. A typical radio station in the 1980's can expect to earn approximately a 9.5% profit (Broadcasting, 1984). This compares with an average station profit of 33% in 1944 (Sterling, 1984). And, because a radio station is a business, radio managers and owners closely monitor the advertising support and listenership of their station. Radio formats, programs and personalities that are not accepted by the listening audience and by advertisers are not profitable. Because it is more difficult for a radio station to earn a profit today than it was 40 years ago, radio managers and owners must work harder to plan how their station can have high numbers of listeners, and solid advertising revenue. When radio managers and owners consider devoting a portion of the broadcast day to farm programming, they must also consider whether being a farm station will define their audience so narrowly that some listeners and advertisers go to other stations, or whether the farm programs will attract a special audience and more advertisers. One advantage farm stations have over non-farm stations is the ability to attract national farm advertising accounts. Further, farm radio stations affiliated with the National Association of Farm Broadcasters possibly earn a greater portion of their revenue from national farm advertisers. A major question confronting managers and owners in South Dakota is choosing the appropriate format and audience. If a station is to identify with the farm market, one of the most visible ways is to have a farm broadcaster and affiliate with the National Association of Farm Broadcasters. This affiliation then becomes a means for national ag advertisers to identify the station as one that serves the audience they want to reach. The effect of this identity on the well being of the station is important to the financial success of the station, and consequently to broadcasting in a rural state. The purpose of this study was to determine the role of farm broadcasters in South Dakota radio stations, as perceived by radio station general managers.

Library of Congress Subject Headings

Radio stations -- Economic aspects -- South Dakota
Radio broadcasters -- South Dakota
Radio in agriculture
Communication in agriculture



Number of Pages



South Dakota State University