William Hugh Kling - Career

Career

The station, KSJR FM, went on the air in January, 1967, and was later spun off into a separate nonprofit community corporation, of which Kling was the founding president. Over the years, he helped lead the station to grow into a statewide network that now features a nationwide distribution arm and has an associated radio station in Pasadena, California.

Kling serves as President and CEO of American Public Media Group (APMG). APMG is the nonprofit parent support organization of Minnesota Public Radio (MPR), Southern California Public Radio (SCPR), and American Public Media (APM) and is the sole shareholder of the for-profit Greenspring Company. Kling also serves as CEO of MPR|APM and of Greenspring Company and Vice Chair of SCPR.

As president of MPR|APM, Kling is responsible for MPR’s three regional networks of thirty-eight public radio stations (serving 5 million people in the Minnesota region) and its national program production centers in Saint Paul and Los Angeles. American Public Media is the second largest national producer of public radio programming, following National Public Radio (NPR) in Washington. Southern California Public Radio, which Kling serves as Vice Chair, operates radio stations KPCC (Pasadena) and KUOR (Redlands) under public service operating agreements with their respective licensees. SCPR serves a population of 14 million people in the Los Angeles area. Greenspring, which Kling serves as president, is the parent company for Greenspring Media Group, a diversified regional and national magazine publishing and event management company. In 1998, Greenspring sold another subsidiary, Rivertown Trading Company, to the Target Corporation for $124 million.

Kling's tactics have come under fire as being predatory. MPR, for example, long sought to purchase rival classical-programming public radio station WCAL. It succeeded in 2004, eliminating a competitor for donor funds and switching the station's format to alternative rock.

On Sept. 10, 2010, Kling announced that he was retiring as president of APMG and MPR as of June 2011. He intends to lead a national fundraising effort to improve public media newsgathering.

The Minneapolis StarTribune, in an article on Kling's planned departure noted that he received $654,338 from APM in fiscal year 2009 -- "a tidy sum by nonprofit radio standards, and one that puts him on par with the chief executives of major Minnesota companies. Arctic Cat's CEO, for instance, made $566,157 last year."

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