About Jazz88
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About Jazz88

About Jazz88

Recognized as the Twin Cities’ public radio voice for jazz and education, KBEM is a program of the Minneapolis Public Schools (MPS) Approximately 150 students annually participate in KBEM’s hands-on educational program, which focuses on all aspects of broadcasting and production. Students who develop their skills and select broadcasting experience can gain significant on-air time. The station is on-air 24/7 with 35 hours of student programming each week, with live professional announcers and pre-recorded, syndicated programming filling out the rest of the schedule. KBEM is the only station in the Twin Cities market which offers a jazz format and officially provides MN-DOT traffic reports.

While the station is owned and governed by MPS, the KBEM Advisory Board serves in an advisory capacity to the Minneapolis Board of Education and to the KBEM staff.

KBEM was initially established at Minneapolis Vocational High School in the 1960s. The station was moved to North High School in 1983 as a part of the District’s desegregation initiative and it continues to reside there today. The vast majority of KBEM students attend North High School.

Strategic Planning Process
Guided by an external consultant, the strategic planning process began in April of 2007 and was completed at the start of the 2007 – 2008 school year. The staff reviews progress toward achievement of the plan quarterly, and meets annually to update goals and strategies.

Mission, Vision and Values

Mission –  KBEM is Minneapolis Public School’s voice for education and jazz.

Vision – Expand our educational program while inspiring the support and participation of our listening audience.


  • Leadership: Anticipating important issues and developing sound solutions.
  • Innovation: Applying creative solutions to address important issues.
  • Excellence: Ensuring quality and customer satisfaction in all that we do.
  • Collaboration: Developing partnerships that add to our effectiveness, resources and perspective.
  • Inclusiveness: Valuing the diversity of all whom we serve.
  • Professionalism: Hiring, developing, retaining and recognizing an exceptional staff.
  • Stewardship: Earning and sustaining the trust of our members and partners through the effective management of our resources.
  • Continuous Learning: Embracing a culture of individual development, coaching and mentoring to create a powerful learning environment. 

Key Strategic Goals and Strategies 

  • Goal 1: Realize the educational potential of each student and increase involvement of students in MPS/Metro. Key Strategies:
    • Develop a student-centered culture   
    • Update classroom curriculum annually
    • Develop KBEM online curriculum
    • Increase participation and electronic submission of School News
    • Provide staff/students with essential materials to aid in research and development of jazz knowledge
  • Goal 2: Maximize KBEM’s effectiveness as a communications tool for the community. Key Strategies:
    • Partner with MPS Communications Department to promote district information
    • Partner with community news sources to connect with broader metro community
  • Goal 3: Develop strategic fund development plan for KBEM. Key Strategies:
    • Increase giving by individual donors
    • Support major giving effort
    • Utilize Fund Advisory Board
    • Increase effectiveness of membership drives
    • Utilize social networking sites like Facebook to promote Jazz88 and recruit potential funders

Key Business Fundamental Goals and Strategies

  • Goal 1: Continually integrate industry best practices into KBEM’s operations. Key Strategies:
    • Continue a welcoming environment
    • Increase staff accountability and communication
    • Provide career development support to all staff as needed
    • Recruit and train a pool of part-time announcers
    • Maintain equipment and evaluate new technologies to support goals of the station
  • Goal 2: Update KBEM programming philosophy to reflect new strategic goals, with emphasis on increasing listenership, fund development and promoting the unique art form of jazz. Key Strategies:
    •  Evaluate overall sound of the radio station
    • Create programming geared toward MPS teachers, staff, students and families
    • Promote and market the art form of jazz

This Strategic Planning Initiative Was Facilitated by:

Phyllis Saltzman, Principal
Saltzman Consulting
April – August 2007