Bill Kling/photo by Elizabeth Flores/Star Tribune

Bill Kling's unparalleled contributions to the state's airwaves is getting one of the biggest honors possible: A building with his name on it.

Minnesota Public Radio will rename its St. Paul headquarters and broadcast facilities the Kling Public Media Center on April 19. The decision to do so was actually made back in 2011, the year Kling retired from his post as CEO of both MPR and American Public Media, but the actual change was held off until now so that it coincided with MPR's 50th anniversary.

"“Our 50th anniversary is the perfect time to honor what Bill created and built. His entrepreneurial spirit and passion for public service continue to inspire us as we begin our next 50 years,” said Jon McTaggart, the current president and CEO of American Public Media Group. “What Bill has done – not just for Minnesota and MPR, but for public media audiences across the country – is unique and lasting. The creativity and innovation within the walls of the Kling Public Media Center will always be a living testament to what Bill began a half century ago.”

Kling built MPR into the largest network of public-radio stations in the country and a leading distributor of programs from a low-wattage station at St. John's University into the largest network of public-radio stations in the country and a leading distributor of programs, including "A Prairie Home Companion" and "Marketplace." In 2005, he launched the Current, an alternative-music station

The naming dedication will take place in private ceremony; new signage inside and outside the building will follow.

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