Billings, Montana Media Guide

Introduction to Billings’ Media Landscape

Billings is Montana’s largest city, serving as a hub for business, healthcare, education, and culture in the region. With a population of about 110,000 in the metro area, Billings offers a diverse array of media outlets and sources to keep residents connected and informed.

The city has a long history with print journalism, being home to the state’s largest newspaper, The Billings Gazette. Broadcast options include several radio stations and network affiliate television channels. Billings also has a growing sphere of new media, including local blogs, podcasts, and social media groups catering to various interests.

This guide will give an overview of the major media players spanning print, broadcast, and digital sources that make up the Billings media landscape.

Print Media

The Billings Gazette

Print media has a strong foothold in Billings, led by its long-running daily newspaper.

Overview

The Billings Gazette is Montana’s largest newspaper by circulation. Published daily, The Gazette covers news, sports, business, arts, entertainment, and lifestyle content related to Billings and the surrounding region.

As the state’s oldest operating print publication dating back to 1885, The Billings Gazette has chronicled and informed generations of Montana readers. While adapting its business model to the digital age, the print edition remains popular for its in-depth local reporting and editorial voice.

Key Features

  • Daily print newspaper published since 1885
  • Average weekday circulation of approx. 36,500
  • HQ and printing facilities located in Billings
  • Overseen by Lee Enterprises publishing group
  • Subscription print and e-Edition options
  • Top sections: Local News, Sports, Business, Opinion, Arts

The Gazette faces print competition mainly from weekly newspapers and rural dailies while dominating the daily news market in south-central Montana’s populated corridors.

Alternative Publications

Several monthly, bi-weekly and weekly print publications offer alternative editorial perspectives or niche coverage:

  • Billings Outpost – Free bi-weekly print and online paper focused on arts and culture.
  • Magic City Magazine – Monthly lifestyle publication centered around Billings.
  • Billings Business Report – Monthly business magazine covering local commerce news.
  • Yellowstone Valley Woman – Bi-monthly lifestyle mag for area women.
  • La Puerta – Monthly bilingual (English and Spanish) newspaper.
  • The Eagle’s Eye – Newspaper of local Rocky Mountain College.
  • Kermie’s Krib – Print and online weekly focused on outdoors and hunting/fishing.

Broadcast Media

Billings has a variety of broadcast media, mainly accessed through terrestrial radio stations, regional network TV affiliates, and an online NPR affiliate.

Radio Stations

Radio remains a popular broadcast medium in the region. Billings has over 20 AM/FM stations on the dial offering news, talk, sports, and an array of musical formats. Well-known national broadcasters mix with Montana-based groups:

StationOwnerFormat
KURL 730 AMAudacyNews/Talk/Sports
KCTR 102.9 FMNPR / Yellowstone Public RadioNPR / Public Radio
KRKX 95.1 FMCumulus MediaClassic Rock
KMHK 103.7 FMAudacyContemporary Hit Radio
KBBZ 99.5 FMCherry Creek RadioCountry Music

Notable Radio Groups

  • Cherry Creek Radio – Locally owned operator of 7 stations in Billings and surrounding towns. Mix of music and talk formats.
  • Audacy – Major national broadcasting company owning 4 Billings stations.
  • NPR – Local Yellowstone Public Radio station KCTR carrying national and local NPR programming.
  • Other national chains – Townsquare Media and Cumulus Media each own multiple music driven FM stations.

Television Stations

Billings has affiliates of all major broadcast television networks:

NetworkLocal AffiliateOwner
NBCKULR Channel 8Cowles Company
CBSKTVQ Channel 2Scripps Media
ABCKOUS Channel 4Evening Telegram Company
FoxKHMT Channel 12Nexstar Media Group
PBSKUSM Channel 9Montana State University

These stations produce local newscasts along with broadcasting national content. Residents also access cable/satellite TV services, though local options remain limited.

Digital & Social Media

While print and broadcast maintain relevance, Billings media consumption increasingly happens online via news websites, blogs, video, social media, and apps.

News & Culture Websites

  • Billings Gazette – billingsgazette.com – Website affiliated with print newspaper
  • KTVQ News – ktvq.com – Local coverage from CBS affiliate
  • Last Best News – lastbestnews.com – Independent digital news site with local focus
  • Magic City Magazine – magiccitymagazine.com – Expanded content from monthly print pub
  • Billings 365 – billings365.com – Arts, entertainment and lifestyle stories

Blogs

Billings blogs provide independent reporting, commentary, and niche topics:

  • Montana Mint – Food, dining and libations
  • Absaroka Arrow – Fly fishing and outdoors
  • City of Billings Blog – Civic developments
  • Downtown Billings Alliance – News for downtown businesses and organizations

Video & Podcasts

Online video and audio formats relay local happenings:

  • SWMT.TV – Streaming platform highlighting people, places in southcentral Montana
  • Headwaters Podcast – Series focused on community, creativity and culture in Billings
  • One Big Sky Podcast – Regional stories and interviews

Forums & Social Media

Digital community groups foster connection, discussion and sharing about life in Billings:

  • r/Billings – Billings subreddit with over 5k members
  • Billings Moms Blog – Connects local parents on Facebook
  • @DowntownBillings – Focused on downtown happenings via Instagram posts
  • Nextdoor – Private social network app linking local neighborhoods
  • Billings Foodies – Public Facebook group with 10k+ members discussing dining spots

Conclusion

From long-standing institutions like the Billings Gazette to emerging indie blogs, Billings enjoys diverse media that both shapes and reflects local identity. Print, broadcast and digital sources each provide value in keeping residents entertained, connected and empowered with information. The Billings media landscape evolves over time but maintains a core mission – creating an informed community.

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Directions

  • Start out going northwest on Main St toward N 28th St. Take the 1st right onto N 28th St. Turn right onto Grand Ave, then quickly turn left to merge onto I-90 W toward Sheridan. Follow I-90 W for approximately 70 miles, then take exit 442 for Blue Creek Rd toward Billings. Turn right onto Blue Creek Rd and the destination will be on your right after about 0.3 miles.
  • Head west on Main St toward N 29th St. Turn right onto N 29th St, followed by a slight left to merge onto I-90 W. Stay on I-90 W, driving for roughly 70 miles, before taking the Blue Creek Rd exit on the right. Take the ramp onto Blue Creek Rd and go straight for 0.3 miles until you arrive at 3910 Blue Creek Rd on your right.
  • Start by getting on I-90 W from Main St. Drive on the interstate for about 70 miles then take exit 442 to merge onto Blue Creek Rd. As soon as you exit, turn right to continue on Blue Creek Rd. 3910 Blue Creek Rd will be around 0.3 miles down the road on your right side. The travel time should be just over an hour from downtown Billings.