Peter Payette

Executive Director

Peter Payette is the Executive Director of Interlochen Public Radio. He was previously the station's News Director. For many years, he hosted the weekly program Points North and has reported on a wide range of issues critical to the culture and economy of northern Michigan. His work has been featured on NPR, Michigan Radio, Bridge magazine and Edible Grande Traverse. He has taught journalism and radio production to students and adults at Interlochen Center for the Arts. He is also working on a book about the use of aquaculture to manage Great Lakes fisheries, particularly the use of salmon from the Pacific Ocean to create a sport fishery in the 1960s.

Peter has vacationed in Benzie County his entire life. His wife Sarah is his biggest fan. They have three children, Isabelle, Amelia and Emmet, and live happily in Traverse City's Kid's Creek Neighborhood. 

Many of his favorite stories are about obscure fish in the Great Lakes or the new arrivals changing the food web.  He also admires the people keeping the rock 'n' roll revolution alive in the woods of northern Michigan and enjoys any story that reconnects the past to the present.

Ways to Connect

Noelle Riley / Interlochen Public Radio

Commercial fishers say a package of bills that cleared the Michigan House of Representatives last week will put them out of business. The bills would classify lake trout, walleye and perch as game fish, eliminating the option for a commercial harvest.

Reporter Dan Wanschura interviews a Lake Michigan surfer in October.
Beth Price Photography

Help northern Michigan's public radio station tell better stories and do bold new work. Interlochen Public Radio is searching for a guest producer to come work with students, community producers and station reporters.

As part of Interlochen Center for the Arts, you'll be helping one of the premiere arts organizations in the world fully embrace audio storytelling.

Interlochen Public Radio is pleased to announce that listeners can now tune in to Classical IPR at WSRJ 105.5 FM. We are glad to bring back into many homes and cars the sounds that so many listeners find synonymous with life in northern Michigan.

We are broadcasting from WSRJ 105.5 FM as a temporary solution as we await weather conditions that will allow the repair of WIAA 88.7 FM. While we recognize that this additional broadcast will not restore service for all WIAA 88.7 FM listeners, it will allow most people in the Grand Traverse region to tune in to Classical IPR.

Interlochen Public Radio

Dear Classical IPR listeners,

As many of you know, 88.7 FM has unexpectedly stopped transmitting. We are sorry for the problem which was entirely unexpected at a site we rebuilt just two years ago. Since the transmission failed on the evening of December 16, we have been working hard to get the station back up and running. We identified the issue as a malfunction in our radio tower’s antenna array, which will need to be dismantled and rebuilt by a specialized crew. Unfortunately, snow and ice have made it unsafe for our crew to climb the tower to do this work, despite several attempts. 

Noelle Riley / Interlochen Public Radio


This week on Points North, we have inspiration for your New Year’s resolutions with stories about fresh starts and big life changes.



Golam Rabbani was a human rights lawyer until he was forced to flee Bangladesh for opposing the government. He and his family made their way to Traverse City by way of New York and Port Huron. 

Actor and international arts leader Eric Booth will be at Horizon Books in Traverse City on Tuesday, January 28 at 7 p.m. He’ll lead an open workshop on helping artists connect with audiences. 

Booth has acted on Broadway many times, taught at The Juilliard School and written seven books. He says most Americans feel like outsiders to the arts, and it is the artist’s responsibility to change that. He thinks everyone who works in the arts should have the same job title on their business cards: agent of artistic experience. 

Anne Strainchamps, host of the public radio show "To The Best Of Our Knowledge," has been asking interview subjects about their reading habits for years. She and the TTBOOK team have gathered the best of those conversations in "Bookmarks" a series of short stories of the books that have had a profound impact on writers and thinkers that you love.

Interlochen Public Radio is celebrating great books with the National Writers Series, Friends of Traverse Area District Library and Harbor Springs Festival of the Book. 

We want your help.

Jeff Smith

Interlochen Public Radio is proud to welcome Noelle Riley as our next news director. She brings a wealth of editorial experience, a passion for journalism and a strong sense of how to lead a newsroom. 

Formerly the editor of Craig Daily Press in Colorado, Riley led the newspaper to winning numerous awards including overall editorial excellence three times in four years. IPR’s executive director Peter Payette says her high aspirations are what public radio needs.

IPR’s community radio team needs more storytellers. Learn the basic skills for creating sound rich stories for public radio and podcasting this fall.

Peter Payette, executive director of Interlochen Public Radio, will offer three-hour crash courses in the basics of sound recording and editing. This workshop is a first step toward becoming part of Red Pine Radio, a group of community members who craft their own radio stories about life in northern Michigan.

Peter Payette / I

Fruit growers in northern Michigan are having a tough time with all the rain this year, because that moisture helps fungus and bacteria thrive.

Peter Payette / Interlochen Public Radio

Fruit growers in northern Michigan are battling crop diseases this summer caused by heavy rain and humidity.

Dan Wanschura

Interlochen Public Radio is proud to announce that Amanda Sewell will step into the role of Music Director, leading the growth and development of Interlochen Center for the Arts’ unique music service, Classical IPR. Amanda is a musicologist who received her Ph.D. from the Indiana University Jacobs School of Music. She became involved with Interlochen in 2015 writing program notes for concerts. She volunteered at IPR helping with the music library and was later hired to host music live on air.

Speak up for IPR!

Mar 11, 2019

IPR connects northern Michigan and the world with news, music, ideas and conversations. If you are a sustaining supporter you provide essential support for these services and now is your chance to say why and encourage others to become sustainers.

Here is the information that should be in your quick clip, 30 seconds or less:

Beginning in March, IPR will connect listeners more fully to global events by airing “BBC Newshour.” The BBC is one of the largest news organizations in the world with correspondents around the globe.

Interlochen Public Radio had $1.6 million of total revenue during fiscal year 2018, which ended on May 31, 2018. Support for our public radio services came from the following sources:


$905,000 - Listener Gifts

$278,000 - Business Sponsorships

$270,000 - Corporation for Public Broadcasting (CPB)

Sam Corden

Ontario wants to allow hunters to shoot double-crested cormorants. The idea is welcomed by sport anglers who think the fish-eating birds are destructive in the Great Lakes. The proposal from the Ministry of Natural Resources also claims the birds are a threat to commercial fishing.

Dan Wanschura

Republicans fared well across northern Michigan yesterday, while Democratic efforts to mobilize voters mainly paid off in Traverse City.

The GOP tightened its grip on two seats that have been the most likely to be competitive in recent elections.

In the vast 1st Congressional District, incumbent Republican Jack Bergman won with a slightly larger percentage of the overall vote than he took in 2016.

Sam Corden

There are renewed calls to kill cormorants in the Great Lakes. There are far fewer of these migratory birds left in the region after years of lethal control. But anglers and some congressmen say there are still too many and they eat too many fish. Conflict with these waterbirds is longstanding in coastal communtities where fishing is important and the birds nest by the hundreds or even thousands.

In 2004, there were almost 1,800 double-crested cormorant nests on Goose Island, a strip of land in northern Lake Huron about 500 feet wide and less than a mile long.

Peter Payette will address the annual meeting of the League of Women Voters Leelanau County on Wednesday, May 23 at 7 p.m. He'll talk about the challenge of preserving quality journalism. The event at The Homestead resort is open to the public.

James Wrona Photography

NPR Ombudsman Elizabeth Jensen will speak in Traverse City at a joint event presented by IPR and the International Affairs Forum. The free event, “Ethics and Transparency in Today’s Media,” will be Thursday, April 5, at 
7 p.m. in Milliken Auditorium.

New shows are coming to Interlochen Public Radio this week, starting with “Live Wire” at 7 p.m. Saturday on IPR News Radio. It’s an eclectic gathering of creative types devoted to the idea that artists are “critically important to the world.” The show is hosted by Luke Burbank, a regular guest on “Wait, Wait, Don’t Tell Me.”

Other new shows on IPR News Radio include:

U.S. Coast Guard

Join Jerry Dennis and Peter Payette in Frankfort to remember one of the most dramatic conservation stories in the history of the Great Lakes. They'll be at the Garden Theater on Saturday, September 23rd. That was the day, 50 years ago, when seven men drowned in the frenzy to catch some of the first coho salmon put into the lakes.

Sam Corden

On the wall at Shirley’s in the Woods Cafe is an old tourist map of eastern Kalkaska County. Shirley Tracey says she bought it years before she owned her restaurant in Bear Lake.

International Affairs Forum-Traverse City

Dexter Filkins is a fearless truth teller and one of the premier combat correspondents of his generation. After spending a decade reporting from the front lines in Afghanistan and Iraq, Filkins penned "The Forever War" a definitive account of America’s conflicts and a searing exploration of its human costs.  Filkins spoke with Bob Giles, former Curator of the Nieman Foundation of Journalism at Harvard University.

Filkins spoke in Milliken Auditorium, on the campus of Northwestern Michigan College.