What is public radio, and how is it different from commercial radio?

A: Commercial radio is made possible by commercials and public radio is made possible by you, the public. In the case of Southern California Public Radio, it is our mission to serve the public by strengthening the civic and cultural bonds that unite the diverse communities of Southern California, providing the highest quality news and information service through radio and other interactive media. Unlike commercial radio, we are a service-oriented nonprofit organization.

What is Southern California Public Radio (SCPR), and how is it related to 89.3 KPCC, 89.1 KUOR and 90.3 KVLA?

Southern California Public Radio (SCPR) is a California-based nonprofit organization that operates flagship station 89.3 KPCC, Pasadena as well as 89.1 KUOR, Redlands and 90.3 KVLA, Coachella. SCPR provides governance, management, and operational oversight for all three stations. Principal programming originates on KPCC and is repeated on KUOR and KVLA, extending SCPR service into the Inland Empire and the Coachella Valley/Palm Springs area.

Southern California Public Radio (SCPR) is an organization of American Public Media (APM). In addition to being SCPR's parent company, APM is also a national program provider and the non-profit support organization of Minnesota Public Radio (MPR). Although SCPR is organizationally related to APM, it is managed by a Southern California based management team and is governed by a separate board of trustees in Southern California.

SCPR broadcasts some national programming from APM, including Marketplace, Live from Here, and The Splendid Table. In addition, APM provides SCPR some administrative and technical support services.

What is the relationship between SCPR and KPCC?

Pasadena Area Community College District (PACCD), which operates Pasadena City College (PCC), owns the broadcast license for 89.3 KPCC, Pasadena. As owner of the license, PACCD has ultimate responsibility and control over KPCC.

SCPR manages, programs and operates KPCC under a long-term agreement with PACCD. This agreement has been in place since January 1, 2000. Prior to that date, the college operated KPCC as a mixed-format community radio station, providing a variety of news, music and entertainment programs, many produced by PCC students and community volunteers.

What is the relationship between SCPR and KUOR?

The University of Redlands owns the broadcast license for 89.1 KUOR, Redlands. As owner of the license, the university has ultimate responsibility and control over KUOR. SCPR manages, programs and operates KUOR under terms of an agreement with the University of Redlands. That agreement is similar to the one between SCPR and the Pasadena Area Community College District for operation of KPCC.

For many years, KUOR was a student-run station with mixed formats, then later served as a repeater for jazz station KLON, Long Beach (now KKJX). Since 2007 KUOR has been operated by SCPR.

What is the relationship between SCPR and KVLA?

SCPR owns the broadcast license of 90.3 KVLA, Coachella, which repeats the same programming broadcast on KPCC and KUOR.

What kind of programming does SCPR air on its stations?

KPCC is a full-time news and information service for Los Angeles and the surrounding region of Southern California. The program schedule mixes locally produced news and information programming along with syndicated programming from NPR, the BBC, APM PRI (Public Radio International), and other independent program providers.

The program schedule includes major news programs from NPR—Morning Edition, All Things Considered, and Weekend Edition—and public radio’s other signature programs, such as This American Life, Wait Wait…Don’t Tell Me!, Marketplace, Live from Here, etc.

KPCC’s rapidly growing local news department contributes regular reporting from throughout the area, including from bureaus in Orange County, the Inland Empire, Sacramento, and Washington, DC. KPCC produces a daily news magazine, Take Two, and a daily interview/call-in program, AirTalk with Larry Mantle. KPCC’s radio programming and other original content also appears on the web sites KPCC.org and LAist.com and is distributed on other digital platforms, including podcasts, by smart phone apps, etc.

Does KPCC play music? Can I send you my music?

Thank you for your interest. However, since our format is news and information, we do not play music, and are not accepting music submissions.

What is KPCC's relationship to National Public Radio (NPR)?

KPCC is an NPR member station. National Public Radio produces programs, which KPCC licenses and airs on our stations. KPCC is not organizationally related to NPR.

The NPR programming currently on our station includes Morning Edition, All Things Considered, Fresh Air, Wait Wait... Don't Tell Me!, and more.

Where can I listen to Southern California Public Radio?

89.3 KPCC-FM (Los Angeles and Orange County)
89.1 KUOR-FM (Riverside)
90.3 KVLA-FM (Coachella Valley)

You can also listen with a free app on your iPhone, as well as stream and podcast us anytime online.

Is Southern California Public Radio a nonprofit organization?

Yes, we are recognized by the Internal Revenue Service as a 501(c)(3).

As a nonprofit organization, how are you funded?

We receive a small amount of funding (6%) from the Corporation for Public Broadcasting, and we also receive funding from underwriters, but the greatest and most reliable source of funding comes from our members.

How can I work for KPCC or LAist?

KPCC and LAist are part of a larger family of public radio organizations, including Southern California Public Radio (SCPR), American Public Media (APM), and Minnesota Public Radio (MPR). Job openings for Southern California Public Radio are posted on the American Public Media Web site and are also listed in Los Angeles area newspapers and broadcasting trade publications. See job listings for all three organizations, and apply online


News and Programming

What is the call-in number for AirTalk?

866-893-5722 (toll free)

Does KPCC have a local newsroom?

Yes. We have a dedicated newsroom and reporters who have won over 200 awards for journalistic excellence.


Transmitters, Coverage, Reception, Etc.

Where are KPCC's transmitters located, and what is the coverage area?

KPCC's transmitter is located on Mt. Wilson, four miles north of Pasadena, CA. The FCC licenses KPCC to radiate 680 watts of power. This is a small amount of power when compared to other radio stations in the Los Angeles area. Presently, there is no possible way to increase KPCC's power without causing interference to other broadcasters in the Los Angeles area.

KPCC's coverage area includes Los Angeles and Orange counties with parts of Ventura, San Bernardino, and Riverside counties. Our repeater stations KUOR and KVLA cover Riverside and the Coachella Valley, respectively.

Why do I sometimes lose reception even when I'm within your coverage area?

Within the coverage area, reception problems usually are due to obstructions such as hills and valleys in the landscape.

Seasonal weather patterns, atmospheric abnormalities, and sunspots, hills and valleys as well as man-made interference will affect radio reception. For a good discussion on how weather affects radio reception please see this Web page.

If you live outside of KPCC's coverage area, there may be other radio stations from time to time interfering with your reception of KPCC as well.

How can I improve my reception?

To improve reception of KPCC inside a building, experiment by placing your radio and its antenna (usually the power cord) near a window that faces Mt. Wilson. Mt Wilson is four miles north of Pasadena, CA.

Additionally, some retailers sell powered FM antennae that might be useful to you. A general rule of thumb is 'the higher the antenna the better'. Remember that obstructions between Mt. Wilson and your receiver will likely cause reception problems. An external FM antenna may improve reception in those areas where KPCC's signal strength is weak.

Always be careful not to touch power lines and other hazards when installing an external antenna. KPCC recommends that you contract with a professional antenna installer for outside antenna installation.

Is KPCC available on my cable TV service or satellite TV network?

Some cable TV service providers offer KPCC in their program line-up. If your cable TV service provider in Southern California does not offer KPCC, ask them when they will offer KPCC in their program line-up. If you do listen to KPCC via cable TV, please let us know via our cable survey.


Web Site/Mobile Devices/Internet Services

Sometimes archived program audio and/or the live stream audio cuts in and out, and the player takes long pauses to buffer. Why does it do this?

Most likely, traffic on the Internet is heavy during the times you experience rebuffering and audio cutting in and out. When the heavy traffic times are over, the buffering problems should get better.

How can I subscribe to a program's podcast?

If you want to subscribe to a program, download some or all of the episodes of that program to your computer, and be able to listen to them on either your computer or on your smartphone, then podcasts are for you! Visit our Podcasts page for more information and to subscribe.

Do I need any special software installed to listen to podcasts?

You need an application that supports podcasting. We recommend Apple's iTunes for ease of use.


KPCC Membership

How important are Members?

Member support makes up the majority of funding for KPCC and LAist. Listeners like you provide the financial resources needed to broadcast and stream the local journalism and programs you value on KPCC. It is not an exaggeration when we say, YOU make KPCC possible!

I'm a Sustaining Member and I want to update my payment information. Where can I do that?

You can update your credit card right here. Or you can update your bank information by switching to  monthly giving from your bank account (which means more of your gift supports the programs you love) here.

As a Sustaining Member, does my membership automatically renew every year?

Yes. Sustaining Membership is an ongoing monthly membership that does not expire until you decide to change it. You can change or cancel your membership anytime.

I'm a Sustaining Member - Can I get a thank-you gift each year? 

Of course! Just contact us with the gift you’d like at membership@kpcc.org or 626-583-5121. 

How long will it take for my thank-you gift to arrive?

You should expect to receive your thank-you gift 6-8 weeks after making your contribution or requesting it from Member & Audience Services.

Is my gift to KPCC tax-deductible?

Absolutely! KPCC and LAist, Southern California Public Radio (SCPR), is a 501(c)(3) charitable organization, and our EIN / Federal Tax ID is: 95-4765734. We are a non-profit, public service, so your contribution to is tax-deductible after subtracting the value of any thank-you gifts you received this year.

Why should I become a Sustaining Member?

Sustaining Membership benefits both you and the station. It’s the most efficient and effective way to give, and it helps build a powerful base of support for KPCC, allowing us to better plan our programming for the future. It also helps KPCC reduce the time and money spent on administrative costs, so more of your donation can be spent on programming and news.

Why should I switch my sustaining membership to my bank account?

Giving via your bank account is the best way to give! It helps KPCC save on the $300,000 spent each year for debit and credit card processing fees, and it’s easier for you too! You never have to worry about updating your card when it changes. You can still adjust or cancel your sustaining membership at any time.

Is giving via bank account secure?

Yes! We take the security of your information very seriously. We use a secure payment processor and follow strict national guidelines (NACHA) for all autopayment services (just like those followed when you sign up for autopay for your utility bills.)  All bank details submitted to us are encrypted and replaced with a 17-digit code in our payment processor, so your actual bank number is never used or stored on our servers.

I already give on my debit card—is that the same as giving via bank account?

No, debit cards are actually processed the same way as credit cards, so we are still charged processing fees each time they’re charged. But if you switch to giving directly from your bank account, more of your donation can be used to fund the programming you value, not on administrative fees!

I just switched to giving via bank account. When will my first payment be taken out?

Thank you for making the switch! Please allow 4-6 weeks for your payment method to be updated to your bank account. Your donation will come out of your account on or around the 20th of each month, though it may be a few days earlier or later depending on your bank.

How do I change or cancel my membership?

Contact our Membership team at membership@kpcc.org or 626-583-5121. We're happy to help!

I’d like a record of my annual contributions for tax purposes. How do I request one?

At the end of each January,  we send all members an email with their end of the year tax summary.

I’d like to enter KPCC sweepstakes and giveaways. How do I do this if I’m already contributing monthly?

Sustaining Members are given access in advance to enter all our sweepstakes and giveaways! Just keep an eye out for an email from us before each Member Drive.

Become a Sustaining Member or call Membership at 626-583-5121.

Find out more about Planned Giving opportunities.