KPCC (89.3 MHz FM) is a public radio station based in Pasadena, California. It is a member of National Public Radio, and is one of two full NPR members serving Southern California; Santa Monica-based KCRW is the other.
The station broadcasts at 600 watts, which on paper is relatively modest for a full NPR member on the FM band. However, it operates from the Mount Wilson transmitter, and thus boasts one of the widest coverage areas of any public radio station in Southern California, providing at least secondary coverage to all of Los Angeles and Orange counties. The station is listened to by approximately 600,000 listeners each week.
KPCC is operated by Southern California Public Radio (SCPR), a subsidiary of American Public Media Group. The station's broadcast license is registered to Pasadena City College. KPCC has three satellite stations and two translator frequencies: stations 89.1 FM KUOR in Redlands, 90.3 FM KVLA-FM in the Coachella Valley (Indio, California & Palm Springs) and 89.5 FM KJAI in Ojai, CA (previously KLFF (FM)), and translators 89.9 FM K210AD in Santa Barbara, California and 93.3 FM K227BX in Palm Springs. KUOR is licensed to the University of Redlands, while KVLA and KJAI are licensed to SCPR. The station originally broadcast from the campus of Pasadena City College in Pasadena. In February 2010, the station moved to a new 35,000-square-foot (3,300 m2) facility in a converted office building on Raymond Avenue in Pasadena named the Mohn Broadcast Center and Crawford Family Forum.
In addition to syndicated shows from National Public Radio, American Public Media, the British Broadcasting Corporation and Public Radio International networks, KPCC also produces several original programs, including Take Two, AirTalk, The Frame and Off-Ramp. The station also produces several regular shorter features, including The Loh Life and The Loh Down on Science.
KPCC currently airs four original programs: Take Two with Alex Cohen & A Martínez, AirTalk with Larry Mantle, The Frame with John Horn, and Off-Ramp with John Rabe. The programs The Madeleine Brand Show and Patt Morrison used to air but were replaced in 2012. The station also produces Sandra Tsing Loh's The Loh Down on Science, a 60-second science feature on weekdays, and The Loh Life on weekends, which features her commentary on various issues. Local news coverage is part of both Morning Edition and All Things Considered.
In addition to original and syndicated American public radio shows, KPCC also broadcasts programming from the BBC World Service.
- Alex Cohen - host, Take Two
- A Martinez - host, Take Two
- Sandra Tsing Loh - host, The Loh Life and The Loh Down on Science
- Steve Julian - host, Morning Edition
- Larry Mantle - host, AirTalk
- Hettie Lynne Hurtes - host, midday
- John Horn - host, The Frame
- Nick Roman - host, All Things Considered
- John Rabe - host, Off Ramp
KPCC originally broadcast from the campus of Pasadena City College in Pasadena, California. In 2010, SCPR opened a new $24.5-million broadcast facility in Pasadena. The $27 million facility also houses administrative staff that were formerly headquartered in Los Angeles.
Formerly, the station operated from an unspecified location in Orange County, from Downtown Los Angeles (at the Frank Stanton Studios), and on the PCC campus. Reporters are stationed in Orange County and in the Inland Empire in addition to being dispatched from the KPCC studio.
The station is operated by Southern California Public Radio, a group owned by American Public Media Group (the parent organization of Minnesota Public Radio); however the license remains in the hands of Pasadena City College. The station is usually identified as a "public service of Pasadena City College" at the top of each hour.
PCC's contract with American Public Media permits either side to terminate the arrangement after giving sufficient notice, APM with six months notice and PCC with five years notice after 2015 (effectively making it a 20-year contract with an unlimited option to renew). PCC gets on air recognition and funding for a broadcast internship program while APM controls the station and all the pledges, grants, and corporate underwriting revenues.
KPCC operates with three full powered satellite stations: 89.1 FM KUOR at the University of Redlands in Redlands, and 90.3 FM KVLA-FM in Palm Springs and the Coachella Valley & 89.5 KJAI Ventura County. KPCC reaches 600,000 listeners each week. KPCC broadcasts digitally with the HD Radio system. As of March 2016, it is carrying KCMP 89.3 "The Current", an alternative music station from Minnesota Public Radio, in addition to the main KPCC signal which is broadcast from remote-controlled transmitter facilities on Mt. Wilson.
The station originally went on the air in 1957 from the Pasadena City College campus as KPCS ("Pasadena City Schools," which operated the college before the advent of the state-controlled Pasadena Area Community College District) using the former KWKW-FM 250-watt transmitter and studio equipment, and a small antenna on the roof of the campus administration building that provided limited coverage. The station was operated by, and for, students studying broadcasting at the college. Since the APM takeover, PCC student participation has been reduced to internships supported by American Public Media.
KPCC's news department has become the most honored in Southern California among large radio stations. It won nine Golden Mike awards for news coverage in 2005.
- KPPC (defunct) — former Pasadena station.