Frequently asked questions about the FCC Spectrum Auction
Q: What is the “FCC Spectrum Auction?”
A: The Spectrum Auction was designed to clear valuable UHF frequency for future use by the broadband telecom industry. Many broadcast television channels held a portion of this spectrum for decades, including KRCB Channel 22. In order to clear the spectrum, the FCC designed an auction process to compensate stations that were willing to give up this spectrum completely, or move to another portion of the spectrum.
Q: Why did Northern California Public Media decide to participate in the auction?
A: In order to protect the mission of providing educational, informational and cultural telecommunication services in partnership with our community, the Northern California Public Media Board of Directors strategically decided to participate in the auction. A successful outcome in the spectrum auction would provide a permanent foundation of financial stability for Northern California Public Media and comes at a time when the value and importance of local, non-commercial media is essential.
Q: Aren’t the airwaves public property? Why is the government auctioning them off?
A: Radio frequency spectrum is a natural resource and Congress has given the FCC the responsibility to manage it in the best interest of the American public. In a law passed by Congress called "The Middle Class Tax Relief and Job Creation Act of 2012," the FCC was given the authority to conduct the spectrum auction in order to better manage and allocate the available spectrum, as a result of the nation's increased demand for wireless communication.
Q: I watch Northern California Public Media TV stations on cable/satellite. Will this transition affect my service?
A: No, we don’t expect an interruption of service. You’ll still be able to enjoy KRCB and KPJK programming.
Q: I watch Northern California Public Media over-the-air with an antenna. Will over the-air reception be affected? If so, when will this change occur?
A: Depending on your location, over- the-air signal reception may vary as we make technical changes as a result of the Spectrum Auction. Because of the complexities involved with these transitions, which will be completed by early 2019, it is too soon to know if viewers using an antenna to receive KRCB TV over-the-air might be affected. If you would like to sign up to be on an email list about the status of the transition please CLICK HERE TO CONTACT US and mention that you want added to the Broadcast Signal Update list.
Q: Will KRCB’s TV channel number change?
A: We do not anticipate a change in our channel number when tuning your television or finding us on cable or satellite. You may need to re-scan your local channels if you receive us over-the-air once the transition is complete.
Q: How will Northern California Public Media use the proceeds of the spectrum auction?
A: A portion of the funds will be dedicated to make the necessary and expensive technological shift to a new position in the spectrum and to maintain as much of our existing coverage area as possible. With the balance of the funds, the station will establish an endowment, the interest from which will allow Northern California Public Media to weather difficult times in a fast-changing technological landscape, and will help with operational costs in the coming decades. The service we provide to the community will still continue to rely heavily on project funding and individual viewer membership for the creation and presentation of educational documentaries, literacy and early childhood educational media, as well as arts and culture programming.
Q: Will some of the auction proceeds go to Northern California Public Media's FM station?
A: We anticipate that certain equipment upgrades will be made to help modernize radio operations. These upgrades will be gradual and no timetable is available at this time. If you have questions about the status of improvements to KRCB’s FM operations CLICK HERE TO CONTACT US.
Other Frequently asked questions about Northern California Public Media
Where is Northern California Public Media located?
The station’s headquarters and studios are in Rohnert Park, California, at 5850 Labath Ave. The microwave communications tower on our site is visible from Highway 101 and the surrounding areas.
Television is transmitted from a site on Sonoma Mountain. Radio is transmitted from Geyser Peak. In addition, radio has a translator in Santa Rosa.
What if I am having a problem with the Closed Captioning?
If you have a question or comment about closed captioning on Northern California Public Media television channels or the norcalpublicmedia.org website, use the contact information below to get in touch with us.
Northern California Public Media Immediate Captioning Concerns:
5850 Labath Avenue
Rohnert Park, CA 94928
Phone: 707 584 2034
Fax: 707 585 1363
Northern California Public Media General Captioning Concerns:
5850 Labath Avenue
Rohnert Park, CA 94928
Phone: 707 584 2017
Fax: 707 585 1363
norcalpublicmedia.org Online Captioning Concerns:
5850 Labath Avenue
Rohnert Park, CA 94928
Phone: 707 584 2017
Fax: 707 585 1363
Northern California Public Media Closed Captioning Quality Certification
All local programming produced by Northern California Public Media and broadcast on our channels complies with the closed captioning requirements established by the Federal Communications Commission as embodied in 47 C.F.R. § 79.1, including regulations concerning closed captioning quality. Programming provided by KRCB complies with these regulations by either: (i) satisfying the caption quality standards set forth in 47 C.F.R. § 79.1(j)(2); (ii) adopting and following the “Video Programmer Best Practices” set forth in 47 C.F.R. § 79.1(k)(1); or (iii) being subject to one or more of the captioning exemptions set forth in 47 C.F.R. § 79.1(d), including programming for which the audio is in a language other than English or Spanish and that is not scripted programming that can be captioned using the “electronic news room” technique; interstitial material, promotional announcements, and public service announcements that are 10 minutes or less in duration; and/or programming that consists primarily of non-vocal music.
Northern California Public Media presents programs from a variety of sources. These organizations, and others, provide closed captioning certification for the the programs they present to KRCB.
Public Broadcasting Service
American Public Television
National Educational Telecommunications Association
Mhz Worldview Channel
Who runs the station?
Rural California Broadcasting Corporation, as a nonprofit organization, has a Board of Directors.
Nancy Dobbs is the President and CEO.
How long has Northern California Public Media been on the air?
KRCB TV in the North Bay began broadcasting on December 2, 1984. KRCB FM Radio 91 began broadcasting on September 5, 1994. KPJK TV in the South Bay began broadcasting on July 31, 2018.
What do the call letters stand for of your channels?
The K is the Federal Communications Commission designation that we are broadcasting west of the Mississippi River. RCB stands for Rural California Broadcasting Corporation; the nonprofit organization that owns the Northern California Public Media broadcast licenses. Rural California Broadcasting Corporation received its nonprofit status on January 17, 1981. PJK is a series of letters to honor the founder of Northern California Public Media, Professor John Kramer.
What does the television station broadcast?
KRCB TV in the North Bay is a member of the Public Broadcasting Service (PBS). Programming on the station includes well-known PBS shows such as Nova, Masterpiece Theatre, NewsHour, and Frontline, and well-known PBS kids programming such as Sesame Street, Daniel Tiger's Neighborhood, and Clifford the Big Red Dog. KRCB also carries cooking shows, craft shows, British comedies, nature, and science shows.
Digital channels, other than our primary HD broadcast signal on 22.1, include 22.2 Create and 22.3 NHK World Japan.
KPJK TV in the South Bay is a member of the MHz Worldview channel (MHz). Programming on the station includes international dramas and documentaries, many in foreign languages with subtitles. Shows include the original Wallander from Sweden, Detective Montalbano from Italy, and Magellan from France. The channel also carries lifestyle program, science programs, nature and children's programming.
Digital channels, other than our primary HD broadcast signal on 60.1, include 60.2 France 24, 60.3 NHK World Japan, 60.4 MHz Worldview 24/7, and 60.5 Jazz TV KCSM Radio 91.
Northern California Public Media has a commitment to locally and independently produced programming. Such programs are available throughout the schedule and include Natural Heroes, Rebels with a Cause, Bay Area Bountiful, Democracy Now!, and Health Connections. Northern California Public Media also provides live and up-to-the-minute local, state and national election coverage, and has won a national award for its performing arts programming.
What does the radio station broadcast?
KRCB FM Radio 91 is a National Public Radio (NPR) member station and airs NPR programming such as Morning Edition and All Things Considered. During the day, 9am-3pm, KRCB broadcasts Roots-Americana and Folk Music, as well some talk radio programming and eclectic musical presentations. The evening and weekend programming showcases Roots-Americana, Sonoma County singer-songwriters, and an array of folk and acoustic music. Local essayists, food writers, film reviewers, and poets all contribute to Radio 91’s eclectic mix. Public affairs programming includes the OutBeat Radio News, the California Update, the North Bay Report and Sonoma Spotlight daily.
Does Northern California Public Media produce any local programming? KRCB Radio, KRCB TV and KPJK TV produce many hours of local programming each year under the mission statement of “Telling Our Stories, Connecting Our Communities”. Among the local television series we produce are Health Connections and Bay Area Bountiful, as well as the news special series about fire recovery, "The New Normal."
Natural Heroes is Northern California Public Media's award-winning series of independently produced films that share a common theme: people who are actively making a positive difference for our environment. This nationally distributed series has been honored with eight Emmy™ awards, three Telly™ awards and an Insight award. Natural Heroes has aired on Public Television stations all across the United States, Puerto Rico, and into Canada, reaching an estimated 90 million viewers. Viewable online anytime at www.naturalheroestv.com
KRCB Radio 91 aims to reflect the cultural life of the community and as such, it features largely local programming, from broadcasts of North Bay Songwriters a weekly program about the music scene in the region, to Outbeat Radio, a weekly program focused on LGBTQ issues. It also emphasizes literary programming with A Novel Idea, Sonoma County’s very own on-air book club. KRCB’s Bay Area Bountiful Radio gives the public insight into agricultural and environmental events and activities, as well as keeping people up to date on the many Farmer's Markets in our region.
What is the station’s broadcast area?
In a combination of broadcast range and cable distribution, KRCB TV in the North Bay can be seen as far north as Hopland in Mendocino County, east to include all of Napa County and parts of Solano and Contra Costa counties, and south to encompass San Francisco, South San Francisco, Daly City, and the East Bay through Oakland. KRCB Television 22 has a potential audience of 2.4 million people. Via satellite and cable systems, KRCB can be viewed throughout the entire Bay Area and beyond.
KPJK TV in the South Bay has an over the air reach that extends north to Santa Rosa and Windsor, east to the Stockton area, and south to Santa Cruz and Gilroy.
Radio 91 broadcasts to Northern and Western Sonoma Counties – and internationally on the web. It is also available throughout the Bay Area via Comcast Cable, and Satellite. The free digital app can be downloaded so you can listen to KRCB FM RADIO 91 anywhere in the world - for free!
On what channel are the Television channels located?
If you are receiving KRCB on an antenna, you will find us on UHF Channel 22, and digital channels 22-1, 22-2 and 22-3. If you are a subscriber to Comcast Cable, you will find us on Cable Channel 22 in Sonoma, Marin, Napa, San Francisco, and Contra Costa counties as well as the city of Oakland. If you are a satellite subscriber we are on DISH Satellite on channel 22 or 8233, and DirecTV on Channel 22. If you are a subscriber to AT&T U-Verse-TV, you will find KRCB on Channel 22 as well.
KPJK over the air can be found on UHF Channel 60, and digital channels 60-1, 60-2, 60-3, 60-4 and 60-5. If you are a subscriber to Comcast Cable, you will find us on Cable Channel 17 in the Bay Area. On Channel 43 on Direct TV, ATT Uverse, and Stanford Campus Cable. WAVE Cable places the channel on 21, and San Bruno Cable has the channel on 19.
Where can I find KRCB Radio 91?
KRCB radio can be found on 91.1FM and 90.9FM in Western and Northern Sonoma County.
Comcast Cable 961. Also through our free digital app, which can be downloaded for listening anywhere you are.
Why doesn’t radio have the same broadcast coverage as the television stations?
The FCC has licensed KRCB and KPJK Television and KRCB FM for different coverage areas.
Is KRCB Radio 91 available online?
Absolutely! Go to www.radio.krcb.org and visit our Podcast section, or stream Radio 91 by clicking on "Listen Live."
How many people are employed by Northern California Public Media?
The station employs 36 people, 16 of them full time.
What do they all do?
Even though the station runs “lean and mean,” it takes quite a few hands to see to all of the functions of the station, which includes engineering, programming, production, accounting and support services, archiving, membership, premium fulfillment, auction services, volunteer relations, underwriting, marketing and more.
In addition, volunteers provide a tremendous amount of support to the station. Some volunteers are “regulars,” and may have regular radio programs. Others show up to help with special events, such as television auctions, pledge drives and election night coverage, when there might be as many as 45 or 50 volunteers in the building helping out.
Why do you have to do those pledge drives?
One of the ways we are able to bring you the NPR/PBS favorites and the local programs you love is because of people like you whose membership constitutes one-third of our budget. We can only do so much by mail because the cost is prohibitive, so we use our airtime to show great programs and reach potential and returning members. Besides, there are some great performers and artists who you have a chance to see on pledge specials!
How do I “advertise” on your station?
We call it underwriting or program sponsorship and there are specific FCC guidelines on content. Underwriting can either be in the form of cash or a trade for goods or services. Contact Northern California Public Media for more information at (707) 584-2003.
What is the station’s budget?
The operating budget is roughly $2.5 million each year.
Where does the station’s funding come from?
California is one of only eight states that do not provide some sort of direct support for public broadcasting, so Northern California Public Media’s funding comes from a variety of other sources. Approximately one third of the budget comes from radio and television membership. One third of the budget comes from business support such as underwriting sales and auction donations. And one third of the funding comes in the form of grants from CPB and other sources.