KCPT is a 501(c) 3 organization.
Many KCPT productions and most national PBS programs are available for purchase. Please visit our online store for ordering information and pricing. PBS videos are available online at Shop PBS (ordering through the Shop PBS web site supports KCPT) or by phone through PBS (1-877-PBS-SHOP) or VideoFinders (1-800-343-4727).
It is a violation of copyright laws for KCPT to make a copy or “dub” of a PBS program for you.
KCPT values your comments and concerns, so we have a policy that all e-mails, letters and phone calls will generally receive an answer within several business days. When we evaluate a program, our viewers’ opinions do carry a great deal of weight. So, if you loved a show, please let us know. Likewise, if you disliked a program, it is also very important that you let us know why. Because your comments may impact our future decisions about programs, we encourage you to send Viewer Services your thoughts via email ([email protected]), by phone (816) 756-3580 or by mail (125 East 31st Street, Kansas City, MO 64108).
KCPT does not have any impact on the creation or content of national PBS programs. So, in some cases, it is more appropriate to direct your comments and questions to PBS or the shows’ producers. If you disagree with a show’s concept, information or ideas, the best way to voice your concern is to go straight to the source by contacting the show’s creators or using the feedback system on the PBS Web site. To reach PBS, click here.
If you have questions about KCPT’s local productions (Ruckus, Kansas City Week in Review, or Rare Visions & Roadside Revelations), you may want to consider visiting the Local Programs part of the Web site.
There are a number of reasons that KCPT may choose to broadcast a program at a different time than what is published for the national PBS schedule. One of the most basic reasons is simply that PBS schedules are based on the Eastern time zone, whereas the KCPT service area is on Central time. So some KCPT programs air here in the Kansas City region one hour behind the PBS broadcast.
Many of the other reasons for broadcast differences are all based on the fact that KCPT is a PBS member station, not an affiliate network station like ABC, CBS, Fox, NBC, WB, or UPN. Some differences are obvious, like the fact that we do not have commercials. However, what many people do not realize is that PBS is not a network at all, but rather a television service. Networks pay their affiliate stations to carry national programming and therefore require that they run the shows at the same time everywhere. Alternatively, PBS stations pay for PBS programming, and since the individual stations own the broadcast rights, they have more autonomy in scheduling.
Some PBS material, called common carriage, is carried by all stations. Examples of common carriage programs are Frontline and PBS NewsHour. PBS and various public television producers do provide an abundance of material to stations, but the majority of member stations choose to broadcast a vibrant mix of local and regional programs rather than a schedule filled with 100 percent national shows. KCPT, like most stations, also chooses to time-shift some national programs (either by hour or by day) in order to create the best schedule we can for the Kansas City region.
Other programs that PBS offers are completely optional and do not fall into common carriage. For these shows, KCPT may broadcast some on the same day as the national schedule, but others we may record and save for a later broadcast, or not show them at all. The reasons for these decisions vary, but all are based on careful review of the show and how it might be received in the Kansas City market.
Eighty-four cents of every dollar KCPT needs to operate comes from individuals and corporations right here in Kansas City. So, membership drives are one of the many fundraising tools we use to turn viewers into members of KCPT. All of us at KCPT understand how you feel about membership drives. We conduct them approximately four times per year but because they interfere with our regular programming, we understand that it does “feel” like they happen more often than that. We have been exploring less disruptive methods to boost membership, but at this time our largest percentage of individual new members is generated from the drives. This makes them a very necessary, but sometimes frustrating, practice for our viewers.
During membership drives we do broadcast a number of the programs several times. We do this so that we can generate the most new members possible during the drive. The replay of highly successful membership programs is called “Members’ Choice,” because more members donate during those programs than any other. Typically only six percent of KCPT’s viewing audience is tuned into a particular show at any given time, which means that an encore presentation of a membership show is still “new” to the remaining 94 percent of our audience.
Each day there are hundreds of programs available to us for broadcast on KCPT. From children’s programming to national PBS prime-time shows, we carefully consider each program or series for its relevance and value to the Kansas City regional audience. Many programs in our prime-time hours are a part of the PBS common carriage lineup, which means that they are being carried on virtually every PBS station all over the country. Others, such as “how-to” shows or children’s programs, vary in broadcast days and times from station to station. In fact, there are so many programs available to us from various public television sources we could never show them all. Therefore, we must pick and choose. When making program selections, our two highest priorities are local KCPT productions and PBS common carriage programming. Any other program selection is discretionary, so we make determinations by carefully weighing the various aspects of the following criteria: subject matter, production quality, journalistic or artistic integrity, community value, audience appeal, local relevance, viewer feedback and cultural significance.
The region that KCPT serves is very diverse, and we believe it is part of public television’s mission to speak to that diversity with a program lineup that spans a broad range of opinions and experiences. Occasionally we broadcast a show with a select appeal even though some viewers may disagree with the content. Programs that foster an understanding of an opposing point of view can help create a local community dialogue. Regardless of the occasional disagreement with a show, our hope is that most of the time you are able to find programs on KCPT that brighten your life in some way—through a new emotion, a new idea or a new way of looking at things.
KCPT purchases the broadcast rights for all the programs we air. Each program’s individual “rights” dictate to us how many times we can air a program in a given window of time. The average rights period is for four times over three or four years, although it could be much shorter or longer. At the end of that time period, KCPT can no longer legally broadcast the program. Occasionally, old programs will be available again so additional rights can be bought.
As a non-commercial television station, financial support from individuals makes up almost half of every dollar we spend, so every dollar you contribute counts. Contrary to popular belief, about 90 cents of every dollar KCPT spends is generated in the Kansas City region from corporations, foundations and people just like you. In other words, only about 10 cents per dollar comes from government funding, and none of it comes from the cable companies. The advantage for viewers is that KCPT is truly a community station that is committed to the concerns and preferences of our region. Here are some important reasons to support KCPT:
There are lots of ways to become a member: online, on the phone (816-756-3580) or via mail.
Please send your ideas and your contact information to:
125 East 31st Street
Kansas City, MO 64108
If you would like the materials returned to you, please include a self-addressed, stamped envelope.
Also see our web site section Producing for KCPT.
KCPT is happy to offer group tours of the broadcast facility for both adult and children’s groups on the first Monday of the month between the hours of 1pm – 5pm. We are unable to make exceptions to the time and date of tours at this time.
Contact: Sandy Woodson
Group Size: At least six (6) and no more than twenty-five (25) (one (1) adult for every ten (10) children)
Age Limit: No younger than six (6) years of age
Time Length: Approximately 30 minutes
Tour Leaders must provide the following:
You will be contacted when your tour is booked. We’re looking forward to having you tour our facilities and learn more about KCPT.
Please note: All tours are subject to cancellation due to studio scheduling. We will make every effort to give you 24 hours notice of cancellations.
125 East 31st Street
Kansas City, MO 64108
You can send mail to PBS headquarters at the following address:
Public Broadcasting Service
2100 Crystal Drive
Arlington, VA 22202
In general, all programs broadcast on KCPT have a one-year allowance for classroom/educational usage. However, it is always best to double check before taping or using a program for a broad audience. For local KCPT productions, please contact Viewer Services (816.756.3580), for national PBS programs, please consult PBS TeacherSource for copyright guidelines.
You can receive digital signals by attaching a set-top digital tuner box to your regular television. The box, available wherever TVs are sold, attaches to your TV set like a DVD player. Regular (analog) televisions will not pick up digital signals without a set-top digital tuner box. Newer digital television sets come with the digital tuner box already installed. Other digital televisions, like high definition (HDTV) sets, pick up the better picture quality of KCPT’s digital signal, but not the extra channels unless a set-top digital tuner box is installed.
It sounds as though you’re hearing the Descriptive Video Service (DVS) option made available to audiences who are blind or visually impaired. You can turn this feature off and on fairly easily.
Most newer-model TVs with stereophonic sound systems are able to receive a Second Audio Program (SAP) which provides enriched verbal descriptions of what is heard and seen on a TV’s primary audio and video channels. Most TVs and VCRs require you to select the SAP channel in order to receive and record DVS. The selector is usually labeled SAP, MTS, Audio 2, or Audio B on your TV panel, remote-control device, or on-screen menu. Un-selecting the SAP channel should eliminate the DVS option.
From the South & West:
I-35 North to exit 234A, Turn right at the exit and move to the left two lanes to enable a left hand turn at the first light, Southwest Boulevard. Turn left and move to the right hand lane preparing for a turn at the first light, 31st St. Proceed East uphill, crossing Broadway and Main, approximately 1 mile. (*) KCPT is on the right hand side of the street below the orange KCMO tower, one block east of Main Street.
Parking is located in front of the KCPT building, and in parking lots across 31st Street off Grand.
From the North, East and I-70 West:
Proceed to I-35 South and take the first exit after the viaduct, Broadway/27th Street.
Proceed South (uphill) on Broadway to the first light, 31st. Street. Turn left toward Main Street and continue as above. (*)
Where is the KCPT transmitter located?
Our transmitter is located in Independence, Missouri.
Current job openings are located on our website.
Call Sandy Woodson at 816-756-3580 or Donna Collene at extension 4230.
Call Sandy Woodson at 816-756-3580.
We don’t offer transcripts for our locally produced programs, but DVD copies are available for a cost of $19.95. PBS NewsHour does offer transcripts (call 703-998-2170) as does Nightly Business Report (305-949-8321).
Our Membership Department can research this for you. Email Becky at [email protected] for more information.
Contact Rhonda Johnston at 816-756-3580 ext. 4262, or email her at [email protected], or submit your contact information through the Volunteer online form to discuss volunteer opportunities at your favorite Public TV Station!
Please email [email protected] describing your problem, including how you receive television – cable, over the air, dish. Be sure to re-scan your channels as that is usually the problem.
Learn more about underwriting opportunities on KCPT.
KCPT generally does not have the capacity to air Public Service Announcements. The website does not have a community calendar.