Frequently Asked Questions

General FAQ What is KBIA? Where are KBIA's offices? Can I hear KBIA outside of mid-Missouri? How can I get in touch with KBIA? How can I find out more about a program or piece of music I heard on KBIA? What affiliation does KBIA have with MU? What is KBIA's relationship to NPR? How do I donate money to KBIA? HD Radio FAQ What is HD Radio? Are there really "three KBIAs"? What else does HD Radio have to offer? Will I have to buy a new receiver? Can you recommend a new receiver? Is there a subscription fee? Who else is going digital? General FAQ What is KBIA? KBIA is a University of Missouri-licensed public radio station broadcasting out of Columbia, Missouri. KBIA has been a National Public Radio member station since joining the mid-Missouri airwaves on May 1, 1972, and also carries programming from Public Radio International, American Public Media, and other national and local sources. | Top Where are KBIA's offices? KBIA is located at 409 Jesse Hall on the campus of The University of Missouri at Columbia in Columbia, MO, 65211-1310. | Top Can I hear KBIA outside of mid-Missouri? KBIA has a repeater station, KKTR, at 89.7 FM, broadcasting from the campus of Truman State University in Kirksville, Missouri, and covering all of Kirksville and most of Adair County. The KBIA 91.3 FM signal broadcasts from the KOMU-TV tower, located six miles south of Columbia. The primary signal radius of KBIA is about 60 miles; KBIA's digital-only side channels are available in a somewhat more concentrated area. All three KBIA channels are available worldwide in live streaming audio. | Top How can I get in touch with KBIA? On our contact page you will find e-mail links for each of our personnel. For general queries, you can reach KBIA by calling 573-882-3431 or 800-292-9136, or faxing 573-882-2636. | Top How can I find out more about a program or piece of music I heard on KBIA? Using the date and time you were listening as reference, you can follow the links from our program guide to our local classical music playlists or our national network-programs' Web sites. Many of our programs are available on-demand as podcasts. Information about acquiring recordings and transcripts of some of our programs is available at our "heard on the air" page. If you are in need of further assistance, then please call us at 882-9136 or 800-292-9136 or email | Top What affiliation does KBIA have with MU? The KBIA broadcast license and facilities are held by the University of Missouri. KBIA is, however, funded primarily through the support of listeners and corporate underwriters. | Top What is KBIA's relationship to NPR? KBIA is not owned by NPR. KBIA is a member station of NPR, meaning that we pay fees to broadcast shows that NPR distributes. KBIA also pays fees to broadcast programs from Public Radio International, American Public Media, and other distributors. KBIA, in turn, asks listeners for financial support to defray these program costs. Listeners nationwide donate money directly to their local public-radio stations, and not to NPR or other program distributors. | Top How do I donate money to KBIA? You can donate through KBIA's secure pledge page. We encourage you to use it, whether you are a new or renewing member, and to view the pledge incentives available there. You are also free to e-mail, call or write us so we can send you a pledge form. Listeners like you make KBIA's programming possible. Thank you! | Top HD Radio FAQ KBIA is broadcasting in digital ... and now, we're offering you three program streams at 91.3 FM in mid-Missouri, and at 89.7 FM in Kirksville! What is HD Radio? HD Radio is "High Definition Radio," the new standard for radio broadcasting. With the approval of the Federal Communications Commission and the support of most of the radio industry, a company called iBiquity has developed IBOC (In-Band On-Channel) Digital Audio Broadcasting technology. (More about iBiquity's technology here.) IBOC carries the promise of CD-like audio quality. Also, it practically eliminates the noise and interference responsible for the static, hiss, pops, and fades that compromise today's analog radio reception. | Top Are there really "three KBIAs"? Yes! In the spring of '05, NPR launched a multicasting project, known as Tomorrow Radio, designed to split each station's digital bandwidth into two or more audio streams. (Complete details about NPR's multicasting initiative in their April 18, 2005, press release, are available here.) Having received FCC approval to offer Tomorrow Radio, KBIA is providing a digital simulcast of our current analog signal, plus another two channels, called KBIA2 and KBIA3, that offer an entirely separate, complementary program services. News and music, always at your fingertips from KBIA? It's here, thanks to KBIA and KBIA2 ... and now KBIA3! Click through for streaming audio links and our multicast program schedules! | Top What are some other benefits of HD Radio technology? The new digital audio-compression technology allows radio stations to deliver wireless data services. Imagine tuning in to KBIA and seeing a digital readout scrolling station information, identification of the music currently playing, and weather and traffic updates. This data, known as PAD (Program Associated Data) or PSD (Program Service Data), is scheduled to begin appearing on digital radios tuned to KBIA in the coming months. It is expected that HD Radio receivers manufactured in the future will have a TiVo-like record-and-playback capability. You'll be able to program your radio to record a weather forecast or news broadcast or Car Talk, and listen to some or all of it at your convenience. | Top Will KBIA remain at 91.3 FM? Will I have to buy a new radio receiver? KBIA will remain at 91.3 FM ... but in order to take advantage of the benefits of digital, you will need a new digital receiver. HD Radio receivers allow you to receive a digital broadcast of KBIA at 91.3 FM. How does this work? IBOC technology makes use of the existing radio band (In-Band) by adding digital carriers to KBIA's analog signal, allowing us to transmit digitally on our existing channel assignment (On-Channel). Now that KBIA has converted to IBOC technology, we are transmitting in the "Hybrid Mode" - a simultaneous analog and digital signal at 91.3 FM. HD Radio receivers are "backward and forward" compatible, allowing them to receive traditional analog broadcasts from stations that have yet to convert, and digital broadcasts from stations that have converted. Your current radio will continue to receive the analog 91.3 FM, allowing for a smooth transition to a digital world. At some point in the future, KBIA will move out of analog broadcasts and go all-digital, by which time new receivers in your car and home will have become necessities. | Top How can I get an HD Radio receiver? Models for home and car have arrived on the electronics market. KBIA and NPR strongly recommend obtaining a multicast-compliant digital receiver, which will allow you to hear multiple audio streams from any station in your signal range that is multicasting. Click here for a rundown of the latest brands. | Top Will I have to pay a monthly subscription fee for HD Radio? No. Unlike the only other providers of "digital radio" - the satellite radio companies Sirius and XM, which act like a cable service, charging consumers at least $10 per month - stations such as KBIA will continue to provide their programming at no monthly cost to the listener. Even after the analog-to-digital conversion is complete, KBIA, like all public radio stations, will continue to rely on membership dollars in order to keep bringing listeners the programming to which they've become accustomed. | Top Is KBIA the first to take the digital plunge? The FCC has not set a deadline for radio stations to begin transmitting a digital signal. But hundreds of stations across the country already broadcast in HD Radio, and hundreds more will be using digital transmitters within the coming year. KBIA is among the more than 80 stations that received a construction grant from the Corporation for Public Broadcasting in the spring of 2004, and KBIA was mid-Missouri's first radio station to "go digital," at 5 p.m. on Tuesday, May 3, 2005! On February 28, 2006, KBIA became the first radio station in Missouri, and one of the first 18 public radio stations in America, to multicast. A third channel appeared at 91.3 FM on November 26, 2007. It is expected that 800 noncommercial stations will begin simulcasting in digital in the near future. Be listening for more information about further progress with program service data and multicasting, and more recommendations for later-generation digital receivers. Stay tuned! | Top