The radio station at the University of California, Santa Barbara, KCSB-FM, is licensed by the Federal Communications Commission to the Regents of the University of California. KCSB is funded primarily by the students at UCSB and the community at large.
As a non-commercial, educational FM station broadcasting for the public interest, KCSB enters into no commercial contracts which allow access to the airwaves and it strives to provide programming substantially different from that carried by commercial broadcast media. It is also designed to be educational for both programmers and listeners. UCSB students and other programmers are provided an opportunity to learn the fundamentals of radio broadcasting, both technically and in terms of broadcast content, and to explore more advanced aspects of broadcasting and the audio medium.
KCSB insures that these opportunities are offered to a diverse community, especially people who are traditionally underrepresented in broadcasting.
For its listeners, KCSB provides programming that is stimulating, informative and generally unavailable from other local media. KCSB’s news and public affairs programming places an emphasis on providing a forum for unpopular, controversial and/or neglected perspectives on important local, national and international issues. Its cultural arts and music programming covers a wide spectrum of expression from traditional to experimental which reflects the diverse community which KCSB serves.
KCSB and its programmers strive for programming excellence, both in content and technique. As a member of the University of California Radio Network, KCSB supports other member stations of the network and works to share expertise and programming with those stations.
KCSB functions via the efforts of volunteers, from both the student body at the University of California, Santa Barbara, and residents up and down the South Coast. We encourage involvement from both of these communities.
Every programmer on KCSB is a volunteer; the only formatting requirement for a show is that it provide content unavailable on the commercial stations in the area. Every quarter, programmers must perform four hours of unpaid work (called “contract hours”), produce at least one Public Service Announcement to be played at deejay discretion, and set aside one evening per quarter for a general staff meeting. Of course, further involvement is encouraged.
At the beginning of each academic quarter, there is an orientation session for KJUC 880/770 AM, a low-power station broadcasting to the UCSB on-campus dorms. Aspiring deejays are required to program for at least one quarter on KJUC, learning how to broadcast live from a studio and honing their skills on the mic and the mixing board. The trainee will watch two training videos, take the attendant quizzes, and, at the end of that quarter, read our programmer’s handbook then sit down for a comprehensive test. Once this test is succesfully passed you will be authorized to program on KCSB 91.9 FM.
Getting A Show
The KCSB schedule of programming is pre-prepared each quarter by the PMRC.(Program Mediation and Review Committee… gotcha). New deejays are required to submit a demo tape, demonstrating an ability to provide alternative programming and a certain amount of skill using the mixing board. Slots are assigned according to programmer availability, quality of programming, and seniority.
Words Of Encouragement
Programming is an art, and like most arts, few people are intuitively skilled at it. Many of the longer-term deejays will wince when listening to their older attempts at doing a radio show. Keep at it! If you aren’t comfortable with your skill level after one quarter on KJUC, do another! Deejaying becomes easier with practice. Likewise, don’t be discouraged by shyness, or by the feeling that you don’t have a “radio voice”. Your program is judged by the content you provide listeners, not by who or how you are as a person. Lastly, although there is a fairly reliable turnover in the schedule at the end of every quarter, occasionally the quantity of outstanding new programmers far overwhelms the number of slots available for them. If you find you do not move to the FM broadcast after one quarter, this doesn’t mean you never will. At KCSB, tenacity never hurts.