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KCSB Looks Back at the 2007-2008 School Year

After every school year, KCSB staffers write up a report of the previous 12 months. Here are some standout events from summer 2007-June 2008.

“As the only non-commercial radio station in Santa Barbara, KCSB-FM 91.9 has an exceedingly important role to fill in our community. This past year, dedicated students, staff, and volunteers maintained an active presence in our local area as media activists and cultural educators. KCSB staff recruited, trained, and developed the skills of a large group of new students and other community members as music and public-affairs programmers, news reporters, sports broadcasters, and radio engineers. During the 2007-2008 school year, KCSB again proved itself as a media force to be reckoned with.

Over the Air:

Our unique programming sets KCSB apart from other area media outlets, providing the South Central California Coast with non-commercial and independent music of most genres, hard-hitting public affairs, local and underreported national and international news, and live coverage of UCSB Gaucho sports.

Last year, KCSB’s DJs continued to captivate listeners with a very wide variety of music, but also with live performances and interviews with the likes of John Trudell, Jeffrey Lewis, “Country Joe” McDonald, Québécois band Le Vent du Nord, Jason Pierce of Spiritualized, and Public Enemy’s Chuck D. KCSB’s Public Affairs and Cultural Arts programs, too, boasted an equally impressive list, including guests and speakers like Naomi Klein, Harvey Wasserman, Rebecca Solnit, Chalmers Johnson, Orhan Pamuk, Norman Finkelstein, Ali Abunimah, and George A. Romero.

KCSB’s news department was very active last year, covering such higher-ed stories as Associated Students’ campus elections, University of California labor strife, the struggle for a diverse and accessible University system, student peace activism, and the impact of the “War on Terrorism” at US colleges. Our news reporters were also on the scene in the greater Santa Barbara community, logging stories about topics like local politics, same-sex marriage ceremonies in Santa Barbara, and the Zaca Fire.

KCSB’s sports department broadcast and/or webcast a record 95 live sporting events, and archived almost all of these online, along with the regular Gaucho Sports Spot program. Our sports staff traveled to Ohio State, Anaheim, and Virginia for postseason broadcast coverage of UCSB Athletics. Also, post-game interviews and press conferences were added to many broadcasts thanks to the addition of a wireless microphone.

Along with our regularly scheduled programming, KCSB aired other special events remotely including a UCSB “townhall” appearance by Senator Hillary Clinton and a large rock concert live from Santa Barbara’s La Casa de la Raza. We also participated in this year’s “UCSB Reads” events by hosting on-air readings of Pietra Rivoli’s book, The Travels of a T-Shirt in the Global Economy. Furthermore, our annual on-air fundraiser brought in over $23,000 in listener pledges to support our programs and initiatives.

Technically, last year KCSB expanded the archiving and podcasting of our radio programs, and provided live webstream-only coverage of A.S. election debates and select UCSB sporting events.

On the Ground:

Along with our on-air programming, KCSB successfully organized a number of our own events. In conjunction with our annual membership drive, KCSB hosted a lively kick-off party for a near capacity crowd at Muddy Waters Cafe with music ranging from mariachi and hip-hop to rock, folk, and free jazz. In early March, KCSB planned a large concert at La Casa de la Raza that included an all-women’s circus troupe, bicycle stunts, a punk-cabaret orchestra, The World/Inferno Friendship Society, and the East Los Angeles big band, Ollin (all that plus a live broadcast!). Later in the spring, KCSB produced two-days worth of 13 diverse local music acts for our inaugural KCSB stage at the Spring 2008 Ventura Art Walk. KCSB also hosted live area appearances by journalists and radio producers Amy Goodman (of Democracy Now!) and David Barsamian (of Alternative Radio). Lastly, KCSB was very proud to host the Spring 2008 conference of the University of California Radio Network.

In Your Town:

While KCSB presented a handful of its own events, it also sponsored numerous happenings put on by a host of area organizations. We continued working with campus groups like UCSB Arts & Lectures, the MultiCultural Center, and Magic Lantern Films, and community organizations like the Santa Barbara Contemporary Arts Forum and La Casa de la Raza. During the year, KCSB also developed new collaborative initiatives with the City of Ventura Cultural Affairs Division, the City of Santa Barbara Parks & Recreation Department, and the local news-and-arts weekly, The Santa Barbara Independent. KCSB also worked hard on developing new — and renewed — relationships with local non-profits including the Bici Centro bicycle kitchen and the Santa Barbara Museum of Natural History; with concert promoters and venues like Club Mercy Productions, Nederlander Presents, Tales from the Tavern, and Muddy Waters Café; and with more Do-It-Yourself projects like the Biko Co-op Garage, the Pink Mailbox House, the Santa Barbara New Music Series, and the Scimitar Cooperative.

For KCSB, the 2007-2008 academic year was very exciting and the station has moved in many new directions: on the air, behind the mic, and in our community (both on campus and off). We look forward to the possibilities that the upcoming year holds. If you have any further questions, or to get involved, please call (805) 893-3921 or go to www.kcsb.org.”