KCRW makes big moves in Santa Barbara


KCRWSanta Monica Community College’s non-comm Indie/Eclectic/NPR KCRW-FM LA and the Santa Barbara Foundation announced KCRW’s buy of Classical KDB-FM Santa Barbara.

The deal will involve a frequency swap. KCRW’s new Santa Barbara programming will be heard on what is now USC’s Classical 88.7 KUSC-FM. USC’s Classical programming will move to KDB’s 93.7 frequency and keep the KDB calls and Santa Barbara-focused programming.

As a result of the purchase, Santa Barbara listeners will benefit from an increase in programming across the spectrums of news, culture, and a variety of music genres. KCRW says it is also committed to supporting local cultural institutions, and building on its already established partnerships with the Santa Barbara Bowl, Santa Barbara Museum of Art, and other organizations.

KCRW has also formed a strategic partnership with Antioch University.  KCRW’s Santa Barbara studio will be located on campus, and will provide opportunities for students to gain insight into storytelling and broadcasting through internships and integration into the curriculum.

“This opportunity is very exciting. Santa Barbara is a natural home for KCRW.  We’ve partnered with Santa Barbara institutions for years on music and culture initiatives,” said Jennifer Ferro, president and general manager of KCRW.  “It has all the elements that have made KCRW a success in Los Angeles — a diverse and intelligent population interested in arts and culture who are passionate about their local community.  We believe we can further amplify the voices of Santa Barbara in a unique and compelling way.”

“At the Santa Barbara Foundation, philanthropy is the starting point for being high impact on community issues,” said Ron Gallo, president and CEO of the Santa Barbara Foundation. “With the transition to the ‘new KDB,’ we were able to keep classical music alive while enhancing and expanding the variety of musical programming offered in Santa Barbara.”

The Santa Barbara Foundation announced its intention to sell KDB in September, following a unanimous vote from Foundation board members.  KCRW submitted its proposal to the Santa Barbara Foundation in November 2013.  The broadcast is expected to start airing this Spring.

The schedule will also include syndicated public radio programming broadcast on KCRW, such as Marketplace, The World, This American Life, TED Radio Hour, and The Moth Radio Hour, in addition to over 100 hours of KCRW’s originally produced, award-winning content, ranging from flagship music program Morning Becomes Eclectic with music director Jason Bentley to news and culture show Press Play with Madeleine Brand, nationally-syndicated To The Point with Warren Olney, and cultural programming on art, film, architecture, food, literature, and politics.  The on-air schedule will follow a similar format to KCRW’s terrestrial broadcast.