A local radio station has a great deal for any millionaires who want more Bach for their buck.
Santa Barbara’s only classical radio station, KDB, is still for sale after a proposed purchase by UCSB fell through last winter. KDB is one of only 31 radio stations in the U.S. with an entirely classical lineup.
In January 2001 KDB came under the ownership of several Santa Barbara area classical music fans who intended to sell it to UCSB. Roby Scott and his father Bob Scott became majority owners and directors of the station at that time. The Scotts originally approached UCSB to purchase the station because they hoped the university could preserve the station’s classical format. KDB is one of the largest classical stations on the West Coast.
The university, however, fell short in its fund-raising efforts, gathering $321,000 in a year, $3.28 million short of the $3.6 million asking price. UCSB Chancellor Henry Yang said over 900 people pledged funds for the purchase, but when it came time to pay in March last year, the university did not have enough money.
“We want to see that this valuable Santa Barbara resource is preserved, and we had hoped to do so by purchasing the station and operating it for the community,” Yang said. “While that remains our dream, right now we must support the owners in their efforts to find another party that has the resources to buy the station and the determination to retain its classical music format.”
All donations received by the university were either returned or redirected to departments on campus at the request of the donors, Yang said.
KDB officials said they have received some interest from other sources since the university’s purchase fell through.
“There have been talks, but nothing’s panned out,” KDB Office Manager Yasser Butchev said.
The radio station is looking for an organization that can keep the station alive financially while maintaining the classical format it currently provides. Over the last several decades, traditionally classical stations throughout the country have been purchased by large corporations like Clear Channel Worldwide, that change their formats to top-10 and pop music.
“We are actively pursuing to sell to companies that will keep it kept classical,” Roby Scott said.
Roby Scott said the $3.6 million price tag was very reasonable considering the station’s status as one of the largest classical stations on the West Coast.
“This price is pretty reasonable considering what we could ask for it,” he said.