UCSB’s KCSB 91.9 FM held its annual pledge drive last week, inviting listeners to become official members of Santa Barbara’s only community radio station.
Running from Nov. 4 through Nov. 13, the fundraiser advertised the opportunity for both student and non-student listeners to support the commercial-free radio station. The final weeklong earnings totaled roughly $19,000, a large drop from last year’s $23,000 sum.
KCSB disc jockey Omer Harari, a third-year communication and sociology major, said the substantial decline in donations this year was expected.
“The drop off in numbers this year wasn’t too surprising considering the economic times that we currently live in,” Harari said. “The money we earned is still extremely encouraging, though. It shows how much support we have.”
Ted Coe, development coordinator of KCSB, said student lock-in fees aren’t enough to compensate for the station’s expenses.
“Student fees are the base of our operation because we’re a non-commercial station,” Coe said. “The money raised pays for all KCSB expenses. So we ask our listeners: If you appreciate it, please donate and help us out.”
KCSB runs 24/7 to provide listeners with an eclectic mix of music and variety shows, in addition to offering free year-round radio arts training for both students and non-students. The local station is also a popular source for information during public safety emergencies, wildfires, coverage of live concerts and events and information on campus sports. KCSB’s airwaves span as far north as San Luis Obispo and as far south as Ventura.
Coe said the community-funded nature of KCSB allows it to avoid compromising listener satisfaction caused by “underwriting” — the process of a large financial service provider gauging whether a company is eligible to receive their support.
Raul Quintero, a fourth-year psychology major and frequent KCSB listener, said showing support and pledging to KCSB is vital.
“KCSB is a utility that many students don’t often realize they have,” Quintero said. “Not only do they provide coverage of concerts and rallies, they also provide students the opportunity to volunteer and share their music to the world. It’s awesome knowing that such a radio station is located here at UCSB.”
In addition to the annual pledge drive, KCSB is sponsoring events in the upcoming weeks to gain extra income and publicity. This Wednesday, organized by the station in collaboration with the Santa Barbara Channels Community Media Access Center, award-winning journalist Amy Goodman will be speaking at Campbell Hall at 6:30 p.m.