KCSB radio station’s News Director Cathy Murillo recently stepped down from her position after deciding to run for a seat on the Santa Barbara City Council.

Murillo came to an agreement with KCSB Associate Media Director Elizabeth Robinson to cease work in news-gathering and production and switch to non-media projects for Associated Students in light of her political endeavors. Associate News Director Stefany Viesca and Student News Directors Jordan Katz and Daniel Alvarenga assumed Murillo’s former responsibilities in the station’s news department.

According to Murillo, the decision enabled her to dedicate time to campaign plans and organization.

“I needed to cut back on my day job to do my political campaigning,” Murillo said. “I would go to an event and people would say, ‘Are you here with KCSB or are you here as a political candidate?’”

Murillo worked for 15 years at several media outlets including KCSB and the Santa Barbara Independent. Murillo said the switch from reporting to the political arena is a drastic but exciting career change.

“I’ll tell you why I won’t ever be a news director again: because I’ll be declaring my personal opinions in public,” Murillo said. “I can never go back to being a straight news reporter, so I’m sort of taking a gamble.”

KCSB student employees will temporarily manage the station’s news dept. until a permanent News Director can be hired next fall.

According to KCSB Development Coordinator Ted Coe, Murillo’s duties were successfully absorbed by the staff.

“Our operations are continuing — we still have the same schedule,” Coe said. “[The students] have extra duties for the spring, but they’re experienced. They’ve already done a lot of reporting here.”

Despite focusing on her campaign, Murillo is still producing and archiving campus lectures, music shows and other sound files from 2005 to 2011 for KCSB’s weekly Santa Barbara Lecture Series. Murillo also does video production for a local public channel and will archive lectures for the station’s 50th anniversary in the fall, Murillo said.

“I’ll still be able to make videos and interview people,” Murillo said. “There’s plenty of work [at KCSB] not related to news production.”

— Staff Report