Los Angeles Business Journal

KCRW Buys Santa Barbara Radio Station

By Jonathan Polakoff Tuesday, February 18, 2014

Santa Monica public radio station KCRW-FM (89.9) announced Tuesday it has acquired a station in Santa Barbara to increase its reach up the coast.

KCRW is buying KDB-FM (93.7) from the non-profit Santa Barbara Foundation.

As part of the new arrangement, KCRW will begin broadcasting on KQSC-FM (88.7) in Santa Barbara, which had previously carried classical music from KUSC-FM (91.5) of Los Angeles. That programming will go to KDB.

KCRW plans to staff its new outpost at Antioch University in Santa Barbara with at least two full-time staffers, along with interns. The deal will expand the reach of KCRW’s local programming, such as longstanding music program “Morning Becomes Eclectic” and new talk program “Press Play.” It will also increase KCRW’s fundraising efforts in the area.

The acquisition cost KCRW $1 million, according to the Los Angeles Times, and it comes as the station embarks on a $20 million fundraising campaign to help it move into new studios at Santa Monica College’s Academy of Entertainment and Technology.

KCRW general manager Jennifer Ferro said Santa Barbara is a good fit for the station.

“Santa Barbara is a natural home for KCRW,” Ferro said in a statement. “We’ve partnered with Santa Barbara institutions for years on music and culture initiatives. 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.”