KCSB Celebrates 60 Years on the Air

By Richard Mineards   |   February 22, 2022
Zena Omar, general manager of KCSB radio, which is celebrating 60 years on air

KCSB-FM 91.9 Santa Barbara, the student-led community radio station located on the UCSB campus, is celebrating its 60th year on air.

KCSB is the oldest of all of the University of California radio stations and events are being planned to mark the occasion, including an annual fund drive this month and a programmer reunion in April.

Founder Bill Harrison, then a UCSB student, launched the station in his dorm room in 1962. Over the decades, the station migrated from closed circuit to FM and increased its signal strength.

Today its signal on 91.9 FM covers most of Santa Barbara County and portions of Ventura and San Luis Obispo counties. Most of the station’s on-air hosts are students, faculty, and staff, but also community volunteers.

Some of KCSB’s programs have been on air for years and have developed a sizable following of loyal listeners.

For the past several decades, the studios have been located at the base of the 175-foot Storke Tower, the tallest building on the campus.

KCSB has a storied history and reputation keeping our Eden by the Beach community informed – from the 1970s student demonstrations culminating in the Bank of America burning in Isla Vista, to providing daily COVID-19 news updates during the pandemic.

“I never would have imagined that KCSB would have evolved into what it is today,” says Harrison, who recently dropped-in to a news journalism workshop on Zoom. “It is an extraordinary achievement.”


You might also be interested in...