While I have been through the website of almost every non-commercial over-the-air music radio station in the English-speaking world, I haven’t listened to all of them. In the effort to create my Radio page and have it list only what I believe are the best possible outlets, I have a few rules I follow to prevent the ever-continuing process from taking every piece of my free time.
The first thing I do upon entering any radio station’s website is go look at the program schedule. Unless I see something special, I usually disqualify any station that broadcasts syndicated programming or sports. I’m not against that type of programming per se. I’m just trying to give this website’s audience the best chance at hearing original music shows no matter when they click on any station in my list.
As I have written in the past here, I do make exceptions to those rules and others I have. Upon passing through the Santa Barbara area twice on a recent vacation, I got a chance to spend some quality time with a station I had previously rejected. I now feel that the overall programming is so good that I can forgive its syndicted news programs and occasional sports brodcasts.
KCSB-FM is the radio station of the University of California at Santa Barbara — a beautiful campus in a beautiful coastal city. Unlike some of the radio stations held by other UC institutions, KCSB-FM’s schedule is all-original 24-hours a day, seven days a week — no reruns, no rebroadcasts. Both while traveling through the area this past week and listening at home online since returning, I have found that the folks running the station do a great job in making sure those that get on the air sound reasonably professional while still sounding honest and bringing wide varieties of music that most commercial stations have forgotten about or never touched in the first place.
As with any "variety" station, not every show is going to fit every person’s tastes. In addition, one might run into a broadcast of any number of Gauchos games plus an occasional news show. That being said, the music programming and quality of the hosts are at such a high level for an all-volunteer on-air staff that KCSB-FM is truly deserving of a spot on my Radio page. I hope my readers will try this station out a few times and share the same good feeling I get when thinking about this music being carried around the world on Santa Barbara’s cool ocean breezes.