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KBCS, a community service of Bellevue Community College, provides an eclectic schedule of music, cultural affairs, literary and performing arts, and informational programming for the greater Puget Sound region."
KBCS, 91.3 FM, is a listener-supported, non-commercial radio station licensed to Bellevue Community College in Bellevue, Washington. Funding for KBCS comes from a variety of sources, including listener contributions, Bellevue Community College students and administration, and community business support.
Our programming features an eclectic mix of music, including jazz, folk, world, and blues (and lots in between). We also present Pacifica News and other cultural and public affairs programs. Our programmers are community volunteers who love radio and strive to make listening to KBCS a constant pleasure for you. We're on the air 366 days this year. Call in for a program guide!
General Manager's Report
Take my job, please!
In July, after 12 years as part-time General Manager of KBCS, I'll be passing the job along to someone new. Transitions like this beg for a bit of reminiscence, and there are plenty of memories for me share.
My first visit to KBCS was on a Sunday morning in early January 1988. I'd accepted the KBCS Manager position just as I was wrapping up a stint as Manager of KBOO in Portland and hadn't seen the facilities. Good thing. Because it turned out that the studios were pretty much out-of-order and the transmitter only worked intermittently. The FCC (Federal Communications Commission) had been sending official "you're out of compliance" letters and someone here kept throwing them away.
Yet there was a dedicated crew of community volunteers showing up week after week to make great radio, listeners going to extreme lengths just to hear what was on the air, and officials at Bellevue Community College who knew that having a public radio license in a big city meant something. I knew it would be okay.
And in fact, it's been better than okay. Over the past decade I've been lucky enough to be on watch while the station boosted power twice (from 1200 to 7900 watts); raised funds for and replaced everything from studio microphones to the transmitter, tower and antenna; repaired our relationship with the FCC; and developed a program schedule that's definitely serving a growing local audience.
I've also been around to see the station budget grow from a mere $10,000 a year to well over $150,000, and to see our membership base go from about 100 supporters to more than 2000.
Those numbers are impressive, and as the station grows, they'll get more impressive. But it's the KBCS volunteers, listeners, staff members, and community supporters who are the most impressive. While I was getting a paycheck to be here, there are volunteers who come to KBCS week after week, year after year, and (some of them) decade after decade, just because they want to make great radio for you. There are listeners who send contribution checks pledge drive after pledge drive in support of shows they can sometimes only listen to if they're in their cars on the top of a hill when the wind is blowing in the right direction and they have their right arm hanging out the left window. There are creative staff members who work here when we know they could be working for more elsewhere. And there are folks who just 'do' stuff for us--give us advice, solve a problem, do behind-the-scenes work, show up in a pinch. That's what makes up the 'magic' of KBCS--and is what makes walking away so difficult.
However, our successes--and the magic--are what make it possible for me to move on. Our foundation is good, we can now afford to pay a full-time manager, we have a growth plan in place full of reachable goals and objectives, and more and more people are discovering that 91.3 FM is a very lively spot on the radio dial. What better time to make way for someone new?
What about me? I'm sticking around town. I'll be reviving my freelance reporting career for a variety of public radio programs, reviewing airports for a local travel website, finishing a book, and keeping my eyes open for new adventures. And I'll keep my radio tuned to 91.3 FM.
KBCS is a healthy station with a plan for signficant growth. Feel free to drop me a note at KBCS@ctc.edu.
--Harriet Baskas, General Manager
Program Director's Report
At KBCS we've
been preparing for weeks and are excited to announce our newly
revamped spring schedule. While continuing to bring you the finest
folk and jazz music, we now have more of an international flavor than
ever before. With our new focus on "Worldwide Jazz and Folk,"
you'll hear more international music and more world news AND with
our brand new webcast, we now have KBCS listeners all around the
Branches now airs weekdays
3-6 pm with a greater emphasis on music from other cultures as well as
a wide range of traditional American music including bluegrass, Cajun,
gospel and blues. Let us take you to many lands during your afternoon
shifted our schedule so that you can hear folk and world music each
week night 7-9 PM including Music of Africa on Thursdays and Womanotes
now on Wednesdays.
Be sure to check
out our newest world music program, Sabor!, Sunday nights
10-midnight following the Grateful Dead Hour and Backtracks.
Sabor! Features music from throughout Latin America ranging from
Andean folk tunes to Cuban jazz. Join hosts Jo Chavez and Jill
Freidberg for your weekly tour of the Southern Hemisphere.
Friday night now
features an energetic line-up of danceable rhythms to get your weekend
off to a lively start. First it's the Melting Pot with Dave
Gardner and Tobin Steers followed by Robin Slivka's Jazz Party
full of Latin and African grooves.
proud to increase our international news ö now airing all day long
-- with 5-minute updates from the BBC at the top of every hour. Also
check out our new public affairs line-up weekdays at 6:30 including
world affairs and Native American cultural programming.
As always, we at
KBCS are excited about the annual Folklife Festival at Seattle Center
during Memorial Day Weekend. This year we're already getting ready
for the festivities, as weâll be broadcasting live from the Rainier
Room all weekend long! And be sure to join us at the Celtic Stage as
well where you can meet our very own Sunday Hornpipers. Of
course, if you can't get to the festival, then listen live from
home, May 27-29, Noon-6 PM for fabulous live folk, Celtic and world
music and you won't have to miss a thing!
Jazz and More
to announce several new jazz programs to our line-up presented by some
of KBCS's finest whom you already know and love. The process of
making some changes in our programming has been invigorating, allowing
each of us to envision possibilities we may not have considered or
never had a chance to actualize. We've always been proud of the fact
that our volunteer programmers each offer a unique, informed
perspective based on their personal relationship to the music they
program. Our new evening jazz line-up exemplifies this passionate
approach to programming. Tune in Monday through Friday 9-midnight to
check out our latest offerings.
Kristen Walsh, KBCS Program Directorgo to: TOP OF THIS PAGE || KBCS HOME PAGE
KBCS operates with a very small, part-time, paid staff and thus relies on the talent and energy of many, many volunteers to help things run smoothly. If you think you can help out, please contact Harriet Baskas at KBCS via e-mail (firstname.lastname@example.org) or call 425-564-2418.
Here is a current list of volunteer needs:
Bellevue Community College Board of Trustees