Campus radio station KCRW extends its reach with new radio acquisitions

In a recent deal that cost $1.3 million, Santa Monica College affiliated radio station 89.9 FM KCRW has purchased a Santa Barbara station, which will switch frequencies with the University of Southern California's station. KCRW purchased Santa Barbara radio station 93.7 FM KDB and will exchange frequencies with USC's 88.7 FM KQSC.

Currently known for its eclectic mix of music as well as news and culture programming, KCRW was founded in 1945 and first served as a training center for men returning from World War II who wanted to learn about radio broadcasting. In 1969, SMC co-founded KCRW as Los Angeles' first National Public Radio affiliate and became the second community college to own a public radio or television station.

“KCRW's eclectic music programming spans many genres, with one only one directive for our pool of talented DJs: play what you love,” said Jennifer Ferro, general manager and president of the KCRW Foundation.

According to Ferro, the radio station’s extension into Santa Barbara seemed like a natural choice because of the city’s diverse population interested in arts and culture. Following the Santa Barbara Foundation Board’s unanimous decision to sell KDB, KCRW submitted a proposal to acquire the new station, which they plan to launch in June.

“KCRW's expansion into Santa Barbara will bring our unique programming to more listeners in Southern California, but will not affect the station's Santa Monica operations or broadcast,” Ferro said. “Our goal is to educate, inform, enlighten, entertain and inspire. KCRW will continue to do that with this new acquisition.”

In regards to the deal with KUSC, Ferro confirmed that KCRW will broadcast from 88.7 FM, while KUSC will combine its broadcast with KDB “to preserve 93.7 FM as a high quality source for classical music with Santa Barbara-focused programming.”

KCRW was able to make this investment with reserves amassed over the past 37 years, according to Ferro. The station is in the midst of their first major capital campaign in 75 years, in which they aim to make advancements that allow them to expand their audience.

“We intend to continue creating and curating a unique mix of content and experiences driven by the spirit of Southern California, and delivered in innovative ways to curious communities in our own backyard and around the world,” Ferro said.

KCRW invites SMC students to learn more about what it’s like to work at their station by applying for their SMC Internship Program at To participate in their summer marketing internship program, students can email a representative at