Blog about KUSP

Still Here, Still Playing Great Music

Here’s the bottom line:

Thanks to more than 1,000 contributing listeners, KUSP has a little more time. Our Mayday campaign ended April 30. The goal was to raise enough to continue this service for 6-months. While we fell short of the goal, we did raise enough to continue through June.

We’ve had to streamline our operations and lay off dedicated staff and volunteers. None of this was easy. You won’t hear as many voices on the air. But know this:

We’re still 100% committed to providing you with an amazing 24/7 music service worth listening to, and supporting.  

And when I say we, I mean me. I mean former staff and programmers who are volunteering their time to talk to business owners and potential donors. I mean directors on our board who are working near-full time to ensure the best responsible outcome. We’ve all got a bias for continuing to build on this great new music service.

We’re going to keep the music coming for as long as we can. Right now, KUSP is operating on a month-to-month basis. If we are to have a path forward, we can’t afford to lose any momentum.

Here’s how you can help:

LISTEN. Turn on KUSP anytime, day or night, and listen. (If you’re not already listening, click here.) See what you think. Let us know! We think it’s the best curated music mix you can get on the radio and online. And now it’s available to you 24/7.

SHARE. Share KUSP with your friends on Facebook, Twitter and beyond. Share your story with other listeners! If you’re willing to lend your voice to a testimonial or fundraising message, contact us here.

SUPPORT. Sustain this service with an affordable monthly “micro-gift” of $5/month or more. Thank our sponsors for their support as a community-minded business. To become a sponsor, click here.

In order to sustain this music service, we’ve got to hear from 200+ listeners each month signing up with a micro-gift of $10/month. Been thinking about helping us out? Yes? Great! Click here to help.

Moving forward together,

Alex Burke

KUSP Station Manager

the Foundation has voted

On Wednesday, May 4th, the ‘Pataphysical Broadcasting Foundation met to discuss KUSP’s situation, and tend to some important votes. New Directors of the Board Madeleine Baer, Stephen Reed, and Stacy Forrester were voted in; outgoing Directors of the Board Sabrina Eastwood, Katie Roper, and Kelly O’Brien retired; and the Foundation voted to authorize the Board to pursue a sale of KUSP’s license if the station could not otherwise be saved.

Nobody around KUSP likes being in this position, and only consider a sale to be a last resort — but our timeline is short.

The Mayday! Campaign raised $114k from 1059 contributors, a lovely show of support in ordinary times. We’re grateful for every dollar that came in, without which we would have already been sunk — but without any reserves, KUSP will have $50k left after May expenses.

To stretch those dollars as far as they can before facing receivership, the Board has laid off the staff (today was our last day) except for the Operations Director Alex Burke — who, understanding most intimately the day to day functions of the station, is being internally promoted to station manager.

You know Alex — most recently, she has hosted out Afternoon Mix, our Friday Evening Mix, and some of our Weekend Mixes. She has also been one of the music programmers crafting the music library on which those mixes are based. Her main role will be to keep the assets alive and in good working order for a sale (UGH) or in case we can come alive again should some large donations or other substantial financial help materialize. That kind of help must come NOW. What we currently have will last a MAXIMUM of 2 months. Any donations we receive from here will extend the timeline we have to give options that come forward due consideration.

Saturday May 7th is our last day of normal broadcast. After that, you’ll hear an automated mix of our pre-curated music library,  and announcements about station news and the local businesses and other underwriters that continue to support the station at this critical time.

We lament that we are currently unable to continue the live, beautiful sound of all the great shows at KUSP you have come to love. In tribute, you can hear our final week of shows on our music player, and can explore our vast archive of talk & information shows at our website.

Wish us luck — the Board is still working hard for the best possible outcome. And thank you for all you have done for KUSP.
Stay tuned!
Bonnie Jean Primbsch, signing off.

 

What is Happening with KUSP?

logo-white-bg-n0-indKUSP just ended a critical Mayday! fundraising campaign. We needed $300,000 in bridge funds to carry us for the next 6 months or so we could afford to continue operations while building the new format we started in November. After a month of fundraising on air, in the community, and through social media, we raised a little over a third of this goal.

We are grateful for every dollar and effort our listeners, programmers, staff & Board, and the greater community put in to getting us that far, and for the 44 years of listener-supported service we have been able to offer the Monterey Bay Area.

As the media and economic climate has changed from our origins in 1972 to now, we have strived to respond and provide a the best public service we could. Faced with financial encumbrances from our old NPR format, we switched to our Music Discovery format in November.

While early results showed us we made a promising move, with new listeners quickly finding us, liking what they heard and becoming contributing members, losing NPR created a leaner financial reality than we anticipated, and which the Mayday campaign did not succeed in addressing adequately. We cannot afford our regular broadcast and still tend to the financial obligations that are now due.

KUSP will operate the station at a bare minimum while the organization decides what to do next and can execute on whatever that plan winds up being.

We are leaving our website up for now, thanks to the generosity of Cruzio. Take a look around, explore our archives, and stay tuned for what happens next with our signal.

KUSP Public Meeting Schedule

All meetings of the ‘Pataphysical Broadcasting Foundation Board of Directors, the board’s committees, the KUSP Community Advisory Board and the Foundation Members are open to the public. Unless otherwise noted, the Board of Directors and its committees meet at the KUSP studio, 203 8th Avenue, Santa Cruz CA 95062. The meeting location of the Community Advisory Board rotates among various communities in the KUSP coverage area.

Closed sessions may be held to consider matters relating to individual employees, proprietary information, litigation and other matters requiring the confidential advice of counsel, commercial or financial information obtained from a person on a privileged or confidential basis, or the purchase of property or services whenever the premature exposure of such purchase would compromise the business interests of KUSP. If a meeting is closed pursuant to the provisions of this paragraph, KUSP will make available to the public a written statement containing an explanation of the reasons for closing the meeting.

The schedule of public meetings of the Board of Directors, the committees of the Board of Directors and the Community Advisory Board is as follows:

Library, Library and More Library

save-lib-1

library-3-sans

lib4-sanslibrary-2-sansOne picture can’t tell the story.

KUSP’s curated library has been growing of over 40 years. It’s one of the physical aspects that is often taken for granted.

The library occupies floor to ceiling walls in two large spaces. Additionally, many of the 30 volunteer+ (veteran) programmers haul in their own collections to draw from weekly. Nor does it account for the growing digital music library.

 

KUSP’s GM Talks About KUSP’s Situation

Play
512183f4-683e-4ce6-a1a0-851a34eb8498

KUSP’s Bonnie Jean Primbsch (left) with Emily Gomez of Ecology Action.

 

General Manager Bonnie Jean Primbsch explained what is happening at KUSP on the Think Local First radio show at KSCO earlier this month. Hear her conversation with host Jill Sollito to find out more about KUSP’s new format, its promise, and the Mayday! Campaign to fund its survival.

Support New Music on KUSP! Throw a Rent Party!

rent-party-500-2-0048
 

What’s a Rent Party?

The term comes from musicians, who would get together at one of their homes to play music and charge a modest amount – to pay the rent.

Take the same idea – your house or apartment, some music (live or recorded), invite your friends, charge whatever feels right, and donate the proceeds to keep the new music coming at KUSP.

What do I have to do?

  • Have a place and decide as a household to host a ‘rent party’ for KUSP.

  • be a good neighbor and include your neighborhood in your plans: parking arrangements, noise concerns, timing and hours, etc

  • Play music (that live band you know, or crank up KUSP!)

  • invite as many friends as you like and let them know it’s a benefit for Independent Public Radio KUSP

  • Provide food and beverages (optional), or ask folks to BYOB.

  • Charge what feels right at the door

  • Cover your costs or donate them

  • Then donate the proceeds to KUSP

How can KUSP help?

Let us know when the party is — we’ll give you a shout-out on the air (by first name and town) and, if we can, provide KUSP on-air talent (or station leadership) to party with you.

Call Bonnie Jean at 831-476-2800 with questions and the date of your party!`

The Mayday “M’aidez!” Campaign

NEW-red-mayday-banner

 

What’s Happening Now
We’re nearly out of money. Every new broadcast venture takes awhile before it builds enough audience to be self-sufficient. We’re seeking the funds to get there. That’s about $800,000. Our plan now is raise  $300,000 of that during April.

A New Station
At just the right time, the Monterey Bay area has a music station focused on Monterey Bay area listeners.

bobby-DSC9421There’s something amazing happening in music right now. Artists are blending and exploding genres at breakneck speed. Now more than ever is a time for discovering new music and we are dedicated to sharing it with you.

88.9 KUSP’s hosts are enthusiastic curators, creating seductive mixes combining just enough of the familiar to keep the door open for the great new music that arrives each week.

A Powerful Voice for Art
interviw1We believe in a year or so, we could be a thriving and prominent media outlet. This great collection of music and voices of the Monterey Bay area will only grow richer. And our region will have a powerful new channel for sharing our culture– the musicians and bands and signature music performances as well as the artistic events in our region that deserve broader exposure.
nbsp;

ralex-robin-3Independent and Focused on You
There’s something underlying this story. For 44 years, we have been owned and operated here. We are adding our new curated mixes to long-lived specialty music shows that have set our toes tapping all along. The vast majority of our revenue comes from listeners. There is no other arts organization in the region so directly tied to serving its audience. This 21st century version of our grand experiment could be a successful model for other independent stations like ours — but only if you fund it to succeed.’

The Risk
Contributions during the first three months of 2016 fell below what we’d hoped for. Right now we can only stay on air through April. But even operating in constant pledge drive mode couldn’t keep 88.9 KUSP going more than a few months. If we don’t raise $300,000 in April, the station will go off air.

Spreading the Story
bonnie-johnny8606All this month you’ll hear KUSP staff, fans and volunteers, taking to air to describe this vision for a thriving public radio arts station and persuading our listeners to donate. Even so, you’ll continue to hear all the music and community voices on which you rely here at 88.9 KUSP.

The goal is simple: $300,000 from listeners and community fundraisers. One donation or rent party at a time. If you’ve got friends who would like the station, tell them about us now and ask them to donate.

Meanwhile, we’ll make our case to philanthropists and other funders in the region. Watch our site and listen on air for updates on how much we’ve raised.

I want to help save KUSP!

The Mayday “M’aidez!” Campaign

NEW-red-mayday-banner
What’s Happening Now
We’re nearly out of money. Every new broadcast venture takes awhile before it builds enough audience to be self-sufficient. We’re seeking the funds to get there. That’s about $800,000. By joining other listeners to raise $300,000 during April, you will help persuade other funders to provide the balance of this critical bridge to sustainability.

A New Station
At just the right time, the Monterey Bay area has a music station focused on Monterey Bay area listeners.

bobby-DSC9421There’s something amazing happening in music right now. Artists are blending and exploding genres at breakneck speed. Now more than ever is a time for discovering new music and we are dedicated to sharing it with you.

88.9 KUSP’s hosts are enthusiastic curators, creating seductive mixes combining just enough of the familiar to keep the door open for the great new music that arrives each week.

A Powerful Voice for Art
interviw1We believe in a year or so, we could be a thriving and prominent media outlet. This great collection of music and voices of the Monterey Bay area will only grow richer. And our region will have a powerful new channel for sharing our culture– the musicians and bands and signature music performances as well as the artistic events in our region that deserve broader exposure.

ralex-robin-3Independent and Focused on You
There’s something underlying this story. For 44 years, we have been owned and operated here. We are adding our new curated mixes to long-lived specialty music shows that have set our toes tapping all along. The vast majority of our revenue comes from listeners. There is no other arts organization in the region so directly tied to serving its audience. This 21st century version of our grand experiment could be a successful model for other independent stations like ours — but only if you fund it to succeed.’

The Risk
Contributions during the first three months of 2016 fell below what we’d hoped for. Right now we can only stay on air through April. But even operating in constant pledge drive mode couldn’t keep 88.9 KUSP going more than a few months. If we don’t raise $300,000 in April, the station will go off air.

Spreading the Story
bonnie-johnny8606All this month you’ll hear KUSP staff, fans and volunteers, taking to air to describe this vision for a thriving public radio arts station and persuading our listeners to donate. Even so, you’ll continue to hear all the music and community voices on which you rely here at 88.9 KUSP.

The goal is simple: $300,000 from listeners and community fundraisers. One donation or rent party at a time. If you’ve got friends who would like the station, tell them about us now and ask them to donate.

Meanwhile, we’ll make our case to philanthropists and other funders in the region. Watch our site and listen on air for updates on how much we’ve raised. Together we can make it happen.

KUSP Wraps Up Spring Membership Drive

Independent public radio KUSP connects with more than 400 members.

SANTA CRUZ, Calif.  – Independent Public Radio KUSP 88.9fm | kusp.org has just concluded its first full-length membership campaign since its format change last November, connecting with more than 400 contributing members. The funds give KUSP an ability to continue operations for the next couple months.

ontheair-250“We’re paying close attention to what our listeners respond to and to what inspires them to connect with KUSP,” said Interim Manager Bonnie Jean Primbsch. “We are delighted that new listeners have not only offered donations, but also offered their voices to our airwaves, volunteered to answer phones during the drive and have asked how else they can help.”

Director Stephen Slade likens the station to a restaurant that has revamped its menu. “We have regulars who like the new menu, we have people who have taken their public radio listening appetite elsewhere, and we have some very enthusiastic new customers,” Slade said. “It will take time to build the audience for the new format and this drive was encouraging.”

Comments from contributing listeners included:

“I found KUSP on the dial a few months back. I truly enjoy the music you play and I’m happy to contribute to the cause. Keep up the great work!”

“Thank you for the great music, for the smart, informative DJs and for keeping real radio alive.”

“I love the new format and I’m really excited to support you for the first time!”

“The music reminds me of the KUSP of the past. You’ve gone back to your roots. I feel like it is important to contribute. Music discovery is great!”

“I love what you are doing with the new KUSP!!! It is great to have such imaginative, unrestricted and personal programming. Keep it fresh, KUSP!”

“Goodbye, Pandora!”

“It was great hearing from so many people who love what they’re hearing on the new KUSP,” said Board of Directors Vice President Matt Farrell. “The Board is excited about working with Bonnie to grow KUSP membership, build partnerships and create the conditions necessary for success.”