Blog about KUSP

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

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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

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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!

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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

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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.
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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.”

KUSP Veteran Bonnie Jean Primbsch Hired as Interim General Manger

KUSP's new interim general manager, Bonnie Jaan Primbsch. Photo: Chip /Good Times

KUSP’s new interim general manager, Bonnie Jaan Primbsch. Photo: Chip Scheuer /Good Times

 SANTA CRUZ, Calif. – Mar. 3, 2016 – Independent Public Radio KUSP 88.9 fm today announced that local public radio veteran Bonnie Jean Primbsch has joined KUSP as Interim General Manager. Ms. Primbsch succeeds Lee Ferraro, who led the recent format change from predominantly news and information to music-centered programming.

Ms. Primbsch has been a KUSP host and volunteer for more than 15 years. Her long and successful history with the Greater Monterey Bay Area community radio station includes notable achievements as public affairs producer/director, host of more than a dozen shows, and on-air spokesperson during membership drives.

Ms. Primbsch takes the helm four months after the station’s transformation to a music discovery format, a move intended to offer more choice to public radio listeners in the Greater Monterey Bay Area. Music discovery has proven popular and successful in other markets across the country and complements KAZU, an NPR member station owned by California State University, Monterey Bay.

discover-full-800“We are excited that Bonnie Jean has chosen to lead KUSP at this particular moment in its long and storied history,” said Board President Kelly O’Brien. “KUSP has an opportunity to reinvent itself and we believe Bonnie Jean has the skills to foster creativity and collaboration within the internal team and with the community at large.”

Ms. Primbsch’s principal duties are to continue the momentum of the music discovery format and fine-tune its appeal; strengthen the ability of the station to bring in revenue from members, sponsors, and major donors; reinvigorate KUSP’s presence in community; and lead professional staff and volunteers in meeting the challenges and opportunities of the changes that began last September under the strategic direction of the Board of Directors.

“I am keen to help us discover how KUSP can serve in a way that reflects who we are now and that reflects the area’s collective sense of place,” Ms. Primbsch said. “It is a new lease on life for an organization that I have loved for over 20 years, and I join the upwelling of excitement from new and veteran ‘Pataphysicians and listeners who want it to thrive.”

Ms. Primbsch arrives at KUSP in time to preside over its Spring Membership Drive, which begins March 9. This will be the first full-length membership drive since the format change and follows a successful two-day, on-air “mini campaign” held at the end of last year which indicated strong listener support for the new music format.

Folks Saying What KUSP Isn’t, Well Here’s What It Is

(Originally published in commentary section of the  Santa Cruz Sentinel, 1/17/2016)

By Kelly O’Brien, Charlie Eadie, Matt Farrell, Cathie Royer and Jeffrey Werner

We’ve heard from critics about what KUSP is not. Let us tell you what it is.

We believe KUSP 88.9FM/kusp.org is creating a new public radio station aimed squarely at serving a broad array of music lovers across the greater Monterey Bay area. A station that complements rather than duplicates other public radio offerings in the area. A station that enriches the community with both music discovery and local cultural/public affairs programming.

KUSP's new 2016  logo

KUSP’s new 2016 logo

We want to lay this out clearly: Music programming on KUSP is locally produced and hosted by people from the community. It is not piped in from L.A. or anywhere else. The music we’re selecting and broadcasting may not be everyone’s cup of tea, but you can’t refer to KUSP’s program hosts as “soulless robots” or “pre-programmed.”

If the new music mix isn’t satisfying your taste, let us know, work with us. We’re getting incrementally better and need you to keep helping us fine tune how we approach the music and build the play lists. Mostly, if we work together to make KUSP successful and sustainable, we’ll have a great mix of noncommercial choices in the region: KKUP, KZSC, KPFA, KUSP and KAZU all providing different formats and offerings!

We are very intentionally listener-focused. We are working to appeal to a listening audience as broad as it is loyal and that audience has already expanded in two short months to include younger listeners willing to support the station financially. We are committed to stabilizing operations to serve this unique community and to innovating the service KUSP provides so that it is relevant and worthy of being treasured and supported.

KUSP’s music mix holds many of the elements management and staff hear people asking about: blues, folk, world, rock and contemporary sounds. We’re highlighting the music of mostly younger artists who strive to combine many influences from all around the world into a new and meaningful sound — a sound that appeals to audiences from their 20s to their 60s. We take all ideas and comments seriously; email us anytime at musicmatters@kusp.org.

KUSP rounds out its daily music mix programming with evening and weekend jazz, classical, world and soul music selected by knowledgeable hosts who bring us a distinctive range of traditions. Long-revered musical specialty shows remain firmly in the program schedule: Charlie Lang’s “Soul Shack,” Papa Sam’s “Crescent City Shuffle,” and Brett Taylor’s “Latin Quarter” are some of the impressive programs with dedicated and knowledgeable local music hosts.

And while KUSP’s new identity is music discovery, we still host the locally produced cultural and public affairs programs we broadcast when the station was predominantly news/talk.” Agony Column” and “The 7th Avenue Project” enjoy new prominence as part of the weekday “Evening of Ideas.” “Dr. Dawn” and “GeekSpeak” continue to educate appreciative listeners every Saturday morning. The “Land Use Report” and “First Person Singular” are heard regularly as part of our Community Voices project and we look forward to these programs expanding with additional locally produced stories and insights.

It’s all right here in one place — a familiar friend with a new voice, new spirit and new dedication to serve the Monterey Bay region in a way it’s never been served before.

Here’s the bottom line: We plan to connect people to their community and culture through music and community voices, with the vast majority of the programming locally produced and locally hosted.

Others have pointed out the truism that “the world has changed.” KUSP is endeavoring to reflect that change and will continue to offer distinct, nonprofit, noncommercial radio programming that will survive and thrive if listeners find value there and choose to support it as contributing members. That much has not changed.

Kelly O’Brien, Charlie Eadie, Matt Farrell, Cathie Royer and Jeffrey Werner are the executive officers of KUSP’s board of directors.