KSBR (88.5-FM) is a commercial-free contemporary jazz and community information station serving Orange County from Saddleback College in Mission Viejo, California.
In addition to training Saddleback’s Cinema/TV/Radio students, KSBR is a community service station focusing its attention on Orange County news, traffic, weather, and entertainment. KSBR’s primary format is contemporary jazz, but it also has weekend specialty shows featuring other musical styles like reggae, folk, ragtime, rock, Latin jazz, blues, and hip-hop music.
KSBR’s operating staff consists of two full time employees (Broadcast Services Director and News Director) and four part-time employees and a combination of 50 students and community volunteers. Through a very successful underwriting program and annual fund-raiser, KSBR generates the funding necessary to maintain a “state-of-the-art” broadcast facility featuring the latest in computer and digital technology.
In addition to music, KSBR-FM hosts a highly acclaimed local News Department. The station also carries the Associated Press (AP) Network News at the top of the hour and traffic reports from the Total Traffic Network every 15 minutes, weekdays 6a-9a and 3p-6p. Local News is broadcast every half-hour in the mornings. The station also provides election-night coverage of important county and city races and examines important issues facing county residents on its weekly public affairs program, Collage. Under the supervision of a professional news director, the News Department is staffed by students in the college’s Radio/Television News and Public Affairs.
KSBR has received the Associated Press “Instant News” citation, AP’s Certificate of Excellence for overall coverage, and is the only California station to be a 4-time winner of the American Heart Association’s C. Everett Koop, M.D. award.
KSBR began broadcasting in 1975 when the FCC granted an educational license to the Saddleback Community College District. Originally, the station was located in the Library Building and operated at a power of 10 watts. Because of the station’s low output power, KSBR covered only a few miles surrounding the campus. Two years later, the district applied to the FCC requesting that the station be upgraded to a full “Class A” operation. This became a reality on May 7, 1979 and increased the station’s coverage area to include Orange County and North San Diego County. It began operation as a National Public Radio affiliate, but five years later, the station reconfigured its operations to enhance the college’s instructional broadcasting program. In 1990 with the dedication of the new Student Services Building, KSBR moved into it’s current state-of-the-art broadcast facilities.
KSBR has developed a highly successful music format (contemporary jazz) which has gained the respect and support of the music industry. The programming elements used by the students during their air shifts are applicable to a wide range of formats used throughout commercial radio industry. This has enabled Saddleback College students to attain professional positions at stations using such diverse formats as country, album rock, alternative rock, adult contemporary, news/talk, adult alternative, and top-40.
For information visit our Saddleback College’s Cinema-Radio-Television Programs website.