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KCLU (1340 kHz) is a non-commercial educational AM radio station licensed to and serving Santa Barbara, California. The station airs a public radio format simulcasting FM sister station KCLU-FM. KCLU is rebroadcast on FM translator station K272DT (102.3 MHz) in Santa Barbara. The two stations form part of a five-signal network owned by California Lutheran University.

CitySanta Barbara, California
Broadcast areaSanta Barbara, California
BrandingKCLU Santa Barbara
Slogan"NPR for The California Coast"
Frequency1340 kHz
Translator(s)102.3 MHz K272DT Santa Barbara, CA
First air date1947
FormatPublic radio
Power650 watts
Facility ID10327
Transmitter coordinates34°25′7.00″N 119°41′10.00″W / 34.4186111°N 119.6861111°W / 34.4186111; -119.6861111
Callsign meaningK California Lutheran University
Former callsignsKLDZ (1998)
KIST (1998)
KXXT (1998-2000)
KIST (2000-2003)
KTLK (2003-2005)
KIST (2005-2008)
OwnerCalifornia Lutheran University
Sister stationsKCLM, KCLU-FM
WebcastListen Live


The station signed on in 1947 as KIST under the ownership of Harry C. Butcher. For many years, especially in the 1960s and 1970s, KIST was a premier top 40 music station. In addition to playing the popular music of the day, KIST also claimed one of the finest news broadcasting teams in the Santa Barbara area, winning awards from the Southern California Broadcasters Association for their coverage of the Sycamore Fire in 1977. Each on-air disc jockey and many of the support staff carried two-way mobile radios in their vehicles; these enabled instant on-scene news reporting.

During the 1970s, KIST was owned by J. Patrick "Pat" Wardlaw. The KIST staff from that era included program director Hal Bates, music director Dick Williams (since deceased), news director Patrick C. Riley, and chief engineer Doug Allan. On-air personalities included morning drive host Baron Ron Herron, reporter Ed Foley, and disc jockeys Tom Payne, Jack Kinney, Mike Hennie, Jim Cordes (aka Jim Evans), Frank Catalano, and Steve Dezormo (since deceased). Station bumper stickers of the time read, "Get KIST 1340!"

By the early-1990s, KIST had changed its format to oldies; it also began broadcasting in C-QUAM AM Stereo. Before adopting its most recent format, KIST had changed its call letters to KLDZ. Soon it became all-sports outlet KXXT branded "XTRA Sports 1340". One of the station's on-air hosts was Jim Rome, a graduate of the University of California, Santa Barbara. On March 29, 2000, the call sign was changed back to KIST.

On August 8, 2003, the call sign was again changed, this time to KTLK. This change accompanied a format flip to progressive talk radio, part of national rollout of the format by KTLK owner Clear Channel Communications.[1] Those call letters remained in place until February 3, 2005, when they were changed back to KIST for a third time.

On January 11, 2007, Clear Channel sold all of its radio stations in Santa Barbara to Rincon Broadcasting,[2] who immediately sold KIST to the Santa Barbara Community Broadcasting Company.

On June 19, 2008, R & R Radio, LLC announced it had sold KIST to California Lutheran University for $1.44 million.[3][4] On October 7, the university, owner of National Public Radio affiliate KCLU-FM, converted the station to non-commercial educational status and changed its call letters to KCLU. On October 28, Rincon Broadcasting picked up the KIST call and format on KBKO (1490 AM, now KOSJ).


  1. ^ "Liberal Talk Gets Boost From CC" (PDF). Radio and Records. September 3, 2004. p. 3. Retrieved May 21, 2018.
  2. ^ Mackie, Drew (January 11, 2007). "Clear Channel Sells Santa Barbara Stations". Santa Barbara Independent. Retrieved May 21, 2018.
  3. ^ "Media 8-7". Santa Barbara Independent. August 7, 2008. Retrieved May 21, 2018.
  4. ^ "Media 8-14". Santa Barbara Independent. August 14, 2008. Retrieved May 21, 2018.

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