- For 88.5 FM in Orange County, see KSBR
KCSN is an FM radio station licensed to Northridge, Los Angeles, California, and a service of California State University, Northridge. Broadcasting at 88.5 MHz, KCSN simulcasts with KSBR from Saddleback College in Mission Viejo. The station primarily airs adult album alternative (AAA) and Americana music with a mix of legends, new music, and local music with some specialty programming on weekends.
|City||Northridge, Los Angeles, California|
|Broadcast area||Greater Los Angeles area|
|Branding||"The new 88.5 FM"|
|Slogan||"L.A.'s smart rock"|
|Frequency||88.5 MHz (also on HD Radio)|
|Translator(s)||89.9 MHz K210CH (Ventura, CA)
89.9 MHz K210EO (Santa Paula, CA)
|Format||Adult album alternative (Public)
HD3: Latin alternative
|Callsign meaning||California State University Northridge|
|Former callsigns||KEDC-FM Nov. 1963 to January 1973|
|Owner||California State University, Northridge|
Listen Live (HD2)
Listen Live (HD3)
KCSN aired an all-country format, "Kissin' country" (a play on how the call letters "KCSN" might be pronounced) until 1989. When classical music KFAC-FM (92.3) was sold to Evergreen Media and flipped to a "Rock with a beat" format, KCSN made a play for those listeners, and went all-classical.
KCSN also aired specialty shows on weekends and in late night. As the "Best of Public Radio," KCSN's specialty shows were devoted to German music, Broadway showtunes, children's music, soundtrack music, hip-hop, Hawaiian music, blues, folk, the Beatles, surf music, cocktail tunes, electronic music, and more.
KCSN went to an automated adult album alternative (AAA) format from 6 p.m. to 6 a.m. in 2008, removing most of the specialty shows.
On March 1, 2010, KCSN moved all classical music from its primary FM signal to its HD2 channel. The main FM/HD1 channel was switched to an all-AAA programming format without news.
Under the guidance of radio and record company veteran Sky Daniels, some of Los Angeles radio's legendary hosts were hired to host shows on KCSN, including former KCRW host Nic Harcourt; long-time KROQ host Jed the Fish; and Robert Hilburn, the thirty-year Music Editor for the Los Angeles Times.
In the same time period, Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers played two small-hall benefit concerts for the station. Subsequently, Jackson Browne, The Rides, Ryan Adams, Conor Oberst, David Gray, Sarah McLachlan, and Bonnie Raitt performed at the station's annual benefit concerts. Sting also premiered new songs from the station in August 2016.
Harcourt, who stewarded KCRW's Morning Becomes Eclectic to international recognition, hosts the morning show. KCSN also is the L.A. radio partner of World Cafe, the program hosted by Talia Schlanger of WXPN/Philadelphia.
KCSN also supports local music in the Los Angeles market. Kevin Bronson, the director of Buzzbands L.A.; has a show devoted to supporting local musicians. The station's new music library typically is represented with local artists by upwards of 30% of the playlist. KCSN has a roster of shows that include AAA, Americana, and blues genres.
KCSN also supports music by hosting live music sessions and interviews with new, local, and legendary artists, the majority recorded by audio engineers Tristan Dolce and Matt Blake.
On September 6, 2017, California State University, Northridge and Saddleback College, owner of Mission Viejo-based KSBR, announced the merger of their respective radio stations. The combined operation adopted the branding "88.5 FM". On September 12 at 10 a.m. PDT, the FM and HD1 signals of both stations began simulcasting KCSN’s pre-existing "smart rock" AAA format, while KSBR’s jazz programming would move to their HD2 channels. KCSN’s Latin Alternative relocated to both stations’ HD3 channels.
On March 21, 2018, 88.5 FM announced that former KSWD (100.3 The Sound) radio personality Andy Chanley would host afternoon drive time effective immediately, taking over for Sky Daniels. Prior to this, Chanley had guest hosted in Daniels’ place for several weeks since February.
In October 2013, the HD2 channel dropped classical and launched a new format known as Latin alternative, which includes Latin pop, modern rock, classic rock, hip-hop, dance music and salsoul. This format then moved to HD3 as part of the KSBR programming partnership as their Jazz programming moved to HD2.
KCSN also mentors California State University, Northridge students in broadcasting, music industry, audio engineering and news production. Students produce six-minute morning news segments that air at 6:30am and 7:30am and three-minute segments at 7am and 8am. A nightly half-hour news program called the Evening Update airs at 6pm. The news department received more than 400 awards under the late KCSN news director Keith Goldstein. These news programs are heard on the HD3 channel.
- "Tom Petty on lending a hand to underdog radio station KCSN-FM* [Updated]". LA Times Blogs - Pop & Hiss. 2011-10-12. Retrieved 2017-11-01.
- Lewis, Randy (2012-10-03). "Jackson Browne headlines benefit for the still-expanding KCSN-FM". Los Angeles Times. ISSN 0458-3035. Retrieved 2017-11-01.
- Roberts, Randall (2014-10-13). "Ryan Adams, Sarah McLachlan to headline KCSN-FM benefit gigs". Los Angeles Times. ISSN 0458-3035. Retrieved 2017-11-01.
- "KCSN 88.5-FM Benefit Concert to Feature Bonnie Raitt | CSUN Today". csunshinetoday.csun.edu. Retrieved 2017-11-01.
- "Sting unveils new album during intimate KCSN radio session". Los Angeles Times. 2016-08-31. ISSN 0458-3035. Retrieved 2017-11-01.
- "All Access". All Access.
- "CSUN radio station to open live studio at The Village at Westfield Topanga". Daily News. 2015-09-05. Retrieved 2017-11-01.
- "KCSN-KSBR FM merger aims to create new Southland public radio powerhouse". Los Angeles Times. 2018-09-06. Retrieved 2018-03-22.
- "KCSN & KSBR To Merge To Cover Majority Of Los Angeles Market With AAA". Radio Insight. 2018-09-07. Retrieved 2018-03-22.
- "Andy Chanley Joins KCSN/KSBR Los Angeles For Afternoons". Radio Insight. 2018-03-21. Retrieved 2018-03-22.
- "HD Radio station guide for Los Angeles, California". hdradio.com.
- Mike (21 October 2013). "Franklin Avenue: KCSN's HD2 Channel Goes Latin Alternative".