Frequently Asked Questions

How do I listen?

If you live along the Monterey Bay, tune your radio dial to 90.7 FM. Check out our signal coverage map to see where our signal is strongest.

You can listen online via our web player.

How do I make a donation?

Here is our donation link to donate online. To save the 3% fees for credit card you can snail mail a check to Natural Bridges Media/KSQD, PO Box 5551, Santa Cruz, CA 95063.

How Did KSQD come about?

Thanks to our donors, we bought the license and transmitter for 90.7 FM through many large and small donations. It took almost two years of fundraising and negotiations with various entities, but we finally did it!

I wish I could give more money. What else can I do to help?

  • Check out our volunteer page for lots of opportunities.
  • Help us get the word out by sharing the video and/or donation link on social media and tell your friends!
  • Do you know people who might be able to make a major donation? Are you willing to ask them or to let us know how we might contact them to ask?
  • Volunteer your time. Give us your contact information, as we are gathering lists of people who can help us now.
  • Share the survey link to help us be a station everyone wants to hear.

Where does the money go?

Funds go to Natural Bridges Media, the nonprofit set up to operate KSQD-FM. Funds will be used to help us maintain the ongoing expenses of a community radio station, including rent, internet, music licensing fees, utilities and much more. Detailed budgets are available to share, just ask.

When are you Live on the air?

We started broadcasting on February 15th, 2019.

How much will it cost?

The license, transmitter and antenna cost $265,000, and ongoing station costs are estimated at $80,000 for the first year of operation. Successive years will cost more as we scale up to take in more revenue to support the small staff.

How will this serve the community?

There are many nonprofits and social justice groups in the area that are doing important work. We provide space on the air for groups to discuss the issues they care about. We also provide emergency broadcast services in our times of extreme weather patterns. We celebrate the arts through numerous programs highlighting artists, musicians, writers, painters, dancers and more. We also provide news about local politics and candidates in order to educate voters and offer the citizens of our community a chance to interact with their elected leaders.

What’s at stake in ownership and control of our non-commercial airwaves?

What’s at stake is our freedom to speak and be informed. What’s at stake is a non-commercial musical and cultural world that needs supporting and celebrating so that it can express what mere information cannot. Have you tuned in to mainstream media lately? Much of it is corporate-controlled and driven by a mission of consumerism and sensationalism.  We want to support the main cannons of ethical journalism; truth, accuracy, fairness, and speaking truth to power. Local media can play a powerful role in making sure our elected officials are held accountable to those who elected them. There is a whole world of music and the arts that doesn’t get much airtime. We want to fix that.

How will you succeed in running a sustainable station when the previous board failed?

We are starting out with many volunteers, and we have found a very reasonably priced location for the station. There are many other community stations around the country who have successfully implemented a scaled-down, locally-sourced model. (Two good examples are KWMR in West Marin and KVMR in Nevada City ).

Who runs and owns KSQD?

We do! Natural Bridges Media is a new 501 (c) 3 nonprofit organization formed in December 2017 in order to facilitate the rebirth of community radio in Santa Cruz County. While individuals can’t own a radio license, a nonprofit with a board of directors can. The station will be overseen by a diverse, committed Board of Directors. Day-to-day operations will be eventually be managed by a small paid staff, and a large group of volunteers will provide their time and knowledge to make the station a success. Our goal is maximum inclusion on a mostly volunteer-staffed, locally-focused community station.

What does it sound like?

Tune in to 90.7 and find out! Community radio reflects the unique place and culture in which we live. What does Santa Cruz sound like? You will hear familiar shows from local experts you have come to love, as well as news, public affairs, and cultural programs.

What is community radio as distinguished from public radio?

Community radio stations serve their listeners by offering a variety of content that is not provided by the larger commercial radio stations. Community radio stations carry news and information programming geared toward the diversity of the local area, and in particular, those groups poorly served by major media outlets. Specialized musical shows are also often a feature of many community radio stations. Community radio stations typically avoid content found on commercial outlets such as Top 40 music, sports, and “drive-time” personalities. It has been said that community radio should be 10 percent radio and 90 percent community. Community radio has been built around the ideals of access and participation. Stations are run by locals to serve a local audience.

Isn’t Radio Dead?

The media environment into which we are entering is one in which the audience has become accustomed to Spotify, Pandora, podcasts, NPR, BBC, national and international news, receiving much of their information and music online. We will build an audience for locally focused news and cultural programs, cultivated through engaging hosts and topics, active promotion and outreach in the community.Audiences for local radio stations grew 15-17% in the last quarter. We will be occupying a different niche for listeners. One thing community radio stations enjoy is listener loyalty. Over time, listeners become like family, giving regularly because they have a personal attachment to the hosts, programs, or the feeling they get listening. It is hard to quantify feeling connected and belonging to a community of listeners, but stations that serve their audiences well are rewarded with long term support in the form of pledges and underwriting, and many other in-kind gifts.