KSQD Volunteer Handbook



Welcome to the KSQD Handbook

The purpose of this Handbook is to provide a basic orientation to KSQD, Community Radio for Santa Cruz County and to outline the government regulations and station policies that define the rights and responsibilities of volunteers working for and at the station. A thorough understanding of the complete Handbook (including the links) is important for programmers.

KSQD's History

KSQDs history will be written by all of us. Its inception dates back to the creation of KUSP in 1972. KUSP went bankrupt in August of 2016. KSQD rose from its ashes when a local group, convinced of the need for community radio in Santa Cruz, began to organize. Natural Bridges Media, KSQDs parent organization was incorporated December 18, 2017. Thanks to over 400 local donors NBM was able to purchase the license for 90.7 FM from Educational Media Foundation. F.C.C. approval was granted in June of 2018. KSQDs first studio was built at 399 Encinal Street, on Santa Cruz County Office of Education premises. In our communication with COE, KSQD agreed to provide training for county youth, expanding on our community outreach and planning for future programmers.

KSQD Mission Statement

The mission of the Natural Bridges Media/KSQD is to build community through quality broadcasts, podcasts, training programs and community events that celebrate the uniqueness of Santa Cruz County.

KSQD Vision Statement

  • KSQD broadcasts are primarily live and local, volunteer-hosted and produced.

  • KSQD facilitates quality local journalism, information, culture, and music.

  • KSQD gives a voice to individuals, groups, issues and music that are under-represented, a clear alternative to corporate media.

  • KSQD audiences are well-informed about the issues affecting their lives.

  • KSQD listeners feel a sense of belonging through interacting with a station that is responsive to their needs and interests. 

  • KSQD airs differing views respectfully.

  • KSQD will broadcasts emergency alerts and updates. 

KSQD Core Values

  • Quality of broadcasting and programs

  • Community engagement volunteer-based and listener-supported.

  • Creativity

  • Diversity and inclusivity

  • Fiscal responsibility

  • Transparency

  • Honesty

  • Integrity

  • Having fun!

What Makes KSQD Unique?

Much of the information available to Americans passes through a corporate filter. Journalism and facts are under attack from the highest levels of government. We intend to be a voice of truth and reason, especially in turbulent times.

KSQDs news and public affairs departments are dedicated to providing listeners with accurate information. Whether through locally produced programming or airing national (or syndicated) programming, KSQD will provide its listeners with an alternative to corporate media and with material neglected by other media. We will also give voice to our audience by inviting them into the studio and offering participation in live broadcasts.

KSQD studios are located in the County Office of Education. The rental agreement includes training for students in K-12 schools. Youth education is an important part of KSQDs mission.

What is Community Radio?

KSQD sees itself as an inclusive Community Radio: Many Voices, One Station.

Community Radiois defined by law as an educational entity that serves the community. This begins with Public Service Announcements, providing airtime to community organizations, and covering issues of local concern. It is important for the very structure of KSQD (including the membership of its Board of Directors and committees, its appointment procedures and the programmer training process) to ensure that individuals from all parts of our community have the opportunity to be involved at all levels.


Without volunteers, there would be no KSQD. Even if KSQD evolves to have paid staff positions, volunteers will remain the heart and soul of the organization. Volunteers are crucial to office administration, event production, music library maintenance, fundraising, Board and committee representation and, especially, on-air broadcasting. This requires a high level of accountability and responsibility on the part of all volunteers.

KSQD Listeners

People tune in for two reasons: they find something on KSQD that’s worthwhile, and they find something on KSQD that they can’t find anywhere else. Listeners want programming that is excellent, live, local, unique, and relevant. Listenersattachment to the voice and humanity of the host creates loyalty. Involving listeners enables them to feel part of the station, be it through requests, online chat, call-ins, live broadcasts, etc.

KSQD Programmers

The KSQD programmer is the essential link between the station and the audience. Each programmer serves the community in a profound and powerful way. Programmers must treat this opportunity with utmost care and respect.

When on air, the programmer runs the station and, in a very real sense, embodies KSQD. It is the programmers personality and creativity that defines the stations on-air sound. KSQD programmers represent a wide range of ages, backgrounds, points of view, musical tastes, and modes of expression. Programmers, like all KSQD volunteers, share a love for the medium and our community.

Integrated digital and broadcast presence

In todays media environment, broadcast radio is only one medium among many that people turn to for information and entertainment. For KSQD to be a true community presence, and to reach as wide and diverse an audience as possible, it is imperative to go beyond the broadcastand engage with all methods of modern media presence, including web, podcasts, videos, and social media. KSQDs goal is to allow listeners flexibility in being able to determine when and how they listen to KSQD content, and to use KSQDs web presence to offer programming and content creation opportunities to our entire community.

Organizational Structure (See the Appendix for a draft organization chart)

The NBM Board of Directors

Natural Bridges Media was incorporated on December 18, 2017, as a California Nonprofit Public Benefit Corporation to operate KSQD FM. The NBM is governed by a volunteer Board of Directors responsible for managing the business, finances, and property of KSQD; setting station policy; raising funds; and hiring KSQD’s contractors and any future staff. The NBM Board of Directors generally meets every month. Two of the Boards seats are selected by the Community Advisory Board (CAB) in addition to the 7 to 13 directors appointed by the Board. No more than six board members should be active programmers. (This number may differ during the start-up phase.)

For additional information on the NBM Board of Directors and its operations, refer to The Bylaws of Natural Bridges Media/KSQD, A California Non-Profit, Public Benefit Corporation. To review a copy of the Bylaws, see our website.

Community Advisory Board

KSQDs Community Advisory Board (CAB) is an all-volunteer body comprised of community members. The purpose of the CAB is to give feedback and to advise the Board, Staff, and Program Committee (PC) on how best to fulfill KSQDs stated Mission and Vision in service of the Community of Santa Cruz County. To fulfill this mandate, the CAB should strive for a membership that welcomes and, in so far as practicable, mirrors the diversity of Santa Cruz County, in its social, economic, ethnic, cultural, educational, professional, age and gender-related identity.

The structure and operation of the CAB is set out in the bylaws.

KSQDs Commitment to All Volunteers

  1. To be treated with respect and courtesy

  2. To be thanked and acknowledged for their work.

  3. To be trained enough to do their volunteer job well.

  4. To feel part of the whole of KSQD.


KSQDs Specific Commitment to Volunteer Programmers

  1. Quality training with station equipment.

  2. Safe working equipment and facilities.

  3. Feedback on programs.

  4. Assistance to improve broadcasting skills.

  5. Up-to-date information on Federal Communications Commission (FCC) rules and regulations.

  6. Up-to-date information on KSQD rules and policies.

  7. Advance notice of changes in regular air shift.

  8. Clear procedures for decisions that affect programmers and their programs.

  9. Recognition as a full and valued participant of KSQD.

All VolunteersCommitments to KSQD

  1. Treat others with common courtesy and respect. Violence, weapons, intoxication, and verbal or physical harassment at KSQD are absolutely unacceptable.

KSQD Violence and Weapons Policy

KSQD has zero tolerance for acts or threats of violence. All such acts or threats, even if made in jest, will be taken seriously.

Possession of non-work related weapons on the premises and at KSQD-sponsored events shall constitute a threat of violence.

2. Care for KSQD’s facilities and equipment, keeping everything working and clean. (See the section on Programmer Care of Studio and Prod Room below.) Food and drink (except water in closed containers) is prohibited in the studio and production room.

Programmer Care of Studio and Prod Room

Programmers must:
• Remove all CDs from CD players and LPs from turntables at end of show.
• Promptly return all CDs/LPs to library promptly after use.
• Close all files not in use on studio computers.
• Respect station software and never attempt to modify or install software.
• Not use USB or other storage devices that could interfere with the proper function of KSQD computers. See Use and Misuse of Electronic Media
• Start all shows on time, coordinate segue with outgoing programmer, expect outgoing programmer to end on time. NOT run over time without permission.
• If using prod room for productions, vacate the prod room at least 30 minutes before the show start time of incoming programmers.
• Throw all litter in wastebaskets and remove all of personal belongings from the air studio when leaving.

3. Respect for KSQD’s music library and other property, which remain on-site unless authorized by General Manager (GM) or Program Director (PD).
4. Represent KSQD positively on and off air at all times, with no exceptions
5. Keep KSQD internal information confidential. Only people designated by the GM may comment to news reporters on KSQD policy. No airing of “dirty laundry.”
6. Fulfill all agreements. Show up as scheduled, and find qualified substitutes if ill or unavailable.

Substitute Policy

If a programmer is unable to fill their air shift, it is the programmer’s responsibility to find a suitable substitute, to thoroughly brief the substitute, and to notify the PD in advance in writing of the name of the substitute and the date of the substitution. Vetted substitutes are listed on a Substitute list, which will be posted next to the substitute calendar.

Programmers filling in for another programmer are required to stick to the format and feeling of the original program. They should tell the listeners that they are a substitute, who they are replacing, and the name of the program.

Personal Information

All volunteers are required to keep a legal name, current address, phone number, email address, and emergency contact on file in the office. If there is a change in the information during the year, please notify the Volunteer Coordinator (VC).

Health and Safety

All volunteer programmers are responsible for their own safety and the safety of others in the workplace. KSQDs workers compensation insurance does not cover volunteers. A safe workplace requires everyone to be safety-conscious at all times.

Volunteers are encouraged to carry health insurance sufficient to cover their needs in the event of illness or injury. It is important for volunteers to report to KSQD management any injuries/accidents that occur on KSQD premises or at KSQD-sponsored events.

In compliance with Proposition 65, KSQD will inform volunteers of any known exposure to a chemical known to cause cancer or reproductive toxicity.

No Retaliation: There shall be no retaliation against a volunteer who reports safety or health violations, complaints or concerns. Any person found to have retaliated against another individual for reporting any safety or health concerns or complaints will also be subject to disciplinary action.

Drug-Free Workplace Policy

Purpose and Goal

KSQD is committed to protecting the safety, health and well being of all volunteer programmers and other individuals in our workplace. We have established a drug-free workplace program that balances our respect for individuals with the need to maintain an alcohol, tobacco (including marijuana and vapes) and drug-free environment.


Our drug-free workplace policy applies whenever anyone is representing or conducting business for the organization or is present on KSQD or COE premises.

Prohibited Behavior

It is a violation of our drug-free workplace policy to use, possess, trade, supply and/or offer for sale alcohol, illegal drugs or intoxicants, marijuana, and/or tobacco, including vapes.

Prescription and over-the-counter drugs are not prohibited when taken in standard dosage, unless such use of a medication could compromise the volunteers ability to do their job or the safety of the volunteer or others.

Shared Responsibility

No volunteer should report for work if their ability to perform job duties is impaired by alcohol or other drugs.

Confidentiality/Nondisclosure of Trade Secrets

Nondisclosure or Use of Trade Secrets

During their time with KSQD, volunteers may have access to and become familiar with information of a confidential, proprietary, or secret nature, also called trade secrets. Trade secret information includes, but is not limited to, devices, inventions, processes and compilations of information, records, specifications, and information concerning listeners, donors or vendors. Volunteers shall not disclose any trade secrets, directly or indirectly, or use them in any way, either during the term of their volunteering or at any time thereafter, except as required in the course of volunteering with the organization.


In the course of their duties, volunteers may have access to confidential information regarding KSQD, its suppliers, customers, underwriters, donors, vendors or fellow volunteers. All volunteers have a responsibility not to reveal or divulge any such information unless it is necessary to do so in the performance of their duties. Access to confidential information should be on a need-to-knowbasis and must be authorized by supervisors. Any breach of this policy will not be tolerated and legal action may be taken by NBM.

Use and Misuse of Electronic Media

The KSQD studio contains a variety of different equipment used by programmers and staff: audio equipment, broadcast and production equipment, and various computer and network systems.  As the station has limited equipment that must serve all programmers and other volunteers, priority on all KSQD systems is given to KSQD business and production.  Personal use of equipment is discouraged – if you need to check non-station email/social media, please use your own smartphone or personal computing device.

Please note that KSQD computers are shared, public devices, and anything that you do on them may conceivably be viewed by others.  Do not use KSQD computers to access sensitive personal or financial information.  Do not plug flash drives, hard drives, or other storage devices into the computers, unless they are owned by KSQD or approved for use in a particular project.  There may be specific systems that are designed for transferring and loading content that can have devices plugged into them, and will directly scan any inserted devices for malware before they can be used.

Some computer systems within KSQD are considered criticalsystems that run important components of the station, or are connected to them.  Critical systems should only be accessed by personnel trained in their use, and under no circumstances should files be added or modified without authorization (this includes files added via USB or downloaded via the internet).  For these systems, and for non-computer broadcast equipment, they must remain cabled and configured as set up in order to operate properly; do not unplug, re-patch, or rearrange equipment unless authorized to do so (except for routine connections into the studio control board as would normally be done in the process of a regular show.).  If you schedule a special event (live band in studio, etc.) that requires significant rearrangement of equipment, it is your responsibility to request the necessary modifications at least 48 hours in advance and to make sure the equipment is restored to normal configuration afterwards.

KSQD computers are designed for specific functions within the organization, and have been provided with the necessary software to fulfill those functions.  All volunteers, including programmers, and staff are prohibited from installing or otherwise modifying the software.  If there is a software tool you require for a specific KSQD project, please contact the appropriate director, who can then review the software and have staff install it if approved.  Software installed for a temporary project should be removed once that project is completed if it will not be required for subsequent projects.

Any volunteer given access to sensitive information such as station financial records or donor info is required to keep it strictly confidential.  Always remember to log out of systems with sensitive information.

Parking and Vehicles Left at Site

Parking of cars by KSQD employees, contractors, volunteers, and invitees is restricted to designated parking areas. Vehicles, including but not limited to cars, trucks, campers, mobile homes, and trailers shall not be parked at the Site for more than two (2) consecutive days without prior written consent of the SCCOE.

ProgrammersCommitments to KSQD

Follow all F.C.C. regulations

The Federal Communications Commission (FCC) is the federal agency that regulates broadcast media. They monitor radio and TV stations and enforce the rules that govern them.

KSQD’s policy is to always follow the strictest interpretation of FCC rules. These include:

Legal Station Identification at top of hour

A legal station identification consists of a stations call sign followed directly by its city of license. Suggested ID: This is/Youre listening to KSQD, Santa Cruz, and KSQT Prunedale, on the web at K-S-Q-D dot org.

A legal ID must be broadcast within five minutes before or after the top of each hour. Ideally, programmers should identify the station whenever they open the mic or three times an hour, whichever number is greater. Typically, we encourage three mic breaks per hour, and regularly identify the station and encourage donations at every break.

Maintain the Public File

More information about the Public File is forthcoming.

Complete Program logs and any required music playlists

It is the responsibility of each programmer to maintain the Program Log during their air shift. The Program Log is used to compile quarterly reports that demonstrate that our programming is fulfilling our mission as a community radio station. This is a federal requirement and is subject to review in the event of an FCC station inspection. In filling out the logs, youll need to include such information as interview names & topic, author & book title, name of contest winners, etc. Guest interview information can also be entered.

Underwriting spots are required to be read in very close proximity to the time stated in the LOG. Programmers must note and initial the time the Underwriting spot was read.

Avoid Forbidden speech (including obscenities, Libel/slander, Hate speech, and Calls to Action)

Forbidden Speech

Obscenity, Indecency, and Profanity

As outlined in the National Federation of Community Broadcasters’ (NFCB) Public Radio Legal Handbook (2017), the FCC groups forbidden speech into three categories: obscenity, indecency, and profanity.


KSQD has not codified what constitutes obscenity. The FCC website states that For content to be ruled obscene, it must meet a three-pronged test established by the Supreme Court: It must appeal to an average person’s prurient interest; depict or describe sexual conduct in a “patently offensive” way; and, taken as a whole, lack serious literary, artistic, political or scientific value.

More info: https://www.fcc.gov/consumers/guides/obscene-indecent-and-profane-broadcasts

While creativity and provocative programming are encouraged, programmers must always remember to treat listeners with respect and care.


The FCC considers a broadcast to be indecent if it contains language or material that, in context, depicts or describes, in terms patently offensive as measured by contemporary standards for the broadcast medium, sexual or excretory activities or organs(Haley Bader & Potts, 1998:1).

Specific examples of what has been ruled indecent and a more thorough discussion on the subject of indecency can be found in the Media Memo from Haley Bader & Potts.

The purpose of prohibiting indecency is to protect young people from inadvertently hearing explicit language or material. As radio is readily available on many media platforms, KSQD must avoid any material that could be considered as indecent.

The FCC does recognize the concept of safe harbor between the hours of 10:00 p.m. and 6:00 a.m, a period during which indecent material may be aired. Material that is obscene,rather than merely indecent,may not be aired at any time.

However, KSQD policy does not acknowledge a safe harbor!

There is no safe harbor for the airing of indecent material on KSQD!

Any inclusion of indecent material on KSQD broadcasts will result in disciplinary procedures.


The FCC describes Profane Content asgrossly offensivelanguage that is considered a public nuisance.

In the studio and during live broadcasts, KSQD makes use of profanity delay equipment, which can be initiated within 5 seconds of prohibited language to delete the offensive material. Programmers are expected to be alert and hit the stopbutton whenever such language occurs, whether spoken or as song lyrics.


Libel refers to written defamation. Slander is spoken defamation.

Libel/Slander is yet another category of forbidden speech. It is the knowing, negligent, and/or unguarded broadcast of false information that harms the reputation of, or causes shame or ridicule for, an individual, alive or deceased, or organization in a way that causes actual injury in the form of reputation, public scorn, or mental anguish and suffering.

Libel/Slander is a violation of State and Federal law. We are liable not only for things that we say, but also for things that are said by guests on our airwaves. Saying something that even approaches libel/slander can result in a long court battle. Err on the side of caution.

Hate Speech/Demeaning Comments

It is forbidden to broadcast any material that demeans, encourages hatred, or may lead to violence toward any individual or group based on age, race, religion, sex, sexual preference, or national origin.

Hate speech definition from USLegal.com: Hate speech is a communication that carries no meaning other than the expression of hatred for some group, especially in circumstances in which the communication is likely to provoke violence. It is an incitement to hatred primarily against a group of persons defined in terms of race, ethnicity, national origin, gender, religion, sexual orientation, and the like. Hate speech can be any form of expression regarded as offensive to racial, ethnic and religious groups and other discrete minorities or to women.


Calls To Action

A programmer may not encourage listeners to take an action such as go to a specific event, purchase a specific product or shop at a specific place. Known as calls to action,such promotions are forbidden.

Avoid commercial activities (Payola and Plugola), Religious broadcasting, and Political endorsements

Payola and Plugola

By law, programmers cannot promote or endorse on the air any product, event, or activity from which they might receive consideration from. For example, if programmers receive money, products, or services from someone, they cannot plug them on the air. In its extreme form, this is known as “payola” or “plugola.” In any form, it’s illegal.

For instance, a programmer should avoid promoting a non-station event where they are appearing.

Religious Broadcasting

A programmer may not promote one religious belief over another, proselytize, or exhort others to embrace any particular religious point of view.

Political Endorsements

Programmers who want to have a political candidate appear on their program must coordinate with the PD. In many cases, the FCC may require that KSQD offer equivalent airtime to other candidates.

Any programmers who runs for a political office must resign from their air shift.

Follow Copyright and Licensing rules

Copyrighted Material

It is legal to broadcast any material that has been commercially recorded, as long as there is no prohibition against airplay on the material. However, it is illegal to broadcast “bootleg” recordings or other non-commercial recordings without the written permission of the artist. When in doubt, consult the appropriate station staff member.

Regarding printed material that is to be read on the air, you must either obtain the written permission of the author or publisher, or you must adhere to the “fair use rule.” The “fair use rule” demands that the material you read or quote on the air should not diminish the financial value of the printed work. If you read the entire work, that can be construed as violating the “fair use rule.” How much of the work you can read without violating the “fair use rule” is a matter of interpretation. When in doubt, get written permission.

Music Licensing

ASCAP, BMI and SESAC (collect royalties for music played via traditional radio broadcasts)

From Wikipedia at en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Music_licensing#Broadcasting

Radio stations pay fees to licensing bodies for nonexclusive rights to broadcast music. Radio stations and businesses typically pay a flat rate once a year, called a blanket license, which can vary based on the size of the audience, value of the advertising revenues, and amount and nature of music usage. As part of the license contract a radio station may conduct periodic audits of the music being played, with the audit results submitted to the licensing body.

SoundExchange and the DMCA (cover royalties for music streamed over the Internet by radio stations)

From Wikipedia at http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/SoundExchange

SoundExchange is a non-profit collective rights management organization. It is the sole organization designated by the U.S. Congress to collect and distribute digital performance royalties for sound recordings. It pays featured and non-featured artists and master rights owners for the non-interactive use of sound recordings under the statutory licenses set forth in 17 U.S.C. § 112 and 17 U.S.C. § 114…and…

The Digital Performance in Sound Recordings Act of 1995 and the Digital Millennium Copyright Act of 1998 together granted a performance right for sound recordings. As a result, copyright law now requires that users of music pay the copyright owner of the sound recording for the public performance of that music via certain kinds of digital transmissions.

Follow rules about Rebroadcasts and Telephone conversations


The NFCBs Public Radio Legal Handbook states:

As a general rule, a station may rebroadcast the programs of another broadcast station only if the originating station has given its written authority for such rebroadcast. A copy of the originating stations written consent must be kept by the licensee of the station that rebroadcasts the program and made available to the FCC upon request (Thomas and Clifford, 1986: IV-17).

Telephone Conversations

Before programmers live-broadcast a telephone conversation or record a telephone conversation for later broadcast, any and all parties taking part in the conversation must be notified of KSQDs intent to broadcast it. This is known as prior notificationand must take place before any part of the conversation is broadcast or recorded.

Prior notification does not necessarily need to be made on-air. However, when spontaneously taking calls, such as during a phone-in program, programmers must notify each caller of the intent to broadcast the conversation before it begins. This can be accomplished by working with a second person who screens calls and notifies callers before they are patched on air. If programmers are working alone and are patching incoming calls directly on air, they must first notify each caller that the conversation is on the radio. Begin the conversation by saying, Hello, caller. Youre on the air.

The National Federation of Community Broadcasters, NFCB is a member-based advocacy group representing the interests of community broadcasting. It provides guidance when interpreting FCC regulations.


In addition to lobbying on behalf of community radio stations and working to keep public funding in place, the NFCB provides a wide variety of support services for member stations including advice on legislative requirements, interpretations of FCC regulations and comparative data from hundreds of community stations throughout the country. The NFCB web site provides a wealth of information about the national community radio scene: www.nfcb.org.

The NFCB holds regional summits for community radio professionals and activists. It would be valuable for KSQD representatives to attend and return with new information and networking references to share with KSQD staff and volunteers.

In addition to complying with FCC broadcast regulations, programmers must also comply with all station policies:

Air any required or logged Disclaimers, Announcements, Underwriting scripts, Promotions, etc.


KSQD station policy is not to take editorial stands. Whenever controversial topics are discussed, the following disclaimer should be read at the beginning, middle, and end of the program:

The views and opinions expressed in this program are those of the speaker and do not necessarily represent those of KSQD, its management, staff, or contributors.


Public Service Announcements (PSAs) and Public Affairs Interviews

PSAs must be read exactly as written at the appropriate times set out in the daily programming guide posted in the studio.

One exception to the timing is during RedEye hours (between .. and .. hours) when timing is not as critical.

Upcoming KSQD Events

Programmers have a responsibility to promote upcoming shows and events at KSQD at some point during their air shift. This includes playing scheduled promotional spots and playing the music of upcoming performers. Calls to Action are appropriate and necessary only when discussing station-sponsored events.

The programmer will find the specifics in the Log or the Log should direct the programmer to the KSQD program guide or PSA binder.

News Reports and Short Features

KSQD may ask programmers to air special reports, news, weather, traffic, or short features during your scheduled program.

Acknowledging Underwriters

Community businesses are a critical source of financial support for KSQD. Business donations are referred to as underwriting. Programmers must read or play underwriting announcements at the time they are scheduled in the program log.

Scripted wording should be read exactly as written


KSQD will often have ticket or music giveaways. Programmers must clear all giveaways with staff and observe the plugola/payola rules when arranging for promo giveaways. It is the programmers responsibility to direct listeners to pick up their gift at the end of a pledge-drive party and/ or have them pick their gift up at the station during station/office business hours. We cannot by law require listeners to pay money to enter any contest.

Promote other KSQD programs
Maintain a Local Focus, linking KSQD to the greater community

“Local Focus

Music programmers are encouraged to play at least one local artist from the Monterey Bay Area or greater Central Coast region during each show.

Agree not to air grievances or make personal attacks

Under no circumstances may a programmer discuss personnel issues or appeal to listeners regarding decisions made by station management, staff, or committees without the express permission of the General Manager (GM) or Program Director (PD). Programmer grievances should be discussed with the GM.

Programmers may not discuss personal issues, such as relationship disputes, disagreements between neighbors, etc. when on the air.

No-Show Policy

Failure to appear for a scheduled air shift is a serious violation of the programmer agreement. Two no-shows = no show.

Substitute Policy

If a programmer is unable to fill their air shift, it is the programmers responsibility to find a suitable substitute, to thoroughly brief the substitute, and to notify the PD in advance in writing of the name of the substitute and the date of the substitution. Vetted substitutes are listed on a Substitute list, which will be posted next to the substitute calendar.

Programmers filling in for another programmer are required to stick to the format and feeling of the original program. They should tell the listeners that they are a substitute, who they are replacing, and the name of the program.

Leave of Absence Policy

Leaves of absence are required when a programmer anticipates being unable to fill an air shift for longer than six programs or six calendar weeks, whichever is less. Programmers who wish to take a leave of absence must notify the Program Director (PD) at least two weeks in advance of the proposed leave and nominate a substitute. The PD reserves the right to approve the substitution. Extensions may be granted by the PD under exceptional circumstances.

Resignation Policy

Programmers desiring to resign their air shift should notify the Program Director (PD) at least two weeks in advance. The PD reserves the right to find a temporary substitute immediately upon notification. Without the explicit permission of the GM or PD, on-air resignations of a program assignment or station position are considered substandard broadcasting and will result in immediate and permanent dismissal.

Care of Equipment Policy

Treat KSQD broadcast equipment with care and immediately report any equipment failures or malfunctions to the Chief Engineer (stationengineer@ksqd.org, sandy@sandystone.com). Programmers are to note any malfunctions on the bottom of the Operating Log and should also leave a note for the Engineer in their mailbox. Programmers should not discuss equipment problems on air. Programmers should be trained on the use of the variety of equipment in the studios and should be prepared to quickly switch to another mode of delivery should equipment fail such as CD players, laptops, digital library, turntables, and especially flash drives.

Site-Specific Security

Programmers are responsible for the security of the studios, music library, and community area(s). When they are on the air, and no other KSQD staff/programmers are in the building, they are in charge. Make all law enforcement officials show identification before opening the door. Do not allow strangers to be unattended in the building. Programmers are expected to enter through the front doors during business hours, and the side door near the studio after hours (and will be issued a card key). Lost keys will be charged at $ and cause a huge hassle, so dont lose them.

When leaving the building with no one in charge, make sure it is properly locked. Set the alarm(s). If someone fails to set alarm(s), KSQD will have to pay for security staff to reset as needed. (Contract with SCCOE, article 12.)

Air Shift Transitions/Studio Access

It is the responsibility of every programmer to foster a smooth transition between air shifts. Begin and end an assigned shift on time. If programmers are running late for an upcoming shift, please notify the preceding programmer. It is the right of the following programmer to fade down a selection if it goes into their assigned air shift. If the next programmer does not arrive for their air shift, consult the list of emergency substitutes in the broadcast booth. These individuals have agreed to be on call 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, to insure that the station does not have to go off the air. If no one shows, you may have to put the station on automation.

Remember air studio access is granted to incoming programmers at least 30 minutes prior to their show.

Online Presence

KSQD is a multimedia outlet, producing a variety of content beyond the broadcast airwaves. KSQD expects programmers to actively engage with audiences through the KSQD website and encourages further interaction via other online channels, such as social media. When posting any content as a representative of KSQD, programmers must follow the same rules of conduct and other programming guidelines as they do when broadcasting.

Each KSQD programmer will be assigned a website account for them to use for posting engaging, relevant content. Audio from each talk program and playlists from each music program should be uploaded immediately after broadcast, but no later than 24 hours. KSQD will also provide an automated web archive restricted to non-downloadable audio streaming, available for 14 days after broadcast, in compliance with the industrys current standard. (More info about the procedures to follow.)

Videos, blogs, photo essays, and more are possible through the website user interface. Programmers may create content related to the focus of a program they work on, but also may create other unrelated content. The quality and appropriateness of submitted content will be reviewed and moderated at the discretion of a KSQD director. Some content may be held for review before being published.

Requirements to become a Programmer on KSQD


Complete the programmer orientation (more details coming soon)


Each programmer must be checked out to use the on-air studio by one of the technical crew. This includes knowing how to use the on-air board, go in and out of mic breaks, use guest mics and phone system, use automation system, take calls, where to find underwriting announcements, fill out a program log, etc.  More specific training materials coming soon.


On-air volunteers will be considered certifiedafter mastering the above skills.  This will include tests and hands-on demonstrations of your skills, more information coming soon.

On-Going Training/Continuing Education

Programmers must attend training classes when required. Additionally, training classes on a variety of subjects are offered throughout the year and programmers are encouraged to take advantage of as many of these as possible to increase and refresh skills.

Have a signed programmer agreement on file

The KSQD Programmer Agreement serves two purposes. First, it formalizes the relationship between the Programmer and KSQD and establishes that both parties understand and agree to adhere to the procedures that govern KSQD and our operations. Second, it establishes an agreement that, as part of the annual review, KSQD has assigned one or more air shifts to a programmer with a specified format and that, at the time of the agreement, it is the intention of both parties that the programmer shall be assigned those shifts.

General Meetings

General meetings are usually held quarterly and as necessary. Active KSQD programmers are required to attend 3 out of 4 general meetings. They are the heart, soul, and spirit of this station. It is important that they know what is going on and take part. Programmers are also responsible for the material covered during the meetings.

Programmer Monthly Volunteer Hours

All programmers, whether they have an assigned regular show or not, are required to perform 2 hours of MVH, or a total of 24 hours per year. MVH are defined as off-air time. Hours spent on-air on ones own show, as well hours spent preparing for an on-air show are not valid MVH. However, hosting live mic breaks on syndicated shows, producing for others, screening calls, office work, etc. all count. See full list below.

General Meetings time also does not count as MVH.

The MVH Log Book is located on top of the programmer mailboxes. It is the responsibility of each programmer to log and keep up to date their MVH in the binder. If it is not recorded in the binder it will not be logged into the database, and will not be counted in MVH reports. MVH may be accrued for 1 year. Programmers slate will be wiped clean at the beginning of each calendar year.


MVH will be waived for programmers involved in one or more of the following for the duration of their service only:

KSQD Committees

KSQD Board of Directors

Staff who are assigned programmers are not required to perform MVH.

Consequences of unfulfilled MVH:

Programmers who are not up to date on MVH will be ineligible to apply for open shows.

Suspension is a possible result if the annual requirement has not been fulfilled.

Schedule of quarterly MVH reports: The VC will compile a report on or near

April 1st, July 1st, Oct 1st, Jan 1st

How to Satisfy MVH:

The following are examples, but are by no means all inclusive! If you have any other ideas, please consult with the VC!

  • Staffing Outreach booth

  • Travel to out-of-town Outreach Events

  • Pledge Drives: shift captain, food pickup, premium fulfillment

  • Producing premiums for pledge drives

  • Office Help: reception, mailings, photocopying, ticket sales, etc.

  • Postering

  • Tech Crew

  • Writing PSAs

  • Work with Music Dept: CD reviewing, cataloging, library etc

  • Training new programmers

  • Engineering for non-certified programmers

  • Engineering for pre-recorded shows such as Democracy Now!

  • Setting up live remote broadcasts

  • Handling the booth during live remote broadcasts

  • Event production

  • Help at events

  • Time spent as a producer for special programming days (MLK day, etc)

  • Producing promotional spots

  • Other unique skills (carpentry, photography, painting, etc!) we may have a need for! What can you do???

Annual Program Review

The review process begins with consideration of a variety of criteria including KSQDs Mission Statement, feedback from the Community Advisory Board, community surveys, programmer surveys, the perspectives of the members of the PC, and other factors, such as:

  • the quality of individual programs,

  • how programs relate to one another vertically and horizontally,

  • the quality of the resulting overall schedule.

Information from these sources is folded into a set of annual programming goals and recommendations for improvement that are proposed by the PC, with input from the CAB, and approved by the GM. The approved annual goals will be communicated to programmers. Recommendations for improvement will guide programming decisions that will ultimately shape the new schedule.

Following this process, the PC will release the Preliminary Schedule of Programming. The PC will hold a public forum to solicit public comment on their proposal. Public comment will be considered in the preparation of a proposed Final Schedule to be presented to the GM for approval. Once approved, the New Schedule will be implemented in a timely manner.

The following section covers disciplinary situations and procedures:

What to do if you have a complaint/problem

Suggestions for improving KSQD are always welcome. At some time, volunteers may have a complaint, suggestion, or question about their job. Volunteers should first discuss these concerns with their committee head. If the matter is not resolved then proceed to the following these steps:

  • Within a week of the occurrence, bring the situation to the attention of the Program Director (PD) or Volunteer Coordinator (VC), who will then investigate and provide a solution or explanation.

  • If the problem persists, describe it in writing and present it to the General Manager (GM), who will investigate and provide a solution or explanation. We encourage volunteers to bring the matter to the GM as soon as possible if they conclude that their immediate supervisor has failed to resolve it.

  • If the problem is not resolved, present the problem in writing to the Chair of NBM/KSQDs Governance Committee, who will attempt to reach a final resolution.

This procedure cannot necessarily guarantee that all problems will be resolved to everyones satisfaction. However, the organization values everyones observations, and volunteers should feel free to raise issues of concern, in good faith, without fear of retaliation.

Avoiding Complaints/Problems

All volunteers must avoid situations involving actual or potential conflicts. For instance, personal or romantic involvement with someone from another media outlet, supplier, or employee of KSQD may impair a volunteers ability to exercise good judgement on behalf of KSQD. Supervisor-subordinate romantic or personal relationships might also lead to supervisory problems, possible claims of sexual harassment, or morale problems.

Relatives of volunteer programmers may be eligible for on-air volunteering providing the individuals involved will not work in a direct supervisory relationship or in any way create a conflict of interest. “Relatives” are defined as: spouses or significant others, children, siblings, parents, in-laws and step-relatives. If current volunteer programmers become related, it is the responsibility of the volunteer programmers to so advise the GM. An assessment will then determine an appropriate solution.

Additional Policies:

Animals in the Workplace

KSQD loves its canine friends and also loves and respects its human friends who are allergic to or uncomfortable around dogs.

The following policy strives to appreciate all staff and volunteers who share space at KSQDs facilities.

Well behaved, friendly dogs are allowed in the KSQD lobby. They must, at all times, be with their owner and held on a 6ft leash.

Dogs, except service dogs, are not allowed in common areas (other than the lobby) or in shared workspaces, including the studio, production rooms, and library.

Observed Holidays

KSQD offices are closed on the following holidays:

-New Years Day                          -Indigenous Peoples Day

-Martin Luther Kings Birthday      -Veterans Day

-Presidents Day                           -Thanksgiving Day

-Cesar Chavez Day                      -Day After Thanksgiving

-Memorial Day                            -Christmas Eve

-Independence Day                     -Christmas Day

-Labor Day

When a holiday falls on a Saturday or Sunday, it is usually observed on the preceding Friday or the following Monday.

Code of Ethics

KSQD’s Code of Ethics is equivalent to that put forth by the Radio Television Digital News Association: