By George Donaldson. Photos by MossMediaCarmel.
WHAT’S A K-SQUID, YOU ASK?
That’s a very good question. KSQD (AKA “K-Squid) is a nonprofit community radio station overseen by Natural Bridges Media. It was founded in 2109 to serve the local community with news, interviews and music programming relevant to our region.
The station’sprogram schedule includes a variety of musical styles, from Classical and Jazz, to Rock, Folk and Bluegrass. The talk programming is a mix of locally hosted shows such as “Ask Dr. Dawn.” “The Dream Journal” “Be Bold America,” “What a Week”and “Talk of the Bay. Nationally syndicated shows and personalities include “Democracy Now!” Thom Hartmann, Laura Flanders, and “Counterspin.” KSQD is overseen by the nonprofit Natural Bridges Media and lives by the stated mission: “to build community through quality broadcasts, podcasts, training programs and community events. We celebrate the uniqueness of our region through news, arts, and culturally diverse programming.”
The original signal at 90.7 FM was limited and didn’t reach parts of
Watsonville and Aptos, as well as Monterey, Carmel, and Salinas, and the Board of Directors had been seeking to expand the broadcast region as a goal from the beginning. Recently, K-Squid, with the generous support of community members and listeners–more than $400,000 was raised for the effort–has successfully purchased two more radio licenses. This move enabled the station to triple its audience reach for a potential 645,000 listeners reaching from Santa Cruz to Monterey, Carmel, Salinas and all points in between. Listeners can now dial in KSQD at 89.7 FM and 89.5 FM, as well as at the original 90.7FM in Santa Cruz.
The station plans to include programs and hosts from the expanded broadcast region of Salinas, Monterey, Carmel, Seaside, Prunedale, and Watsonville. More information on all the shows, forms for making suggestions about new programs, and the live broadcast online are available at the station website, ksqd.org.
David has lived a life not unlike a lyric from the theme song fromthe 1980s sitcom WKRP in Cincinnati: “town to town, up and down the dial” Born in Roseburg Oregon, raised in Olympia, Washington and attending the University of Colorado in Boulder, he appears to have had itchy feet from the beginning. But for many years now, he has made his home on the Monterey Peninsula.
His professional life began as a disc jockey, music director and program director at an early progressive FM station, KLRB in Carmel
(interesting story here, by the way: klrbcarmel.com). From there, David went over the hill to Seaside, taking the helm as General Manager at KZEN FM. An avid listener to that station was Carmel Valley resident Michael Nesmith, the watch-capsporting musician/ actor who starred as Mike in 1960s TV show The Monkees. “Michael hired me to work for him at his company, Pacific Arts Video Re- cords, David recalls. Pacific Arts was on the cutting edge of music video and Nez (as he was known–he passed away in 2021) was instrumental in the founding of MTV, among many other accomplishments. Leaving Nesmith’s company, David became President of CTI, a prestigious record label founded byproducer Creed Taylor. The label’s roster reads like a Who’s Who of late 20th centurv jazz artists.
After four years with CTI, David ventured out on his own, launching
his own independent label, BeanBag1 Entertainment. That company distributed singer/songwriter Jesse Colin Young’s work, among other clients. “When music went online, I became one of the earliest developers of music streaming,” he says, “first at OnRadio in Scotts Valley, CA, for the Vibe and Spin magazine websites, and then at MusicMatch in San Diego, which later was sold to Yahoo and powered AOL Radio. Subsequently, Bean programmed music at Slacker.com and other digital music initiatives. “Recognizing that music distribution was moving to the internet, resulting in less label support for artists, I launched a successful label services company under the BeanBag1 Entertainment banner to support indie artists with marketing and promotion.”
Among other endeavors, David was a founder of the beloved community radio station KAZU. That station was almost entirely programmed by volunteers, a format that is greatly missed, and one that he and his compatriots are rebooting with K-Squid. “When we started KAZU FM in Pacific Grove decades ago, and now this new Monterey Bay Community station, KSQD, a strong underlying pur- pose was to demystify the media by providing access to residents of the community. It’s more important than ever.”
Listen at 89.7 FM and 89.5 FM, as well as at the original 90.7 FM or streaming online at ksqd.org.
KSQD’s David Bean