A New Community Radio Station for Santa Cruz

For: Central Coast Community Radio/Media Watch
Santa Cruz, CA
Organizer: Nonprofit Media Watch
of $300,000 goal
72% Complete
Raised by 355 donors

The Story

What if Santa Cruz had it's own radio station? Help us build this independent, noncommercial FM radio station. We will be on the dial at 90.7FM in Santa Cruz. This frequency serves most of Santa Cruz County! It will cost around $300,000 to get it on the air. What we need is YOU (and your dollars and ideas)! Don't worry your donation is tax deductible and will be returned (minus card processing fee) if for some reason we are unable to complete the purchase.

In times like these, we need rapid access to trustworthy local information. Our station will broadcast news and interviews based on the journalistic ethics and standards; truthfulness, accuracy, objectivity, impartiality, fairness and public accountability. We will celebrate that colorful, exciting, beautiful, innovative and quirky place we call home. Programs will be engaging, high-quality and original, focusing on telling the stories of life here on the central coast. Think: musicians, artists, writers, dancers, scientists, intellectuals, children, youth, seniors, electeds, non-profit leaders, historians,etc. Many voices; one station. Multi-tribal radio. Bringing back the best of programmers we all miss (Latin Jazz, Dr. Call-ins, Tech-Talk, Local News, Celtic, Bluegrass, Blues, Folk, and World music), Democracy Now!, Your Call, plus a slate of new shows. For a current sample of programs and music genres, visit: www.centralcoastcommunityradio.org.

Please help by donating as much as you can comfortably afford now. Take the survey at our website so we can know what sort of information and music you want to hear.  

If all goes well, we are slated to go on the air in Summer of this year (F.C.C. willing). We invite you be a part of it.

Two ways to give:

Online here OR to save processing fees

Mail a check to Media Watch/Radio: P.O. Box 618, Santa Cruz, CA 95061.

WHAT IS YOUR VISION of this new radio?   Fill Out Survey


Fundraiser Updates

Posted on April 9, 2018


Posted on April 9, 2018

Hi KSQD supporters,
Check out the audio montage which imagines what KSQD might sound like once it goes on the air.
You can hear it here: http://centralcoastcommunityradio.org/?p=349 (look on the right side of page)
We're looking forward to seeing you at the community meeting on April 19th 4-6pm at the Community Room, Downtown Public Library.
Those considering program ideas can find others to collaborate with, and we will also share the latest news and updates on what's happening with the project, how you can plug in and help, and you can contribute your ideas for how to make this the best little station in Santa Cruz.  Finally, since we have met our goal for this fundraiser to purchase the license for 90.7FM, (Woooo!!!!Hoooo!!! thanks to you) we have set up a new YouCaring page for the startup funds we need to build the studios and operate for the first year. You can help by A. making another donation there and/or B. Sharing the heck out of the link. Here it is: https://www.youcaring.com/ksqdfm-1133919
We could not have come this far without you. Thank you. It is looking like July will be our month for launch, so stay tuned!

Posted on February 20, 2018

Posted on February 20, 2018

Hey Radio lovers! Here is a chance to apply for a show on KSQD-FM.

Dear Friend,

I am writing to you as chair of the newly formed Program Committee for community radio station KSQD-FM in Santa Cruz. You are getting this email because you let us know you might be interested in doing a program on the new station.

We are hoping to go on the air in late spring/early summer of this year. We invite proposals from community members who would like to volunteer their time to create and host unique programs on KSQD. We’re open to engaging, quality programming, be it music or talk, spoken word or storytelling, or short segments on topics of interest to a diverse community audience.

If you are interested, please follow this link and fill out the online program proposal: 


Please complete the online proposal form as soon as possible or no later than May 1.

We hope to have a program schedule in place and volunteers ready to go by late May. If we need a demo of your proposed program, we will be back in touch with you soon after receiving your proposal.

Please contact us at [email protected] if you have any questions or concerns. Or let us know if you are no longer interested in submitting a program proposal.

We're looking forward to hearing from you!

Susan Freeman

for the KSQD Program Committee

Posted on January 27, 2018


Posted on January 27, 2018

Dear community radio supporters,
First of all, thank you for hanging in here all this time. We realize this effort is taking longer than any of us wish it would. Part of that is just starting from scratch and personal mailing lists to get the word out (thank you for helping) and part is the size of our core group. That being said, there is movement and the team has been committed to staying with this through all its twists and turns and slow points! We are excited to let you know the negotiations with the owners of 90.7FM are moving ahead in earnest and we expect, if all goes well, for our offer to be accepted at the beginning of February and shortly thereafter, for the license transfer process to begin with the F.C.C. That is supposed to take (give or take and no unexpected delays) 90 days. That means the station could be ours by May if all goes well. The sale is contingent on our successfully negotiating a tower lease with UCSC that is to everyone's satisfaction.What does that mean for getting on the station on the air money-wise? It means we are close to having the money needed for the purchase, and we will still need to raise funds to build the studio and cover our tower rent ($18,000 a year estimated). So, fundraising will be key in these few months leading up to the license transfer. Other important work to get done is scoping out a studio site, designing it, and building infrastructure. We are looking at several sites with varying costs and have an active facilities committee comparing several options, still gathering specs on others. If you know of a perfect (very low cost) office space of around 1000 square feet, please let us know. If you're curious to learn more about the various options, drop an email. The other work is to begin the process of establishing the programming which we want to be the most diverse, creative and ear-capturing listening experience on the dial. We are convening a program committee of experienced folk that will be reaching out to the community of existing and new potential hosts and putting together the first schedule. Watch for several community meetings announced in the next month or two to gather ideas and program proposals. 

The votes are in and KSQD won hands (er, tentacles) down. K-Squid. Once the license transfer gets underway, we'll nab those call letters and start some sort of logo contest to get the perfect squidly imagery for our station. The other news is we are incorporating as a nonprofit entity called Natural Bridges Media. For now, we will continue to have Media Watch as our fiscal agent offering tax deductible status for donors until we get our official IRS letter later this year.

So, bottom line: It will take about $80,000 more to get this station up and running and on the air. If you have friends, acquaintances or associates you think might give, we would like to meet with them. The other way you can help is to share, share, share this link on social media.

If you have a little time to volunteer, let us know what you'd like to do (outreach and fundraising and eventually building are a big part of our future needs) drop a line to [email protected] or [email protected]

Again, thank you for your belief in our little engine that could, and in community radio as a force for good in the world.
Rachel, Mathilde, Linda, Ned, Ann, Jean and all the many volunteers who have started showing up to events and helping out.

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