35 years of rich, unique, and diverse music programming which served the greater Seattle community, was cut at KBCS . . . and nobody asked for your opinion!

On August 24, 2009, KBCS management completed Phase 1 of their programming changes. This is a complete revamp of the weekday programming with 4 hours less music each weekday!

  • Drive Time Jazz! Gone.
    Now replaced by canned talk and news programming with no local connection to the Seattle area.
  • Mid-Morning Jazz Hosts! Gone.
    Bud Young, Bernie Goldberg, Joanie Nelson, and Al Barnes have all been forcibly replaced by a single show, “The Caravan,” hosted by paid host, John Gilbreath.
  • Lunch With Folks! Gone. One of the longest-running shows for over two decades has become “The Outskirts,” a mix of folk-rock, alt-country, electric blues, R & B, pop, and other styles of “Americana” (along with a smattering of contemporary and traditional folk music). The show is currently hosted by volunteers, but once the new format is fully realized and funds are available, they plan to seek one paid host.
  • Daily Planet! Gone. KBCS’s premier world music program is now gone — replaced by yet more canned talk and news.

And this is only Phase 1. Yet to come are Phases 2 and 3, which will affect weekend and evening programming.

Current KBCS management asserts that “The stated intent of these changes is to create a more consistent sound so that listeners will stay tuned longer throughout the day.”

Help keep the “Community” in your Community Radio Station!

July 29, 2009
Save KBCS Update

The “Save KBCS” working group requested a meeting with Bellevue College President Jean Floten. The meeting was held on July 15th. Present at the meeting from “Save KBCS” were representatives Jean Geiger, Dave Long, and Al Barnes. Representing KBCS management was Mike Talbott, Dean of Information Services (General Manager Steve Ramsey’s immediate supervisor), and President Jean Floten. We presented President Floten with 350 printed emails that had been sent to savekbcs@gmail.com in the week prior to the meeting. Since then the number of emails we received is well above 500. We requested that President Floten:

1) Postpone the Phase 1 August 24th changes,
2) Appoint a mediator to facilitate the completion of the Strategic Plan. (This has been in the works for over 3 years),
3) Direct KBCS management to open a dialog with the volunteer and listener community for all future programming changes.

On Monday, July 27th, President Floten sent an email to SaveKBCS stating her support for Phase 1 changes to be implemented as planned and stated she believes a more inclusive process should be incorporated for Phase 2 and 3 changes.

Shortly after the July 15th meeting with President Floten, KBCS management held 3 meetings for all active volunteers for questions and the presentation of statistics to support their decision to drop 20 hours of distinct Jazz/Folk/World music and close to 20 non-paid DJ volunteers Monday-Friday. The replacement for this dropped programming will be syndicated, purchased public affairs and news programs and a paid DJ for a blended Jazz/World/Americana show in the 9am-12noon slot. Originally management wanted a paid DJ for the 12noon-3pm slot. Due to a lack of funds the afternoon paid DJ has been put on hold. However, the existing afternoon DJs are summarily dismissed and will be replaced by other volunteers of the Program Director’s choosing based on new applications.

In the meeting with volunteers, Steve Ramsey and Peter Graff apologized for the lack of engagement with the volunteer community and stated that Phase 2 & 3 would be more transparent. They stated that Phase 1 changes for August 24th will go forward without delay. According to KBCS management the decision was made because the Arbitron numbers are very low and the professional opinion of KBCS management and an outside consultant believe the changes would attract more listeners.

The license for KBCS is owned by Bellevue College. The General Manger and Program Director are hired by Bellevue College and are State of Washington employees. That being said, we believe that KBCS is a unique community resource that requires community involvement. We believe that music on community radio is in jeopardy of going away.

If you believe that KBCS change discussions should be transparent, and if you believe that KBCS is a unique resource in the Seattle/Bellevue area that you want to be a part of, we urge you contact KBCS management and Bellevue College administration with your comments.

Bellevue College President: Jean Floten

Bellevue College Information Resources Dean: Mike Talbott

KBCS Station Manager: Steve Ramsey

KBCS Program Director: Peter Graff

KBCS Comment line:
listenercomment@kbcs.fm or 425-564-2000

SaveKBCS is a group of long-time volunteers and financial supporters who love KBCS and want to save what we value most about our community radio station.
SaveKBCS is not affiliated with KBCS Radio.
SaveKBCS is not affiliated with Bellevue College.

Contact us: SaveKBCS@gmail.com


One Response

  1. What an outrage! Getting rid of volunteer hosts who know their music and replacing them with paid hosts who don’t know anything is a crime! Those people in management at KBCS should be ashamed of themselves! The NPR people are trying to re-invent their company as the Clear Channel of public radio!

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