Want to live in Santa Barbara? The Santa Barbara Independent reports that legacy station KDB is for sale.
The 87-year-old classical music station is owned by the Santa Barbara Foundation, but the philanthropic organization recently decided to relinquish control after KDB ran more than $400,000 in deficits over the last three years with even more loss expected this year.
It’s a small station, about 20,000 listeners. Santa Barbara is such a great town and it has a music-loving audience, but there’s strong competition in the listening area from LA powerhouse KUSC.
With an annual operating budget of around $900,000, KDB typically pulled in close to $400,000 in advertising revenue per year and attempted to make up the rest with fundraising, explained Santa Barbara Foundation CEO Ron Gallo. But for the last few years it had failed to meet its fiscal goals, forcing the foundation to pump grants and subsidies into the station to keep it afloat.
The most common buyers of small sttions are religious entities, but those of us in the classical world are hoping whoever buys it will keep it classical. There’s plenty of repertoire that KUSC doesn’t air, including most of the national programming. I think the station could thrive.
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