ECLECTIC KBCS-FM OVERHAULS PROGRAMMING AS LISTENER INTEREST WANES

Seattle Times

In the two small buildings on the Bellevue College campus that house radio station KBCS-FM (91.3), music spanning from jazz to the Grateful Dead drifts through as volunteers come and go. Colorful posters for shows like the World Rhythm Festival and “An Evening with Robin and Linda Williams” hang on the walls. But on Aug. 24, the community radio station once dubbed “Place to Catch the Craziest Music” by a local magazine will eliminate four morning music shows and use that time instead to air the same show every day. The station also is cutting a staple: two hours of early-morning jazz in lieu of public-affairs news. These are the first of several changes under consideration as KBCS struggles to stay relevant. Like other community radio stations nationwide, KBCS listeners are gravitating away from the station and to satellite radio and niche stations online to listen to the obscure soul, Latin or bluegrass music the station has long prided itself on airing. Recent data cited by the station shows KBCS is losing listeners, and more important, losing the attention of the ones who do tune in.

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