|City of license||Santa Barbara, California|
|Slogan||"NPR & Local News"|
|First air date||1946|
|Callsign meaning||K California Lutheran University|
|Former callsigns||KIST (2005-2008)(2000-2003)(1998)
|Owner||California Lutheran University|
|Sister stations||K272DT, KCLU-FM|
|Webcast||Listen Live AM
Listen Live FM
KCLU is a radio station in Santa Barbara, California, broadcasting on 1340 kHz AM. It first began broadcasting under the call sign KIST. The station simulcasts a public radio format with FM sisters stations K272DT, KCLU-FM. All three stations are owned by the California Lutheran University.
KCLU is not always simulcasting KCLU-FM.
KIST signed on in 1946, under the ownership of Harry C. Butcher. For many years, especially in the 1960s and '70s, KIST was a premier Top-40 music station. In addition to playing the top music of the day, KIST also claimed one of the finest news broadcasting teams in the Santa Barbara area, winning awards from the Southern California Broadcasters Association for their coverage of the Sycamore Fire in 1977. Each on air "disc jockey", as well as many of the support staff, had two way mobile radios in their vehicles enabling them to "report from the scene".
Owned privately by J. Patrick "Pat" Wardlaw, some of KIST's staff from that era included Program Director Hal Bates, Music Director Dick Williams (since deceased), News Director Patrick C. Riley (whose car was incinerated in the Sycamore Fire), Morning Drive host Baron Ron Herron, Chief Engineer Doug Allan, reporter Ed Foley, and disc jockeys Tom Payne, Jack Kinney, Mike Hennie, Jim Cordes aka Jim Evans, Frank Catalano and Steve Dezormo (since deceased). One of the bumper-sticker mottos in that era was "Get KIST 1340!"
By the early-1990s, KIST had changed its format to oldies. KIST also broadcast in C-QUAM AM Stereo. Before adopting to its most recent format, KIST had changed its call sign first to KLDZ then to KXXT and was known as all-sports "XTRA Sports 1340." One of the station's on-air hosts was Jim Rome, a graduate of the University of California, Santa Barbara. On March 29, 2000 the call sign was changed back to KIST.
On August 8, 2003, the call sign was again changed, this time to KTLK. Those calls remained in place until February 3, 2005, when they were changed back to KIST for a third time.
On January 11, 2007, Clear Channel Communications sold all of its radio stations in Santa Barbara to Rincon Broadcasting, who immediately sold KIST to the Santa Barbara Community Broadcasting Company.
It was announced on June 19, 2008, via All Access Media Group, that R & R Radio, LLC sold KIST to California Lutheran University for $1.44 million. On October 7, 2008, the school, also the owner of noncommercial National Public Radio affiliate KCLU-FM, converted the station to noncommercial status and adopted the current KCLU call sign. On October 28, 2008, Rincon Broadcasting picked up the KIST call and format on crosstown 1490 AM (formerly KBKO).
The KCLU stations provide 24-hour NPR News service to San Luis Obispo, since KYNS switched formats to soft rock in 2013 and KCBX continues with its classical and jazz format with minimal news breaks at the top of the hour, and to Bakersfield, effectively competing with commercial station KNX in Los Angeles, since Valley Public Radio continues with its classical format and the KCRW network of stations including KCRY in Mojave continues with its full-service format throughout the night, although both stations have the same minimal top-of-the-hour news breaks as KCBX.
- KCLU website
- FCC History Cards for KIST/KCLU
- Query the FCC's AM station database for KCLU
- Radio-Locator Information on KCLU
- Query Nielsen Audio's AM station database for KCLU