|City of license||Claremont, California|
|Broadcast area||Riverside-San Bernardino, California|
|Slogan||Underground Alternative Radio|
|First air date||February 12, 1956|
|Callsign meaning||Originally K Students of Pomona College. Now, affiliated with the entire Claremont Colleges, it is K SPaCe.|
KSPC is a non-commercial college and community radio station based in Claremont, California, US broadcasting at 88.7 MHz on the FM band and streaming online. KSPC is funded by the Student Associations of the Claremont Colleges, particularly Pomona College's ASPC.
KSPC's music programming is divided into general blocks by genre: Underground, Jazz, Classical, Americana, Polycultural/World music, Electronic music and Hip-hop. The station is also home to a variety of eclectic specialty shows highlighting niche genres, including soul, polka, reggae, film soundtracks and children's music. KSPC programming also includes news, public affairs, talk and sports coverage.
The station's programming philosophy is geared toward supporting local and independent content.
The station's first broadcast occurred on February 12, 1956, on the campus of Pomona College. Station manager Ron McDonald and program director Terry Drinkwater launched the station with an anonymous donation of $4,000. In his inaugural address, McDonald laid out the station's mission: “We don’t feel that it is the purpose of KSPC merely to duplicate programming already available on other radio stations, but rather to provide our listeners with a desirable type of programming not readily available in the area.”
KSPC was located in Pomona College's Replica House from 1956 until the mid-1970s, when the station received a major anonymous donation and constructed upgraded studios in the basement of Pomona's Thatcher Music Building. It remains there today.
Support and supporters
KSPC is an active organization at the Claremont Colleges, and often works in cooperation with other students groups in support of social events, speakers, and special opportunities. In the past, KSPC has either supported or been supported by (or both) the Associated Students of Pomona College (ASPC), the Pitzer Senate, The Student Life newspaper, the Women's Union, and the Pomona college organic farm.
The sports broadcasting department of KSPC was started in 1981 when the FCC suggested that the station needed to expand its community-based programming. Geoff Willis ('83) sat in the stands for a pre-season Pomona Pitzer women's basketball game and created an audition tape by doing play-by-play into a small hand held dictaphone. KSPC began broadcasting home basketball games for both Men's and Women's Pomona Pitzer basketball games during the 1981-1982 season including the women's team's remarkable run to the NCAA Division III Final Four. James Timmerman ('82) covered the play-by-play while Willis provided color commentary. After the Sagehen's advanced to the Final Four with a thrilling 62-53 overtime victory over Scranton (http://www.d3hoops.com/archives/women/1982), a frantic fundraising effort allowed the embryonic sports broadcasting department to travel to Harrisburg, Pennsylvania to provide its first remote sports broadcast live from the Final Four. KSPC covered both the Final Four game and the consolation game. Of historical interest was that the only two electronic media covering the 1982 Women's Division III Final Four Basketball Tournament were KSPC and a very young ESPN. Also of significance in its first season of existence, KSPC's sports broadcasting department aired Willis' pre-game interview of Pomona Pitzer Men's Head Basketball Coach Gregg Popovich - the first radio interview ever given by Coach Popovich as a head coach at any level. Popovich went on to win five NBA titles as the Head Coach of the San Antonio Spurs.
In the fall of 1982, KSPC began broadcasting home Sagehen football games. Later that year, KSPC expanded its basketball coverage to add league away games as well as full home coverage for the men's and women's basketball games. Willis took over the play-by-play duties with a rotating series of color commentators. When the women's basketball team qualified for the Western Regionals, KSPC travelled to Moorhead Minnesota to broadcast two games from the campus of the Concordia College "Lady Cobbers." In addition, during the fall of 1982 KSPC began broadcasting a weekly sports talk/reporting show and was able to broadcast live interviews with Dodger Manager Tommy Lasorda, Laker Kareem Abdul-Jabbar and other local sports figures.
In late 1962 and early 1963 Frank Zappa hosted The Uncle Frankie Show which ran Saturday nights from 11 pm-1 am. Zappa was a Pomona College student for perhaps a year, studying under award-winning ASCAP composer Karl Kohn. (Kohn is in the liner credits in _Freak Out!_) The program was usually pre-recorded by Zappa at his Rancho Cucamonga, California recording facility, Studio Z. A few highlights from these tapes have appeared on authorized Zappa archival releases, including: The Lost Episodes; The Mystery Disk; and Joe's Xmas Message. Zappa later appeared on the station as a guest on various KSPC programs in the late 1960s. One recording floating within the underground tape market consists of Zappa playing his favorite R&B songs, explaining the difficulties within his band, The Mothers of Invention, and repeatedly dedicating the sound of a skipping record to people such as "Ron and Nancy Reagan," record producer Art Laboe, and numerous friends and family.
On November 5, 1979, The Ramones played a concert at McKenna Hall at Claremont Men's College as part of KSPC's highly successful new wave/punk concert series that year. KSPC on-air personality Huge Bonair somehow persuaded the rising punk stars to come into the studio for an interview. A friend and Beckett Hall dorm-mate of Bonair's was asked to transport The Ramones to the studio in his classic '67 Ford Mustang, but with a decision regretted to this day, the anonymous friend declined the opportunity because he was concerned the band members might trash his car. His concerns, however, might not have been entirely unwarranted.
When the band got into the studio after Bonair personally chauffeured them in his Mercury Capri, the rebellious musicians from New York City immediately began to mock and shatter Bonair's hand-crafted disco ashtrays and clocks, which the entrepreneurial DJ had proudly created from reclaimed disco albums.
Bonair's disorienting evening with The Ramones caused the stalwart waxmaster to take a brief leave of absence, during which he enlisted a new act, "Sid, Jim and The Old Man", to take over his show without management approval. The irreverent trio immediately ran afoul of U.S. Federal Communications Commission (FCC) regulations and were banned from the studio. In retaliation, the unrepentant triumvirate mercilessly harassed other KSPC DJ's for several nights by posing as listeners calling in for questions. Their mundane discussions would quickly and unexpectedly turn into shocking rants about pirates, FCC violations, midgets in Wesson oil, and other such offensive matters. The true identities of these three unauthorized on-air replacements and their little-discussed one-night stand with KSPC is still shrouded in mystery.
- KSPC Claremont 88.7 FM website
- Query the FCC's FM station database for KSPC
- Radio-Locator information on KSPC
- Query Nielsen Audio's FM station database for KSPC
- Pomona College website
- Pitzer College website
- Scripps College website
- Harvey Mudd College website
- Claremont McKenna College website
- KSPC's page on StylusCity