|City||Pacific Grove, California|
|Slogan||NPR for the Monterey Bay Area|
|Owner||California State University, Monterey Bay
(Foundation of California State University, Monterey Bay)
KAZU began broadcasting in August 1977 from an upstairs office in downtown Pacific Grove. The station was started in hopes of being a local community radio station, with a focus on the south Monterey Bay cities. The station operated with 10 watts, and had about 90 volunteers who ran the on-air operation; a small board of directors oversaw the fiscal and legal operations of the corporation that owned KAZU was called The Great Silence Broadcasting Foundation.
Because of the low power, the reach was limited, so the station signal was added to the Monterey cable system in 1978. The transmitter was relocated to Hidden Hills, east of Monterey in 1980, and coverage was expanded to reach the entire Monterey Bay area. Programming and volunteer participation expanded as well, and the station migrated to larger studios in the same building in the mid-1980s.
Fire and relocation
A fire at the studio in the late 1990s briefly put KAZU off the air. Temporary studios were quickly built and the station moved out of downtown Pacific Grove to Lighthouse Avenue in Pacific Grove. After a series of managers and program directors, the station struggled to survive high rents for the new studios and the old transmitter site. The locally produced music and talk programming remained popular with the community, but financial support did not grow sufficiently to cover the new expenses.
In the late 1990s, the fiscal situation worsened, and cuts to staff were made. A new manager was hired in 1998, and plans were made to change the station to an NPR/PRI affiliate and reduce volunteer programming.
The station was still unable to continue financially, so the board planned to give the station to an outside third-party non-profit. Both KUSP in Santa Cruz, and Cal State University Monterey Bay (CSUMB) offered to take over KAZU operations. The board chose CSUMB. Further programming changes were made and by 1999, all volunteers were removed from programming. In 2008, KAZU relocated to the campus of CSUMB.