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City KCBX: San Luis Obispo, California
KNBX: San Ardo, California
KSBX: Santa Barbara, California
Broadcast area KCBX: San Luis Obispo, California
KNBX: Monterey County, California
KSBX: Santa Barbara, California
Branding Central Coast Public Radio
Slogan "Public Radio Serving the Central and Southern California Coast"
Frequency KCBX: 90.1 MHz
(also on HD Radio)
KNBX: 91.7 MHz
KSBX: 89.5 MHz
First air date KCBX: July 27, 1975
KNBX: January 21, 2001
KSBX: April 1, 2003
Format Public radio
ERP KCBX: 5,300 watts
KNBX: 3,000 watts
KSBX: 50 watts
HAAT KCBX: 433 meters (1,421 ft)
KNBX: 532.9 meters (1,748 ft)
KSBX: 274 meters (899 ft)
Class KCBX: B
Facility ID KCBX: 33705
KNBX: 51720
KSBX: 33708
Owner KCBX Public Radio
Webcast Listen Live
Website kcbx.org

KCBX (90.1 MHz) is a non-commercial FM radio station that is licensed to San Luis Obispo, California. The public radio station is a member station of National Public Radio (NPR) and airs a wide variety of programming, including All Things Considered, Democracy Now!, and jazz and classical music.

KCBX has a network of repeaters and translators that enable the station to be heard throughout the Central Coast of California. KCBX itself broadcasts in HD Radio.


KCBX first signed on July 27, 1975 and began airing a variety of National Public Radio (NPR) programming, plus jazz, classical music, and foreign language shows.[1]

KSBX, a full-power repeater of KCBX in Santa Barbara, began broadcasting April 1, 2003.[2]

From the 1970s through the end of 2012, KCBX broadcast live meetings of the San Luis Obispo County Board of Supervisors. The station cited a lack of interest in the radio broadcast, as county residents can stream meetings online, in its decision to drop coverage of the meetings.[3]

Repeaters and translators[edit]

KCBX operates two full-power repeater stations: KSBX on 89.5 MHz in Santa Barbara, California, and KNBX on 91.7 MHz in Monterey County. The station also operates several low-power FM translators scattered throughout the Central Coast.

Broadcast translators of KCBX
Call sign Frequency
City of license ERP
FCC info
K215AF 90.9 Cambria, California 13 FCC
K215AG 90.9 Solvang, California 10 FCC
K215AH 90.9 Avila Beach, California 10 FCC
K216AG 91.1 Cayucos, California 38 FCC
K236AF 95.1 Lompoc, California 10 FCC

KPBS-FM interference problem in Santa Barbara[edit]

In parts of the Santa Barbara area, sometimes during atmospheric ducting, co-channel KPBS-FM in San Diego can override or interfere with the KSBX signal. At one time, KSBX was a 9-watt translator on 89.9 MHz; later, another station began using that translator. Eventually, a deal was reached that would vacate that frequency. In 2006, KCBX applied for a U.S. Federal Communications Commission (FCC) construction permit to move back to 89.9 MHz and increase the effective radiated power from 50 watts to 350 watts. As part of the application, the station enclosed copies of numerous letters and emails from listeners complaining about the signal override or interference from KPBS. In support of the frequency change, a consulting broadcast engineer was hired to analyze the situation, make signal strength measurements during ducting, and fully explain the technical causes of the problem to the FCC. Making the interference problem worse is the fact that the KPBS signal travels completely over water.

In 2010, KPBS was granted a construction permit to increase its effective radiated power from 2,700 watts to 26,000 watts. The consulting engineer explained to the FCC that if KSBX's frequency change was not granted, this would worsen the interference problem. In February 2012, the FCC dismissed the construction permit application from KCBX. KPBS started broadcasting with the new 26,000 watt signal on October 1, 2012.


  1. ^ "Directory of Radio Stations in the United States and Canada" (PDF). Broadcasting Yearbook. Broadcasting Publications Inc. 1976. p. C-26. Retrieved July 23, 2018. 
  2. ^ "Directory of Radio Stations in the United States" (PDF). Broadcasting and Cable Yearbook 2003-2004. New Providence, New Jersey: R.R. Bowker. 2003. p. D-66. ISBN 1-56056-022-3. Retrieved July 23, 2018. 
  3. ^ Cuddy, Bob (July 27, 2012). "KCBX to stop broadcasting Board of Supervisors meetings". The Tribune. San Luis Obispo, California. Retrieved July 23, 2018. 

External links[edit]

Coordinates: 35°21′36″N 120°39′22″W / 35.360°N 120.656°W / 35.360; -120.656