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CitySanta Barbara, California
Broadcast areaSanta Barbara
Santa Maria
San Luis Obispo
BrandingKRUZ 103.3
SloganClassic Hits for the Central Coast
Frequency103.3 MHz
First air dateApril 18, 1961 (as KMUZ)
FormatClassic hits
ERP105,000 watts
HAAT905 meters (2,969 ft)
Facility ID8853
Callsign meaninga play on the term "cruise"[1] (Refers to Santa Cruz)
Former callsignsKMUZ (1961-1972)
KRUZ (1972-2005), (2019-present)
KVYB (2005-2019)
OwnerCumulus Media
(Cumulus Licensing LLC)
Sister stationsKBBY-FM, KHAY, KVEN, KVYB
WebcastListen Live
Listen Live via iHeartRadio

KRUZ (103.3 FM, "KRUZ 103.3") is a commercial FM radio station licensed to Santa Barbara, California and broadcasting a classic hits radio format throughout Santa Barbara, Ventura, and San Luis Obispo counties. The station is owned by Cumulus Media and has its studios in Ventura. KRUZ has an effective radiated power (ERP) of 105,000 watts. Its transmitter is located atop Broadcast Peak north of Santa Barbara in the Santa Ynez Mountains at a height above average terrain (HAAT) of 906 meters (2969 feet). That gives KRUZ one of the largest coverage areas of any FM station on the West Coast.

KRUZ broadcasts an analog signal only; it does not air in digital HD Radio or does not carry RDS.[2]

Prior to its current format, it has featured AC and Rhythmic CHR.


KMUZ (1961-1971)[edit]

The station first signed on April 18, 1961 as KMUZ with a beautiful music format. It was originally owned by William H. Buckley, doing business as Tri-Counties Communications Inc.[3]

KRUZ (1972-2005)[edit]

On June 18, 1970, Tri-Counties Communications sold KMUZ to The Schuele Organization Inc. for $106,500. Carl Schuele, principal of the latter group, previously was owner and president of Broadcast Time Sales, a radio station consulting firm.[4] The new owner changed the call letters to KRUZ two years later.[5] The Schuele Organization owned KRUZ for nearly a quarter century, selling it in October 1995 to Pacific Coast Communications Inc. for $3 million.[6] The easy listening format gradually transitioned to adult contemporary (AC), and the station adopted a hot AC format full-time in 1996.

In December 1999, Pacific Coast Communications sold KRUZ to Cumulus Media for $10 million. This transaction, combined with a concurrent purchase of McDonald Media Group's eight stations, marked Cumulus' debut on the West Coast.[7]

KVYB (2005-2019)[edit]

In March 2005, Cumulus Media shuffled the formats of the stations within its Santa Barbara cluster. KRUZ's hot AC format moved to 97.5 FM, a frequency then occupied by smooth jazz station KMGQ, with the KRUZ call letters soon to follow. This paved the way for the launch of KVYB (103.3 The Vibe), the Santa Barbara market's first Hispanic-targeted rhythmic contemporary outlet.[8] KVYB also marked the return of top 40 radio to the area after KIST-FM flipped to modern rock in 2003.

Initially, KVYB's musical direction had featured Hispanic rhythmic artists as well as bilingual on-air personalities. The Vibe's first slogan "Hip Hop Y Mas" reflected the station's multicultural flavor.[8] Among the DJs hired to launch KVYB are Jaime "Rico" Rangel and Daniel "Mambo" Herrejon, two Latino men who hosted the morning show at rhythmic contemporary competitor KCAQ (Q104.7) in Ventura. While at KCAQ, the duo took the station to number one in the Arbitron ratings for the Oxnard-Ventura market.[9] They left in 2005 and brought The Rico and Mambo Show to KYVB, with Herrejon doubling as the new station's first programming director.[8][9]

In 2008, 103.3 The Vibe adjusted its format to a conventional rhythmic top 40 presentation. Rangel and Herrejon were dismissed June 13;[10] they returned to KCAQ the following year.

In 2017, KVYB became the only CHR station in the Santa Barbara area as KFYZ flipped to a Regional Mexican presentation.

Classic Hits, return of KRUZ (2019-present)[edit]

On June 28, 2019, KVYB changed its call letters back to KRUZ in preparation for a format flip. The following day, KRUZ began stunting with clips of 1980s events, movies, video games, and songs. Teasing the return of the KRUZ call letters, the montage announced that a new format would surface July 1 at 8 a.m., using snippets of such songs as "Cruisin'" by Smokey Robinson, "1985" by Bowling for Soup, and "California Love" by 2Pac. The Vibe moved to 106.3 FM, replacing the classic hip hop format on that frequency and adjusting its own presentation from rhythmic contemporary to mainstream top 40.[11][12][13] On July 1, 2019 at 8 a.m., KRUZ ended stunting and launched a classic hits format as "KRUZ 103.3", with the first song played being "Footloose" by Kenny Loggins.[14]

With the format change, this leaves Santa Barbara once again without a CHR station. All of the stations in the area now either have variety, talk, classic hits or Ethnic formats.

Signal coverage[edit]

KRUZ's signal blankets the Coastal California counties of Santa Barbara, Ventura, and San Luis Obispo. It can also be heard in parts of Los Angeles County, Kern County, as far north as San Lucas and occasionally is received in San Diego County. This is due to the station's 105,000-watt signal and 905-meter (2,962 feet) antenna.[15] This configuration was grandfathered in when the Federal Communications Commission established limits on effective radiated power in 1962.[16]


  1. ^ "Call Letter Origins". Radio History on the Web. Archived from the original on February 18, 2016. Cite uses deprecated parameter |dead-url= (help)
  2. ^ "Station Search Details". FCC Media Bureau CDBS Public Access Database. Federal Communications Commission. November 23, 1999. Retrieved July 3, 2017.
  3. ^ "Directory of AM and FM Radio Stations in the U.S." (PDF). Broadcasting Yearbook 1961-1962. Broadcasting Publications Inc. 1961. p. B-25. Retrieved May 31, 2018.
  4. ^ "For The Record" (PDF). Broadcasting. Broadcasting Publications Inc. June 29, 1970. p. 88. Retrieved May 31, 2018.
  5. ^ "For The Record" (PDF). Broadcasting. Broadcasting Publications Inc. July 5, 1971. p. 74. Retrieved May 31, 2018.
  6. ^ "No Fish Story: Dodge's ARS Lands A $70 Million Marlin" (PDF). Radio & Records. October 27, 1995. p. 6. Retrieved May 31, 2018.
  7. ^ "Cumulus Hits The West Coast" (PDF). Radio & Records. December 31, 1999. p. 6. Retrieved November 23, 2017.
  8. ^ a b c "Street Talk" (PDF). Radio & Records. April 15, 2005. Retrieved March 20, 2018.
  9. ^ a b Mclain, Jim (October 23, 2009). "Rico and Mambo back on air at Q1047". Ventura County Star. Retrieved May 8, 2018.
  10. ^ Hernandez, Raul (June 17, 2008). "Radio station KVYB changes its format, drops Rico, Mambo". Ventura County Star. Retrieved May 8, 2018.
  11. ^ "KVYB (103.3 The Vibe)/Oxnard-Ventura And Santa Barbara Flips To Classic Hits KRUZ 103.3". All Access. All Access Music Group. July 1, 2019. Retrieved July 2, 2019.
  12. ^ "Classic Hits 'KRUZ 103.3' Pulls Into Santa Barbara". Inside Radio. Atlanta. July 1, 2019. Retrieved July 2, 2019.
  13. ^ Venta, Lance (June 30, 2019). "KVYB Moves To 106.3 (Without Bothering To Tell Anyone); KRUZ Prepares For Rebirth". RadioInsight. RadioBB Networks. Retrieved June 30, 2019.
  14. ^ Venta, Lance (July 1, 2019). "KRUZ 103.3 Debuts With Classic Hits". RadioInsight. RadioBB Networks. Retrieved July 1, 2019.
  15. ^ "Grandfathered Super-power FM Stations". The Boston Radio Archives. Retrieved July 3, 2017.
  16. ^ 47 C.F.R. 73.211

External links[edit]

Coordinates: 34°31′30″N 119°57′36″W / 34.525°N 119.960°W / 34.525; -119.960