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For 88.5 FM in Los Angeles, the parent facility of this station's main and HD3 feeds, see KCSN
KCSN & KSBR The New 88.5 FM logo.jpg
CityMission Viejo, California
Broadcast areaOrange County, California
Frequency88.5 MHz (HD Radio)
Branding88.5 FM (simulcast)
SloganThe Independent 88.5
FormatAdult alternative (Public)
SubchannelsHD2: Jazz
HD3: Latin ("The Latin Alternative")
OwnerSaddleback Community College
OperatorCalifornia State University Northridge (main/HD3 feeds)
First air date
Call sign meaning
K Saddle Back College Radio
Technical information
Facility ID58529
ERP600 watts
HAAT183 meters
Translator(s)89.1 MHz K206AA (Laguna Beach, California)
89.5 MHz K208AM (Newport Beach, California)
WebcastListen Live
Listen Live (HD2)
Listen Live (HD3)
ksbr.org (HD2)

KSBR (88.5 FM, "The Independent 88.5 FM") is a non-commercial educational radio station licensed to Mission Viejo, California and broadcasting to the Orange County area. The station is owned by Saddleback College and airs adult album alternative (AAA) and Americana music with a mix of legends, new music, and local music with some specialty programming on weekends. KSBR is simulcast with KCSN in Northridge, California.


KSBR signed on in 1975 as a Class D, 10-watt student-run station and a limited coverage area of only a few miles from the campus of Saddleback Community College. In 1979, with grants from CPB and NTIA, the signal was upgraded to a Class A, covering most of Orange County and the station signed on as Orange County's first National Public Radio affiliate with a staff of professional and student broadcasters. The program schedule at first employed an eclectic, free-form mix of rock music, drama and locally produced talk shows but, with a growing news and public affairs emphasis and a switch to an all jazz format, the station gained critical recognition and a growing audience.

Budget cuts in 1984 returned KSBR to a student-run operation, most of the professional staff was laid off and the NPR membership was discontinued but the strong emphasis on jazz and public affairs continued.

Since 1989, the station has hosted a fundraiser in May which they call the Birthday Bash. It draws top Jazz talent and has been held at various venues in Orange County over the years.[1]

For years, the station had a What's-playing-now page[2][3] on the web. That contained a list of the previous 6 CDs played (promos were counted as items, as were songs). As of December 2016, that service has been eliminated.

The call letters were previously used by an FM station in San Bruno, California, which operated at 100.5 MHz, from 1947 to 1959.[4] The station was owned and operated by Eitel-McCullough, which moved to San Carlos, California in 1959 and merged with Varian Associates in 1965.

"The New 88.5 FM"[edit]

On September 6, 2017, Saddleback College and California State University, Northridge, owner of KCSN, announced the merger of their respective radio stations. The combined operation adopted the branding "The New 88.5 FM".[5] On September 12 at 10 a.m. PDT, the FM and HD1 signals of both stations began simulcasting KCSN’s pre-existing "smart rock" AAA format, while KSBR’s jazz programming would move to their HD2 channels. KCSN’s Latin Alternative relocated to both stations’ HD3 channels.[6]

On March 21, 2018, 88.5 FM announced that former KSWD (100.3 The Sound) radio personality Andy Chanley would host afternoon drive, taking over for Sky Daniels who continued as General Manager and Program Director.[7] Prior to this, Chanley had guest hosted in Daniels’ place for several weeks since January.[8]

Weekend programming[edit]

On weekends, the current schedule[9] breaks from jazz/smooth jazz and airs programs such as The Whole 'Nuther Thing (free form eclectic), Kaleidoscope of Blues, Reggae Showcase, Folk Roots, bluegrass, old-timey, Celtic, The '80s Experience, and Making Your Memories (doo-wop and other music of the late 1950s/early 1960s). The Morning Breeze presents gentle, relaxing music (e.g. Enya) on weekend mornings.


88.5 KSBR Saddleback College logo.jpg


  1. ^ "Grammy Winners Join KSBR Jazz Bash Line-Up May 24". 14 May 2009.
  2. ^ "Now Playing on KSBR". 18 June 2013. Archived from the original on 18 June 2013. CS1 maint: discouraged parameter (link) CS1 maint: bot: original URL status unknown (link)
  3. ^ "Now Playing on KSBR". 14 April 2016. Archived from the original on 14 April 2016. CS1 maint: discouraged parameter (link) CS1 maint: bot: original URL status unknown (link)
  4. ^ "The Boston Radio Archives: FM Licenses as of 1950". bostonradio.org.
  5. ^ "KCSN-KSBR FM merger aims to create new Southland public radio powerhouse". Los Angeles Times. 2017-09-06. Retrieved 2018-03-22.
  6. ^ "KCSN & KSBR To Merge To Cover Majority Of Los Angeles Market With AAA". Radio Insight. 2017-09-07. Retrieved 2018-03-22.
  7. ^ "Andy Chanley Joins KCSN/KSBR Los Angeles For Afternoons". Radio Insight. 2018-03-21. Retrieved 2018-03-22.
  8. ^ Wagoner, Richard (2018-01-23). "Remembering radio legend Joe Frank and a voice from The Sound returns". Los Angeles Daily News. Retrieved 2018-03-23.
  9. ^ "KSBR FM 88.5 - KSBR 88.5 FM". ksbr.org.

External links[edit]

Coordinates: 33°30′11″N 117°36′11″W / 33.503°N 117.603°W / 33.503; -117.603