- For 88.5 FM in Los Angeles, see KCSN
|City||Mission Viejo, California|
|Broadcast area||Orange County, California|
|Branding||The New 88.5 FM (simulcast)|
|Slogan||O.C's Smart Rock|
|Frequency||88.5 MHz (also on HD Radio)|
|First air date||1975|
|Format||Adult Alternative (Public)
HD3: Latin music "The Latin Alternative"
|Callsign meaning||K SaddleBack College Radio|
|Owner||Saddleback Community College|
Listen Live (HD2)
Listen Live (HD3)
KSBR is a non-commercial radio station in Mission Viejo, California, broadcasting to the Orange County, California, area on 88.5 FM. KSBR airs an adult alternative format branded as The New 88.5 FM. KSBR is a simulcast to 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.
For years, the station had a What's-playing-now page  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. Whether that is because of budget cuts, lack of competent tech support people, or management incompetence (failure to keep the web domain registered) is not clear.
The call letters were previously used by an FM station in San Bruno, California, which operated at 100.5 MHz, from 1947 to 1959. The station was owned and operated by Eitel-McCullough, which moved to San Carlos, California in 1959 and merged with Varian Associates in 1965.
On weekends, the current schedule breaks from Jazz/Smooth Jazz and includes the Whole 'Nuther Thing ([Free Form Eclectic]), Kaleidoscope of Blues show, Reggae Showcase, Folk Roots (Folk, 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) from 5AM to 9AM Saturdays and Sundays.
- "Grammy Winners Join KSBR Jazz Bash Line-Up May 24". 14 May 2009.
- "Now Playing on KSBR". 18 June 2013.
- "Now Playing on KSBR". 14 April 2016.
- "The Boston Radio Archives: FM Licenses as of 1950". bostonradio.org.
- "KSBR FM 88.5 - KSBR 88.5 FM". ksbr.org.
- Official Website
- Query the FCC's FM station database for KSBR
- Radio-Locator information on KSBR
- Query Nielsen Audio's FM station database for KSBR