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KXSC (1560 AM) is the student-run college radio station at the University of Southern California. Listeners can tune in via the internet at KXSC.org/listen, and at 1560 AM in the area immediately surrounding USC's campus. KXSC provides original programming 24 hours a day, seven days a week. The station also provides students with the opportunity to work at a college radio station and learn the basics of the music industry.
KXSC—over 200 members—is entirely composed of student volunteers. KXSC is made up of 34 staff members, around 70 DJs, and over 100 interns. A General Manager oversees six main departments: programming, music, concerts, promotions, operations, and sales. In addition to working for one or more of these departments, staff members must work at least two hours per week in the studio during their scheduled office hours.
KXSC traces its roots to the original KUSC, which was operated by students starting in 1946. Eventually, KUSC transitioned to classical programming and moved off-campus in the mid-1970s.
In 1975, a group of students reacted to renewed demand for student-run radio at USC and founded KSCR, a carrier-current station broadcasting at 1560AM out of the Hancock Foundation Building. Eventually, due to equipment failures, the University authorized a grant to move KSCR to a new location in Marks Hall and construct new, state-of-the-art studios. In 1984, KSCR transitioned the carrier-current broadcast to its new studios.
The station was incorporated under USC Student Senate in 1988 thanks to an outpouring of student support. New funds enabled new studio upgrades, and a new logo “SC-53” was adopted to signify a new beginning. Then, starting in late 1990, KSCR started broadcasting through downtown’s then-dominant cable provider, Continental Cablevision, as the background audio to their programming guide channel 37. A change in station branding to “The Underground” commemorated this change and the station’s new focus on independent music. In 1991, KSCR began broadcasting a low-power FM signal in the downtown Los Angeles and USC campus area at 104.7 MHz FM. For a period, this allowed the station to have an unprecedented simulcast of 104.7FM/530AM/Cable Channel 37. Believing that 1980s' style new wave and modern rock music was stale and feeling that the budding grunge sound of alternative music was already served by many area stations, KSCR's general manager that same year controversially switched the station's daytime programming to the nation's first electronica/techno format, predating the launch of the area's 103.1 MARS-FM, which would be the country's first commercial electronica format. KSCR called its format "The Pulse of the 90's" and it survived even past MARS-FM's demise. KSCR then received significant press attention when it turned over its airwaves to nearly all the former MARS-FM on-air personalities to host a special "MARS Day" to acknowledge that station's major role in creating and defining the Southern California rave culture. The KSCR general manager who created the "Pulse" format went on to launch the dance/techno-formatted RENEGADE RADIO at KWIZ 96.7FM in 1993, and feeling that format was now being served, KSCR's management switched the student station back to "The Underground" branding and an alternative rock format.
KSCR eventually was forced to cease broadcasting its 104.7FM signal after the commercial station broadcasting at that frequency in an outlying area complained of signal interference. The station began webcasting in April 1998. At first, KSCR broadcast online through a USC server using RealAudio. This made the station’s programming available to a worldwide audience. The station’s slogan changed to “revolutionary radio” to commemorate the renewed student interest in KSCR thanks to its new online technology.
In 2010, KSCR adopted the call letters KXSC in order to be eligible to obtain a new FM license from the FCC. The station can now be found in the basement of the Ronald Tutor Campus Center on the USC campus.
One of KXSC's greatest assets is its live programming. KXSC streams 50+ hours of live programming a week with a variety of show types including music, sports, news, and special programming. KXSC now broadcasts over-the-air in downtown Los Angeles at 1560 kHz AM, and offers two online streams using its own servers. KXSC's live stream can be listened to on the KXSC Pop-Up Player.
KXSC Fest is the station's annual free, all ages, live music series which has hosted artists such as STRFKR, Flying Lotus, Nosaj Thing, Thee Oh Sees, The Growlers, dublab, Delicate Steve, Dan Deacon, Chelsea Wolfe, and White Fence, in the past. The event features live music, art, food trucks, and more.
KXSC & Spectrum
The Live Show
Every Friday at 1pm down in Tommy's Place KXSC puts on a live show and radio broadcast showcasing some of Los Angeles's newest and upcoming talents. Some of the past shows have included bands such as Ariel Pink's Haunted Graffiti, Hanni El Khatib, and Bleached.
- Stello, Sharron (December 9, 1998). "Student-run radio station finds web success after FCC shutdown". University Wire. Retrieved 2008-06-11.