KBCS turns 35... and goes higher-tech

From the Seattle Post-Intelligencer:

...Although dwarfed by such noncommercial/public-radio stations in this market as KUOW-FM and KPLU-FM, KBCS-FM still manages to draw enough listeners to show up in the quarterly ratings tables (behind the two NPR stations, KEXP-FM and KNHC-FM in fall quarter, according to the Radio Research Consortium).

KBCS hopes to build on that by rolling out new technology. This year it started an audio archive featuring programs from the previous two weeks that can be streamed an hour at a time, as well as a real-time playlist.

Next up is its digital transmitter, which the station hopes to have operating by the end of this summer. That will enable KBCS to use HD technology's capabilities to provide three channels of programming -- two for KBCS itself, the third a student-run channel tied to a curriculum program to be developed with BCC.

But lots of stations boast the same technology. What will set KBCS apart, Ramsey says, is its community focus, with a rich mixture of specialty music programs (featuring everything from vintage jazz to bluegrass, zydeco and Hawaiian) and public-affairs programming (nationally syndicated as well as local).

The local content is produced by about 200 volunteers who come through the station each month. KBCS has built that army of volunteers with training courses through BCC's continuing education program to turn almost anyone into a radio producer...

The media's job is to interest the public in the public interest. -John Dewey