KBCS Mission

KBCS, a community service of Bellevue Community College, provides an eclectic schedule of music, cultural affairs, literary and performing arts, and informational programming for the greater Puget Sound region."

KBCS, 91.3 FM, is a listener-supported, non-commercial radio station licensed to Bellevue Community College in Bellevue, Washington. Funding for KBCS comes from a variety of sources, including listener contributions, Bellevue Community College students and administration, and community business support.

Our programming features an eclectic mix of music, including jazz, folk, world, and blues (and lots in between). We also present Pacifica News and other cultural and public affairs programs. Our programmers are community volunteers who love radio and strive to make listening to KBCS a constant pleasure for you. We're on the air 366 days this year. Call in for a program guide! 


General Manager's Report

Take my job, please!

In July, after 12 years as part-time General Manager of KBCS, I'll be passing the job along to someone new. Transitions like this beg for a bit of reminiscence, and there are plenty of memories for me share.

My first visit to KBCS was on a Sunday morning in early January 1988. I'd accepted the KBCS Manager position just as I was wrapping up a stint as Manager of KBOO in Portland and hadn't seen the facilities. Good thing. Because it turned out that the studios were pretty much out-of-order and the transmitter only worked intermittently. The FCC (Federal Communications Commission) had been sending official "you're out of compliance" letters and someone here kept throwing them away.

Yet there was a dedicated crew of community volunteers showing up week after week to make great radio, listeners going to extreme lengths just to hear what was on the air, and officials at Bellevue Community College who knew that having a public radio license in a big city meant something. I knew it would be okay.

And in fact, it's been better than okay. Over the past decade I've been lucky enough to be on watch while the station boosted power twice (from 1200 to 7900 watts); raised funds for and replaced everything from studio microphones to the transmitter, tower and antenna; repaired our relationship with the FCC; and developed a program schedule that's definitely serving a growing local audience.

I've also been around to see the station budget grow from a mere $10,000 a year to well over $150,000, and to see our membership base go from about 100 supporters to more than 2000.

Those numbers are impressive, and as the station grows, they'll get more impressive. But it's the KBCS volunteers, listeners, staff members, and community supporters who are the most impressive. While I was getting a paycheck to be here, there are volunteers who come to KBCS week after week, year after year, and (some of them) decade after decade, just because they want to make great radio for you. There are listeners who send contribution checks pledge drive after pledge drive in support of shows they can sometimes only listen to if they're in their cars on the top of a hill when the wind is blowing in the right direction and they have their right arm hanging out the left window. There are creative staff members who work here when we know they could be working for more elsewhere. And there are folks who just 'do' stuff for us--give us advice, solve a problem, do behind-the-scenes work, show up in a pinch. That's what makes up the 'magic' of KBCS--and is what makes walking away so difficult.

However, our successes--and the magic--are what make it possible for me to move on. Our foundation is good, we can now afford to pay a full-time manager, we have a growth plan in place full of reachable goals and objectives, and more and more people are discovering that 91.3 FM is a very lively spot on the radio dial. What better time to make way for someone new?

What about me? I'm sticking around town. I'll be reviving my freelance reporting career for a variety of public radio programs, reviewing airports for a local travel website, finishing a book, and keeping my eyes open for new adventures. And I'll keep my radio tuned to 91.3 FM.

KBCS is a healthy station with a plan for signficant growth. Feel free to drop me a note at KBCS@ctc.edu.

--Harriet Baskas, General Manager


KBCS Staff

  • Harriet Baskas, General Manager
  • Kristen Walsh, Program Director
  • Bruce Wirth, Music Director
  • Robin Slivka, Operations Manager


Program Director's Report

At KBCS we've been preparing for weeks and are excited to announce our newly revamped spring schedule. While continuing to bring you the finest folk and jazz music, we now have more of an international flavor than ever before. With our new focus on "Worldwide Jazz and Folk," you'll hear more international music and more world news AND with our brand new webcast, we now have KBCS listeners all around the globe!

Worldwide Music

Roots and Branches now airs weekdays 3-6 pm with a greater emphasis on music from other cultures as well as a wide range of traditional American music including bluegrass, Cajun, gospel and blues. Let us take you to many lands during your afternoon commute.

We've shifted our schedule so that you can hear folk and world music each week night 7-9 PM including Music of Africa on Thursdays and Womanotes now on Wednesdays.

Be sure to check out our newest world music program, Sabor!, Sunday nights 10-midnight following the Grateful Dead Hour and Backtracks. Sabor! Features music from throughout Latin America ranging from Andean folk tunes to Cuban jazz. Join hosts Jo Chavez and Jill Freidberg for your weekly tour of the Southern Hemisphere.

Friday night now features an energetic line-up of danceable rhythms to get your weekend off to a lively start. First it's the Melting Pot with Dave Gardner and Tobin Steers followed by Robin Slivka's Jazz Party full of Latin and African grooves.

Worldwide News

We're also proud to increase our international news now airing all day long -- with 5-minute updates from the BBC at the top of every hour. Also check out our new public affairs line-up weekdays at 6:30 including world affairs and Native American cultural programming.

Folklife Broadcast

As always, we at KBCS are excited about the annual Folklife Festival at Seattle Center during Memorial Day Weekend. This year we're already getting ready for the festivities, as well be broadcasting live from the Rainier Room all weekend long! And be sure to join us at the Celtic Stage as well where you can meet our very own Sunday Hornpipers. Of course, if you can't get to the festival, then listen live from home, May 27-29, Noon-6 PM for fabulous live folk, Celtic and world music and you won't have to miss a thing!

Worldwide Jazz and More

We're pleased to announce several new jazz programs to our line-up presented by some of KBCS's finest whom you already know and love. The process of making some changes in our programming has been invigorating, allowing each of us to envision possibilities we may not have considered or never had a chance to actualize. We've always been proud of the fact that our volunteer programmers each offer a unique, informed perspective based on their personal relationship to the music they program. Our new evening jazz line-up exemplifies this passionate approach to programming. Tune in Monday through Friday 9-midnight to check out our latest offerings.

Kristen Walsh, KBCS Program Director



KBCS operates with a very small, part-time, paid staff and thus relies on the talent and energy of many, many volunteers to help things run smoothly. If you think you can help out, please contact Harriet Baskas at KBCS via e-mail (kbcs@ctc.edu) or call 425-564-2418.

Here is a current list of volunteer needs:

  • Program Guide

We'd like to update the look of the program guide--but of course need to watch our costs. Got ideas?

  • Pledge Drive
    • Gather premium items (gift certificates, services, etc.) and prepare them for membership incentives for pledge drives.
    • Help organize food and refreshments for our trusty volunteers during pledge drives.
    • Help write and produce pledge drive "pitches."
    • Help during and after pledge drives to process pledge payments and make sure all members get their premiums.


Bellevue Community College Board of Trustees

  • Ruthann Kurose, Chairperson
  • J.C. "Dell" Jackson, Vice-Chairperson
  • Lee Kraft
  • Ronald Gould
  • Robert Margulis
  • B. Jean Floten, BCC President


2000, KBCS and Bellevue Community College
Latest Update: 22 June 2000