By Tina Davey
KBCZ’s broadcast reach at the moment on 89.3 FM is to all of the San Lorenzo Valley including Lompico, Scotts Valley, Paradise Park, and parts of Santa Cruz. We’re very excited to be reaching that whole area. Last year during the extreme weather events, we lost power along with everyone else up here on the mountain sometimes for days at a time. It was very frustrating for the station, and for listeners who have now come to rely on us for up-to-date weather and traffic info. There were trees down everywhere, roads closed completely. It was a real mess. But when that happens again, we will now be ready with more beefed-up backup systems in place. The San Lorenzo Valley Water District crew installed a new generator at the antenna site that we share. We increased our Comcast reliability. We also have a transfer switch here at the downtown studio where we get backup power from Boulder Creek Pizza and Pub. We call it “Pizza Power!”
Something that’s a bit thrilling for us is we recently found out how many listeners we have around the world. We knew we were broadcasting to folks in a couple of different states on KBCZ.org but we learned that we have listeners in Singapore, Ireland, Rio de Janeiro, Australia, Europe, and Guadalajara Mexico in addition to US cities like Portland, Las Vegas, Sacramento, Washington, New York, and Denver; really all over the place. Awareness of that reach has excited the team.
A Steady Hand at the Helm
I come from a television production background and have enjoyed a 20-year voice-over career. In television, I worked through the 1990s on many different shows in LA, all behind the scenes. I had a great time and made lifelong friends there. I have always had my own rock ‘n’ roll band. I have one now called Swordfight which is on Spotify, so I have that music sensibility that, I think, is important here at the station. When I first moved to SLV in 1998, I worked with volunteers at the American Red Cross down in Santa Cruz for three years, where I wrote press releases for their national and international activities, which was very busy at the time.
I often voice the National Association of Music Merchants (NAMM) trade show held at a convention center in Anaheim each year. I also voice a lot of the product reels, and the Les Paul Award tribute videos for artists like Joni Mitchell, Joe Perry, Slash, Jackson Brown, and many others.
KBCZ came as a bit of a fluke. I went to a meeting back in 2012 when someone called me and said “Hey, they’re thinking about putting a radio station together in Boulder Creek, maybe you should go to the meeting?” So I went and there were many other people there, and from that large group while some people fell away, a core group stayed, like Sam Peacock for example, Tim Welch, Brian Valdivia, Mike D, and of course Hallie Greene from the Boulder Creek Recreation District, who was leading the meeting. We all said we wanted the radio station and the Rec District said, “Ok we will buy the license. You guys build the station.” It took quite a few years to get to the point of broadcasting live and that happened in September of 2016 with the help of Barry Tanner from Boulder Creek Music Works in town. When we moved into our downtown studio in January of 2017, that’s when things really started to take off.
KBCZ at Full Throttle
My favorite part of this job is when a new person walks in the front door and maybe they don’t have any radio experience and maybe they’ve never even spoken into a microphone before, they’ve never put a radio show together, but what they do have is a strong volunteer spirit, an excitement for the medium of radio. Because it is fun to do a radio show, it is like being on stage, you definitely get a charge from it. I love seeing someone blossom in a DJ role. They come in as a complete novice and they grow into a wonderful DJ, that is a real thrill for me personally.
One of the other things I noticed here is that the radio station is kind of like a little mini community center. It makes sense that the Boulder Creek Recreation and Parks District owns the license. Of course they are a real community center with basketball hoops, tennis courts, and swimming pools, but I realize that part of my job is just listening to people who come in off the street and have complaints or ideas or whatever is on their mind about the community or about the world, and I like to listen, and I want them to know that I am here for that. Also, my job is listening to the volunteers here. We all go through life, and we have challenges and disappointments and exciting things that happen in our personal lives; babies get born, kids grow and leave home, and people pass away. There’s just a real life blood running through the station at all times and I just feel honored to be a part of it.
Training is available! We’re looking for people with a great sense of community, because our motto here at KBCZ is “Serve the Community First.” I’ve got a sign posted in the studio. So when a DJ sits down at the mic, before you think about your own genres of music and what artist you’re going to play, you’re going to think about the community first. What are they in need of at this moment? Is there wicked weather happening? Is there a wind advisory in effect? Is there a great local event happening? Is there anything that listeners need to know? Also, it takes a workable attitude. A DJ that comes in who wants to work with other DJs and enjoys that camaraderie that we have here, that really helps. We all help each other out here.
We are attracting more women who want to be DJs which is fantastic because we have a Women’s Music Co-Op program that has always been hosted mostly by men! Now it is primarily hosted by women, although we do appreciate the guys jumping in.
What we truly need right now are donors! People who can infuse some cash into the station because that would really elevate us. We could then possibly pay for another employee, which would help out greatly. We would be able to beef up our equipment across the board and be even more reliable. Those are our goals. To donate, visit KBCZ.org and hit that donate button.
KBCZ 89.3 FM, 13200 Hwy 9, Boulder Creek, CA,. Studio Line: (831) 703-4420 | kbcz.org
Tina Davey is a Felton resident, KBCZ’s Station Manager, and member of the band Swordfight.
Featured photo: KBCZ DJs bottom l to r: Mike D, StirFry, Sage, Tina Davey, David Halper, Clover Crimson, Brookdale Bruce. Top l to r: The Randyman, Sam the Ram, Kevco, Mony Tills,
Greg Rose, Julia Dream, DJ Rae, Big Bri, Erincita, Mountain Mama, Enrico Burmano, John Lehr
Photos by Julie Horner
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