Fans of eclectic music for grown-ups will welcome a new addition to Southern California airwaves on Tuesday when KCSN-FM and KSBR-FM, public radio stations based in Orange County and the San Fernando Valley, join forces to form the New 88.5 FM which by combining signals can reach a potential audience of 11 million listeners.
Neither KCSN, which is based at California State University, Northridge, or KSBR, which is located at Saddleback College in Mission Viejo, currently reach more than 2 million listeners combined, according to a press release announcing the new partnership. But both operate at 88.5 on the FM dial and by teaming up they will be able to cover a wide swath of Orange and Los Angeles counties, as well as a bit of Ventura County, too.
KCSN features mostly music around the clock with a format known as Adult Album Alternative, or AAA, and that will now flow from KSBR, too, as its former jazz format moves to joint station’s HD2 channel. For those who’ve not been able to hear KCSN before there will be a few familiar names in the cast on on-air personalities, such as Nic Harcourt, formerly music director and host of Morning Becomes Eclectic at KCRW-FM, holds down the weekday mornings from 6 a.m. to 11 a.m.
Radio veterans Jim Nelson and Sky Daniels handle the midday and afternoon drive-time slots, with Daniels also the program director for KCSN, and now the combined station, as well as working as co-general manager with KSBR’s Jim Rondeau.
“Southern California deserves better radio,” Rondeau said in a written statement. “The triple-A format is probably the hardest to describe to new listeners but delivers a standout listening experience. Our mix of legendary, local and new artists is one that can carry you from your commute through your work day.”
On Thursday morning, Harcourt’s playlist offered an example of what the new station will present, with a mix of classic album tracks (Bruce Springsteen’s “Thunder Road,” the Rolling Stones’ “She’s A Rainbow”), alternative standards (Radiohead’s “Just,” Liz Phair’s “6 Feet 1”) and cutting edge indie rock (Overcoats’ “Hold Me Close,” Mondo Cozmo’s “Plastic Soul”).
Other shows on the New 88.5 that might feel familiar to local listeners include Fresh Catch with Jed the Fish, hosted by the longtime KROQ DJ from 10 p.m. to midnight Saturdays; Le Show with Harry Shearer, the music, satire and politics program that aired for years on KCRW, now 10 a.m. to…