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From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

CityArcata, California
Broadcast areaNorth Coast
Frequency90.5 MHz (HD Radio)
Slogan"Diverse Public Radio"
FormatPublic radio
OwnerHumboldt State University
First air date
October 17, 1960 (originally carrier current 1947-1960)
Former call signs
KHSC (1960-1972)
Call sign meaning
K Humboldt State University
Technical information
Facility IDKHSU: 28111
KHSR: 28112
KHSF: 172798
KHSG: 172843
ClassKHSU: C1
ERPKHSU: 8,500 watts
KHSR: 4,500 watts
KHSF: 300 watts
KHSG: 75 watts
459 metres (1,506 feet)
−59 metres (−194 feet)
538 metres (1,765 feet)
779 metres (2,556 feet)
Transmitter coordinates
40°43′37″N 123°58′22″W / 40.72694°N 123.97278°W / 40.72694; -123.97278
Repeater(s)KHSR 91.9 MHz
Crescent City
KHSF 90.1 MHz Ferndale
KHSG 89.9 MHz Garberville
WebcastListen Live

KHSU-FM (90.5 FM) is an NPR-member radio station, licensed to Arcata, California, United States. The station is currently owned by Humboldt State University. KHSU also holds licenses for additional stations running Radio Bilingüe and BBC World Service.

KHSU provides the region encompassing Humboldt and Del Norte Counties in California as well as portions of Trinity and Mendocino Counties in California and Curry County in Oregon, with news information and entertainment from public radio producers like National Public Radio (NPR), Public Radio International (PRI) and American Public Media (APM).

As of April 11, 2019, all volunteer programmers (with as much as 30 years' service to the station) and staff were either fired or had quit. As an economy move and a possible sale of the station, KHSU is running programming from North State Public Radio in Chico, California, based at 91.7 KCHO, more than 150 miles distant.


Early years

The station began as a radio classroom experiment in 1941 on the campus of what was then Humboldt State College, with broadcasts airing on KIEM for two months until the attack on Pearl Harbor. The radio program resumed in full in 1947, when KHSC-AM signed on as a 10-watt carrier current station.

In January 1960, Humboldt State applied for the first non-commercial radio license on a California college or university campus. The new station signed on for the first time on October 17, operating at 10 watts on 90.5 FM. It became KHSU in 1972, shortly after Humboldt State was elevated to university status.

NPR affiliation

The station remained almost exclusively a student training ground until 1982, when it boosted its power to 100 watts and moved to 91.5 FM. At that point, the station began a gradual process of professionalization, picking up an NPR membership in 1984. It returned to 90.5 in October 1984, this time with an increased signal of 9,000 watts.

In 1988, facing the prospect of waiting five years to qualify for grants from the Corporation for Public Broadcasting, KHSU shuffled its budget in order to enable it to hire the five full-time employees it needed for CPB funding within only five months of applying.

2019 staff cutbacks

On April 11, 2019, KHSU took a dramatic change in focus, personnel, and programming.[1] All staff and volunteers were called to a 9 a.m. meeting, at which the memo below was given to those present, essentially firing of all but two staffers, though both later resigned. HSU administrators then enlisted HSU police officers to escort all those involved off campus. Door locks were changed, the station office was closed and phones disconnected, and KHSU began re-broadcasting programming from North State Public Radio in Chico, California.[2][3][4][5][6][7]

In April, 2019, HSU issued the following statement about KHSU's reorganization:

″Humboldt State University is reorganizing and streamlining operations at its public radio station, KHSU, with the goal of preserving quality programming for the North Coast.

Station employees were told of the changes earlier today. Because the reorganization and budget reductions include the elimination of positions, a number of individuals have been laid off. The University is working to provide clear information to them, and to ensure they receive any benefits they are entitled to.

The steps taken include:

   • Elimination of HSU’s direct payroll support, including the General Manager position and Chief Engineer position, saving the University more than $250,000 annually.
   • Elimination of five other staff positions, generating significant savings in the portion of KHSU’s budget that comes from government support, underwriting, and listener contributions.
   • Appointment of an Interim Station Director, to be supported through non-HSU funding.
   • Indefinite suspension of volunteer-run programs. The University will evaluate how students can return to a more substantial on-air role at KHSU.

Volunteers, listeners, legislators and faculty members disagreed with HSU administrators' cutbacks, taken just a few days after a successful Fund Drive with no mention of the pending staff cuts.[8][9][10]

Board members of North Coast Public Television have discussed that organization aiding KHSU.[11][12]

In early May 2019, community groups began considering the purchase of the station from the university. Appeals were made by a group calling itself "Friends of KHSU" to pay for a Washington DC based attorney to begin negotiations for the station.[13]

KHSU had volunteer producers and show hosts programming music and public affairs shows. This tradition continued until April 11, 2019, when over 80 volunteers and paid staff were terminated.[14] Over 68 hours of KHSU programming was locally produced every week. Volunteer music producers accounted for 63 hours of KHSU's programming. Former independent producers include Emmanuel Serriere and his weekly French radio program "Radio a la Carte", "Sabor LatinX" produced by Damián Campos and Katie Whiteside's programs were discontinued.[15][16][17][18][19]

KHSU simulcasts and translators

KHSU's programming can also be heard on KHSR 91.9 FM in Crescent City, KHSF 90.1 FM in Ferndale, and KHSG 89.9 FM in Garberville

KHSU (operating under the moniker "Diverse Public Radio") also makes the programming of Radio Bilingüe available to North Coast (and South Coast of Oregon) listeners through stations KHSM (103.3 McKinleyville and Wild Rivers Coast) and KIPE (89.7 Pine Hills - serving the Eel River Valley).[20]

KHSU also operates two stations broadcasting BBC World Service 24 hours a day. KHSU-BBC is now broadcasting at 90.1 (KHSF, Ferndale) and at 107.7 (KHSQ, Trinidad).[21]

See also


  1. ^ "(UPDATE) Humboldt State Announces the Evisceration of KHSU".
  2. ^ "KHSU Gutted, Leaving Station's Future Uncertain".
  3. ^
  4. ^ "An Incalculable Loss".
  5. ^ "Reed Steps Down at KHSU".
  6. ^ "Last Employee Leaves KHSU".
  7. ^
  8. ^
  9. ^ "Letter from Legislators: KHSU Gutting a 'Slap in the Face'".
  10. ^ "Good Night and Good Luck".
  11. ^ "KHSU Dismantling Rebuked, KEET Board to Discuss Possible Radio Venture".
  12. ^ "(VIDEO) Former KHSU Staff Discuss Station's Shutdown with KEET".
  13. ^ "As Chancellor Backs HSU's Gutting of KHSU, Community Members Look to Purchase the Station".
  14. ^ "A 'Dark Day' at KHSU".
  15. ^ "Concerned Community Members Flood Meeting to Discuss Firing of Woman who 'Put the K in KHSU'".
  16. ^ "Why I'm Pulling My Support from KHSU After 25 Years".
  17. ^ "KHSU Pledge Drive Postponed Amid Community Concerns".
  18. ^ "Fight for KHSU".
  19. ^ "Static at KHSU".
  20. ^ "Radio Bilingüe".
  21. ^ "Khsu BBC".

External links

This page was last edited on 13 August 2020, at 07:07
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