KSPC Radio, or “K-Space” as longtime Claremont locals know it, has been providing non-commercial, educational, and entertaining programming to the Inland Empire for almost 70 years.
KSPC began as KPCR in the early 1950s, a small radio station started by Pomona College students, (PCR standing for “Pomona College Radio”), and operating out of a closet in the student union. At the time, the student programmers at KPCR could only reach listeners on campus via carrier current technology. In an effort to extend their reach off campus, legend has it that some of the KPCR student staff experimented with connecting their radio signal to the nearby railroad tracks in Claremont. Apparently, the experiment was a success as an agent from the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) soon visited them and informed them that if they wanted to broadcast off campus they would need to apply for an FM radio license.
While AM radio was still the band of choice for most radio listeners in the 1950s, the students decided to forge ahead and raised the funds needed to start an FM operation on February 12, 1956. Licensed as a non-commercial, educational FM station the students signed on the air with the call letters KSPC, (this time in reference to the “Students of Pomona College”), with a mission to provide “a desirable type of programming not readily available in this area.” While initially successful, the students soon realized that they would need to enlist volunteers from all of the Claremont Colleges as well as members of the Claremont community to keep the station running and programming on the air.
Over the years, KSPC has had countless student and community volunteers providing music, news, and community broadcasts on the air, while also showcasing concerts and events on campus and in the local area. Aside from musical recordings, KSPC also hosts and broadcasts in-studio performances periodically. Three compilation albums, entitled The KSPC Basement Tapes, have been released over the years, highlighting some of these in-studio performances. In more recent times, student managers at KSPC have further defined the station’s mission as “providing a platform for new and underrepresented voices, perspectives, and sounds.” Since 2000, KSPC’s programming has been also been streamed online, providing a local voice from Claremont to listeners around the world.
You can find out more about KSPC 88.7 FM on their website at www.kspc.org including streaming options, social media links, program scheduling, DJ playlists, and much more.