Dear KCSM Listener,
My name is Mike Claire and I am the President of College of San Mateo. I am also an avid jazz fan and a fellow KCSM-FM supporter. In addition, I was a professional musician at one time, and I have played in many jazz combos over the years.
I share these details with you because I share your passion for jazz. I understand fully what makes KCSM-FM unique, and I appreciate the trust and the support that you have placed with KCSM-FM. That is why I am writing to you directly.
There have been some recent news articles about proposed changes at KCSM-FM. I want to assure you that there are no plans to sell KCSM-FM, change the genre, or remove the remaining on-air personalities.
You may have read that most of KCSM-FM’s DJs will no longer be on-air after July 1, 2017. This is not true. It is true that 3 of the part-time DJs are no longer with KCSM. However, there are no plans to “lay-off” the remaining DJs. There was a miscommunication, which has now been corrected. I know that this has created unnecessary confusion and anxiety for all. On behalf of the management team at KCSM-FM and the College of San Mateo, I apologize.
It has also been reported that KCSM-FM is in financial trouble yet has a sizeable reserve. KCSM-FM operated at a deficit in 2016 and used some of its reserve to cover excess expenses. While the station has a reserve, the reserve is meant to cover major emergencies, not operating deficits. The station’s reserve will be exhausted rather quickly if KCSM-FM does not bring its operating expenses in line with revenues over the next few years.
The good news is that KCSM-FM’s financial situation is not dire. I am confident that the station will be able to bring expenses in balance with projected revenues—with minimal impact to the on-air programming that we all enjoy.
At the same time, I do not want to make false promises. Over the last four years, weekly hours provided by part-time DJs have increased by 28%. Thus, part of the solution to the deficit has been to make some adjustments to programming. This is a tough balancing act, and I know that some of the changes have upset listeners.
I will be working directly with KCSM-FM to look for budget reductions in areas that do not impact on-air programming. While I cannot promise that we will be able to restore all of the live hours, we will do our best. Regardless, I do not anticipate any additional reductions to live programming.
Many of you have shared your concerns and your support of KCSM-FM and its importance to the jazz community. I appreciate that KCSM-FM has such dedicated listeners. I am looking forward to working closely with the KCSM-FM team so that with your continued financial support, we can deliver the programming that you enjoy.
Mike Claire, President
College of San Mateo