Sacramento News & Review Article

“Plan to downsize beloved U.C. Davis radio station, demolish historic building, was hatched by the administration of Linda Katehi”

“As generations of alumni try to keep KDVS FM intact, they’re battling a proposal that started with the controversial college leader who many would rather forget.”



Statement From Former KDVS GMs

“The undersigned former General Managers of KDVS 90.3 FM have read the April 2, 2021 UC Davis announcement of its plan to drastically downsize the radio station by relocating it into a 1,000 sq. ft. room. This plan will be extremely harmful to the function of the radio station, its historic and ongoing mission, and the wider community KDVS serves. No deadline that would require such a precipitous and highly unfortunate move has been identified. The University’s current plan will permanently change KDVS to its detriment.  We urge the University to abandon its disastrous plan, a remnant of a 2015 initiative by former Chancellor Katehi, and work further in good faith with the expert KDVS relocation group that it originally convened to find a better solution. Please reconsider.”

Bruce Riordan 1969-70
Program Director for the Climate Readiness Institute at UC  Berkeley

Ken Beck 1973-74
Vice President News, Talk, and Sports Programming,  Entercom Communications (Retired)  

Rob Pattison, Esq. 1975-76
(Also Editor-in-Chief of The California Aggie for 1976-1978)  

Mark Friedman, Esq. 1978-79  
Chief Legal Officer for ChromaDex, Inc  

Eric Heinitz 1980-81
Educator 1983-2018 Foothill High School, Pleasanton-English  and Latin; 1988-2018 Sponsor and Certamen Staff,  Calif. Junior Classical League  

Ray Leos 1981-82
Dean, Faculty of Communications and Media Arts; Professor of  Law and Communications at Pannasastra University,  Cambodia. J.D. King Law, UCD; MFA, Graduate School  of Film TV, UCLA  

Randy Fender 1982
Freelance Writer, Former Mgr. The  Graduate, Davis  

Mark K Stevens 1984-85  

Geoff Lomax 1986-87
Program Manager & Government Affairs CIRM (California Stem  Cell Agency)  

John Nelson 1987-88
Director of Marketing & Activation at iHeartMedia, Marketing  Director Entercom, Promotions Director KXRQ-98 Rock,  KDND-107.9, and KWOD 106.5  

Brian Grattidge 1988-89
Environmental Land Use Planner, CEQA, State of California,  City of Woodland.  

Ted Verani 1990-91
Vice President, Global Business Development at wappier  

Marg Tobias, Esq. 1989-90
Tobias Law Firm, S.F.  

Marta Ulvaeus 1990-1993
Educator, Former Faculty Advisor at KUSB-FM UC Santa  Barbara  

Martin Buzak 1994-95
Senior Assistant City Attorney, Contracts J.D. Univ. of Pittsburg School of Law  

Todd Urick 1995-97
Broadcast Engineer, Program & Technical Director of Common  Frequency  

Paul Wilbur 1997-98
Manager, Eucalyptus Records, Davis 

Justin Kable 1998-2001
Resident Engineer, Kable Engineering, Ghiradelli Associates  

Liz Berg 2001-02 
Senior Product Manager NY Public Radio WNYC, WQXR;  Asst GM- WFMU 

Chris Marland 2001-02
Cisco Certified Network Professional, Routing & Switching  CNSS 4011 National Security Agency, Phi Kappa Phi, Lifetime Member  

Paul Shramski Towers 2002-03
Executive Director at Community Alliance with Family Farmers  

Teresa Kenny 2003-04
Founder & Director, Office Ops, LLC  

Steven Valentino 2004-2006
Producer, “The New Yorker Radio  Hour WNYC; Producer~ Peabody Award-winning  “Leonard Lopate” Show (2008 to 2015). WNYC  Newsroom.  

Drake Martinet 2006-07
Chief Technology Officer at MIT Technology Review    

Ben Johnson 2007-09
Co-Owner, Delta Breeze Records  

Kevin Corrigan 2009-10  

Neil Ruud 2010-12
Technical Director, Cosmic  

Renner Burkle 2012-13
Regulatory Affairs & IoT Platforms Engineer  

Cameron Cairns 2013-14
Chief Technical Officer, Start-Up; Sr. Software Engineer, Simply Legal  

Ashley Hanson 2014-15
M.S. Nutrition for Wellness  

Dynn Javier 2015
Private Personal Trainer  

Olivia Henderson 2015-17
Program Director Red 103.1, Bob FM, XS Sports 96.1 FM  

Mitchell Rotter Sieren 2017-18
Environmental Engineer  

Jacob Engel 2018-19


What Can We Surmise Regarding The Proposed KDVS Relocation Site

The proposal is to move KDVS from Lower Freeborn Hall to the Gunrock Gaming Room, which is on the side of the UCD Memorial Union Building, as depicted below.

Within the downsizing of offices to one-third of the current size, the space priority at the new location is to maintain the “General Staff” part of the KDVS offices.  This an important cultural aspect of the station, and the chief workspace for volunteers.  Space for “Master Control” is also a requisite part of the station per FCC guidelines.  “Studio B” — the main broadcast studio — is also a priority.  Under ADA guidelines, this studio would likely need to be expanded, but for the sake of this document, we will assume equivalent space.  These three areas consist of 787 SF at KDVS.  The next priority is a record library, which consumes 1103 SF.  With 213 SF left at the new KDVS location, 19% of the record library would be accommodated.

View the current functional space usage at KDVS.


542 SF General Staff Area: Four to five desks, Music Dept,
couch, three computers, public file 
190 SF Studio B (Main Studio)
55 SF Master Control
213 SF 19% of the current Record Library

= 1000 SF


890 SF 81% of the current Record Library
336 SF KDVS Staff Office (Core Staff Business)
80 SF Two Listening Rooms
75 SF  Studio C News Room
160 SF Studio A (Live, Production, and Recording / Auxiliary
Broadcast Studio) 

The following remediatory measures are being considered to mitigate space loss:

High density archive media shelving for record storage was proposed to increase the density of storage:  Instead of media shelving along walls, it was proposed that archive storage could be used.  The problem is there is a major difference between a “library” and an “archive.”  Libraries accessible for general daily use.  Archives are for select limited access for historical preservation.  The following demonstrates the two regimes:

Record Library
High Density Archive (e.g., to get to one record stored in
  on the far right shelve, five shelves of archives need to 
   be manually shifted left.)

The first photo is a library: with easy access, many volumes can be pulled in rows in a matter of minutes, with multiple people accessing the library at once.  The second photo is a proposed high density archive.  Each volume takes multiple minutes of moving multiple shelves to access, and one person can only use the archive at one time.  Browsing is severely encumbered.  High density storage might be ADA compliant on paper, but ironically, for many disabilities, this high density storage is much more difficult to access than the current KDVS library.

Off-Site Recording Storage: It was stated off-site record storage was needed because the new KDVS location could not accommodate much of the library.  Since such a secondary record archive location would need staffing, with a person to check volumes in and out, it is presumed that this site would not be accessible for individual DJs for normal radio shows.  The question is which records would be used at the station and which would reside at the archive?  Would specific genres, like “jazz”, be placed in storage because it is assumed less people utilize it?  The idea of segregating the collection based upon popularity of use is antithetical to the mission, history, and legacy of KDVS.  The library would be relegated for simple common airplay usage, and not its heritage of an educational laboratory for students and the community to explore historic analog recordings.  Moreover, this frustrates the execution of the longstanding Freeform format when only the most popular records and/or genres are accessible.  

Digital audio solutions:  With reduction of space, the question of much more to rely on digital audio was presented.  Modern broadcasting employs digital media for its flexibility of use, so there is an implicit decision to move towards partial replacement of physical media.  The issue for KDVS is that there is not a budget for a complete digital library to cover the compulsory facets of licensing, functioning, maintaining, and archiving.  With the move decision made, KDVS is thrusted into a digital dependence, when (A) no planning has occurred, (B) it is not known whether the university would support laptops and private online streaming services, and (C) will UCD require the adoption of new DJ practices when a digital library is made.

There are major implications to consider.  First, it is assumed by the current relocation plan that students might just employ consumer streaming services like Youtube, Spotify, etc. for their radio shows.  This is illegal for a broadcast entity.  A new formal digital strategy might certainly create new rules by campus legal to explicitly prohibit this practice.  Thus, an on-site digital library would need to be relied upon.  However, the time and skills associated with digitizing tens of thousands of albums cannot be advanced via volunteers with ad hoc local hardware (it has been formally attempted at KDVS in the past and failed).  Consider that in the last fifty years KDVS has not even cataloged its physical library because it is too laborious and technically-intensive for the volunteers.  Besides the skill for mastering, track-album dividing, and cataloging, digital rights protocols must be meticulously observed, cataloging the physical copy, assuring proper copyright protections on a system, and providing library back-up(s).  On top of that, professional servers are required and needed to be maintained.  Beyond the hardware aspects, it would require earmarking over $100,000 yearly for a librarian/IT/digital rights position, with hardware.  With this, a digital replacement library would cost more after a few years than just properly relocating the whole collection on-site within the studio.  But if the university is not subsidizing a digital media regime, streaming is formally discontinued, and most of the physical library is in storage, there is a dilemma of how music programming would be executed.  

Elimination of Studio B: Everything that is not live is produced in Studio B.  Recorded announcements, pre-produced programs, interviews, audio editing, news segments, etc all require a fully equipped studio.  A future-designated site for this studio somewhere else on campus is casually speculated by the university, but not guaranteed in writing within the relocation decision.  Furthermore, shifting between studios or combined studio use would be difficult with a remote studio.  Without the university designating this now, KDVS’ future functionality as a broadcast outlet is at question.

Elimination of “Dead Room”: Perhaps one of the most essential parts of the station is a room for live audio, sound recording, and collective audio.  Recording of bands for the longstanding program “Live in Studio A” would be discontinued.  Live debates, radio theater, multitrack recording, or any production of multiple people requiring microphones and production would be eliminated.  Like Studio B, the addition of this room would be a work-in-progress.

Elimination of Staff Office:  An office with desks and computers is essential to any workspace.  The office also a place to catalog and store fundraiser premiums for fund drives, station merchandise, materials for remotes, and publicity banners, for production of publicity products, for placement of file cabinets, to have private uninterrupted professional meetings concerning business and station clients, for creation of news scripts, for coordinated projects, and for general work.  The absence of this area is deleterious for essential station business.   

Elimination of Studio C and listening rooms:  Listening rooms provide the most basic of service for DJs preparing material for radio shifts.  It is thought listening areas might be added to the current plan by subtracting general staff space, but that space is lean as it is.  Studio C provides a quiet, dedicated studio for the news department only.  Like Studio A, the Dead Room, and the library annex, a fourth spot was mentioned concerning the possibility of a news area some place on campus.

Bathrooms: There are no bathrooms integrated with the plan, but it may be assumed the University would grant the hundreds of volunteers associated with KDVS access to the Memorial Union building 24 hours a day.  This might seem like a liability for the University, especially for the women’s restroom, which would require two keys to access in the west wing of the MU.


Location 1 Core Station – Space Proposed
Location 2 Studio A and Dead Room – KDVS needs to appeal
Location 3 Off-Studio Library Storage – TBA
Location 4 News – KDVS needs to appeal
Location 5 Off-Site Bathrooms – TBA