Monday, December 5, 2016

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Student Radio Opens New Studios

This weekend, campus radio station, KCR, dedicated its new digs in Communication.
By Gayle Falkenthal

They say you can never go home again, but San Diego State University college radio station KCR has come pretty close.

Several dozen alumni, current students and supporters gathered to celebrate the move from Aztec Center to the new location in the Communications building on Saturday, May 1. The new studios provide more space and storage, and are located back on the west side of campus close to KCR’s original home studios.

New studio name honors longtime supporter

The studios were formally named the "Lauston Ozonee Studios," the tongue-in-cheek on-air name used by longtime KCR Radio faculty/staff advisor Skot Norton when he was a student broadcaster.

For nearly 30 years, Norton, KPBS' chief technologist, has served as a volunteer supervisor, mentor and inspiration to hundreds of students who have participated in radio station activities. Norton has also provided engineering support and been a tireless advocate and fundraiser for station activities.

"I am honored and humbled by this recognition," Norton said. "Although, to be honest, it had been my hope to auction off the naming opportunity for the spiffy new KCR studio in order to garner much-needed financial support for the station.

"Working for so many years with these aspiring broadcasters, particularly the student leaders, and watching as they gain confidence and competence is a privilege I cherish. I am very much moved as they return to bestow this recognition and accept on behalf of all who join with me to foster the advancement of student-run radio at SDSU."

Alumni involvement

"I was so excited to be able to be part of this rebirth of KCR in their new location on campus," said Bruce Greenberg, KCR Radio Alumni Association president. "With the extra room and new equipment, courtesy of both the AS and the KCR Alumni Association, a new generation of kids will find a musical home on campus.

"As an alumnus of KCR I am very proud of everything that Skot Norton has done to keep KCR alive. I was also very excited to see the financial support promised by many of the alumni that attended the event today. At 40 years old, KCR is alive and kicking," Greenberg said.

Marti Emerald, San Diego City Councilwoman representing the district that includes San Diego State University and KCR, honored Norton with a proclamation commending and thanking him for his many years of service to the station.

A naming plaque was presented and installed in the new studios during the reception held for visiting alumni, students and supporters.

About KCR Radio

KCR Radio has long been considered one of the nation’s top college radio stations. Its freeform music format has provided a launching pad for then undiscovered musical talents like the Police, the Clash, REM, Soundgarden and Nine Inch Nails. Despite changes in the way music is distributed and consumed, college radio is still considered a critically important platform for new, emerging and alternative musical artists.

Scores of media and entertainment professionals got their start in the safe haven of KCR’s studios, including:

  • Bryan Scott and Lisa Tucker, Emmy-award winning producers of Kathy Griffin: Life on the D-List
  • Emmy-winning San Diego radio host and television reporter Ken Kramer, one of KCR’s founders
  • Mort Marcus, co-president of Debmar-Mercury (South Park, House of Payne) and former Miramax and Disney executive
  • Wayne Hagen, broadcast voice of the New York Mets
  • Keith Royer, executive vice president and general manager at Rincon Broadcasting

Other notable KCR alumni include Ted Giannoulas, better known as the "San Diego Chicken;" Orange County Register political reporter Martin Wisckol; and San Diego Union-Tribune columnist Karla Peterson.

KCR alumni have raised money for new equipment and station support through individual donations and through the sales of a KCR-produced CD of original surf music, "Aztec Beach."

Additional information and registration is available on the KCR Radio Alumni website at, or on Facebook.

KCR Opens New Studios