Radio industry veteran and music business executive, Sky Daniels, has been named the interim general manager of KCSN-FM (88.5) following the departure of the station’s former GM, Karen Kearns.
KCSN is the non-commercial radio station that broadcasts from the campus of California State University, Northridge.
Daniels came to the station last year as program director during a time when KCSN underwent a few major changes, including the transition from its long-time classical format to the now Triple-A format.
“I went into the record business for a number of years and had a strong desire to return back to radio. So when I saw that the position for program director had opened up here I was interested,” said Daniels.
“I recognized that there was an opportunity to really build a station from scratch So I came here as program director and we really kick started KCSN and rapidly started to gain a lot of attention and notoriety on a national basis.”
Last year, KCSN experienced a location upgrade from the campus dorms into a lofty and spacious suite in the Valley Performing Arts Center.
Daniels said the new location played some part in his decision to accept the position as general manager. He said that music artists are much more likely to take the station seriously when located in the VPAC than they would be if they were broadcasting from a dorm room.
The university’s ability to identify his extensive experience and insight in the industry is what propelled them to request that he be the one to fill the GM role, Daniels said.
“I believe that the university administration recognized that I had come in with a lot of qualifications, and they just felt that placing that position in my hands made sense,” said Daniels.
Former GM, Karen Kearns, headed KCSN for three years and will be resuming her role as a professor of radio and media management at the university.
Daniels said that Kearns resigned because she wanted to go back to doing what she loved which is teaching. He also said that Kearns recommended that he be the person to take over her position.
“She was pretty selfless in that decision and I admired her for that. She knew that she wanted to go back to what she loved and she knew that this was a rocket that was taking off and she thought, ‘You know what, maybe you oughta take the ball and run with it from here,’ and it’s rare that you see that,” said Daniels.
Daniels will continue in his role as program director along with his new general manager position and said that balancing both roles will require a lot of time management and choreography as he works 14 hour days, seven days a week.
When Daniels walked away from the record business to work for KCSN he also walked away from a lot of money. He said that he is in a place in his life financially where he can afford to take this position and looks at his new role as a fulfilling job that stands to do some good in the community.
“The university is very sensitive to compensation and I don’t think they’d even feel that they know that what I’m making is not necessarily commensurate to the size of the job,” Daniels said. “But it’s the best that they can do at this point in time, and I am sensitive to that too.”
Daniels, who is responsible for bringing Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers to perform on campus last year, hinted that there is a lot more where that came from, having already locked in some major acts for the Fall semester.
He also plans to get students more involved and aware of the station by hosting free live concerts at the university.
A signal upgrade to increase the station’s reach into the Los Angeles Basin, Silverlake and through the downtown area will go into effect next month. Daniels said that it is part of his aim to make the station totally self-sufficient from the university and to become a revenue generator for CSUN.