KCSN’s Sky Daniels to Retire (EXCLUSIVE)

Sky Daniels, the veteran label and radio executive who helped launch Triple-A bastion KCSN/88.5 FM at Cal State Northridge in 2011, is stepping down from his post and retiring.

Daniels helped build the station from the ground up, bringing in Tom Petty for a memorable benefit concert and hiring such local mainstays as Nic Harcourt, Gary Calamar, Andy Chanley, Robert Hilburn and Kevin Bronson as on-air personalities.

“I was planning to retire prior to joining KCSN/88.5 FM in 2011,” said Daniels, who has recently battled cancer, pancreatitis and a heart attack. “But the opportunity to build a radio station that would put artist development first, in a market as influential as Los Angeles, was something I knew was vital. It has been an honor to serve musicians’ needs for the last eight years in developing a platform that recognized and supported their livelihood.”

Daniels cited the difficulties of working with the bureaucracies of two separate universities and the lack of proper funding as two reasons for his decision, along with the 70-hour work weeks and his health.

“This was a tough job,” Daniels told Variety about working at KCSN as one of just seven station employees. “My family begged me to walk away.” He admits many of his disagreements with the university were over budget and personnel cuts. “We were a David amidst Goliaths,” he adds.

The Youngstown, Ohio, native is a veteran promotion and radio executive who served a stint as DJ at the original KMET in Los Angeles, KFOG in San Francisco and KISW in Seattle, then worked at Island Records, Fontana Distribution, Sony Music, Best Buy and Polygram Label Group.

He thanked KCSN’s original GM Karen Kearns, along with Harry Hillenbrand, Cynthia Rawitch and Dianne Harrison for helping him grow the station.

“It has been an incredible challenge, given the fact that KCSN is the lowest-powered FM in the Los Angeles market, to have it grow into an internationally respected tastemaker radio station,” he said. “The small but dedicated staff of 88.5 FM deserves great appreciation for their tireless efforts. Turning 800 watts into such a recognized entity was a remarkable feat. They have my eternal respect.”

Although he calls himself retired, Daniels plans to “be active as a musician’s advocate, as well as pursuing ownership opportunities in broadcasting. I want public radio to be leaders in forging a relationship with the creative community. I see the same thing happening to working musicians as I did in my hometown when the steel industry went away. And I feel, with my broad experience in the record business, that I can connect those dots.”

More Music

  • Mary Bailey Steve D'Angelo, Jim Belushi

    Cannabis Industry Tackles Justice Reform With 'Last Prisoner Project'

    Jim Belushi is standing two feet away in the backyard of his spacious Brentwood home, honking a harp like he’s a Blues Brother back in sweet home Chicago accompanied by noted reggae band Rebelution’s Eric Rachmany and Kyle Ahern, who provide a 12-bar shuffle. There’s the sweet smell of marijuana – and success — hanging [...]

  • Post Malone

    Post Malone Announces Fall Arena Tour With Swae Lee

    Post Malone has announced a fall arena tour, where he’ll be joined by Swae Lee and Tyla Yaweh, kicking off Sept. 14 in Tacoma, WA and running through November, where it’ll wrap up with southern California shows No. 16 at the Honda Center and Nov. 20 at the Forum. The “Runaway Tour” will also make [...]

  • Sean Diddy Combs

    MTV, Sean 'Diddy' Combs Reunite for 'Making the Band' Return

    MTV and Sean “Diddy” Combs are reuniting to reboot the reality competition series “Making the Band.” The show is slated to premiere in 2020. Its return was prompted by a tweet Diddy recently posted suggesting it was time for a comeback. Originally featuring the creation of early 2000s boy band O-Town (the show was conceived [...]

  • Bob Dylan Neil Young

    Bob Dylan and Neil Young Duet — Finally! — at Joint Tour Finale (Watch)

    Bob Dylan and Neil Young harked back to the days of the Carter administration — the Carter Family administration, that is — on Sunday for their first-on stage duet in a quarter-century: “Will the Circle Be Unbroken.” Fans had hoped for a teaming between the two at other stops along the way on their European [...]

  • BMI Promotes David Levin to Senior

    BMI Promotes David Levin to Senior VP of Digital Licensing

    BMI today announced that David Levin has been promoted to Senior Vice President of Licensing, effective immediately. In his newly expanded role, Levin is responsible for all of BMI’s domestic licensing and revenue generation, encompassing radio, television, digital media, cable, satellite and general licensing.  Levin, who will oversee teams in New York and Nashville, reports [...]

  • Austin Butler to Star as Elvis

    Austin Butler to Star as Elvis in Baz Luhrmann's Biopic

    Baz Luhrmann’s Elvis Presley biopic has found its king of rock ‘n’ roll. After numerous screen tests, Austin Butler has been tapped to play Elvis Presley in Luhrmann’s next feature film for Warner Bros. The studio tested with a handful of actors in full hair and make-up at the end of June to see who [...]

  • Warner Music Group Logo

    Warner Music Acquires Musical Theater Indie First Night Records

    Warner Music Group has acquired First Night Record, an independent record label for West End and Broadway musical theatre cast recordings. The company will be overseen by WMG’s Arts Music Division, led by President Kevin Gore. First Night co-founder John Craig will join the Arts Music team under a multi-year consulting agreement to identify and record musical theatre productions in [...]

More From Our Brands

Access exclusive content