Staff Report


KCRW public radio has launched “The 805,” a weekly show that discusses the stories and trends shaping California’s Central Coast.

The 805 area code represents the last idyllic stretch of Coastal California south of Big Sur, but those who live along the Central Coast know the region’s challenges are often hidden behind its postcard views, a KCRW spokesman said.

The area is a combination of sensitive coastal environments, immigrant farmworker communities, and a growing tech industry that brings with it concerns about overdevelopment.

Each week, KCRW’s Jonathan Bastian speaks with people influencing Central California, from elected officials to journalists, artists, writers, chefs and other thought leaders.

“What makes this region fascinating is that it’s a study in contrasts,” Bastian said. “You have the gorgeous Channel Islands surrounded by oil wells; million-dollar homes near homeless encampments. I’m excited to tell the real, complex stories of this place.”

Bastian is an award-winning public radio host and reporter at KCRW. His reporting on California’s minimum wage won Radio Feature of the Year from the LA Press Club in 2017. He has interviewed numerous influential writers, thinkers, and policy makers, including Salman Rushdie, congressman and civil rights leader John Lewis, Jared Diamond, Ralph Nader, Oliver Sacks, Barbara Kingsolver, and many others. His work has aired nationally on All Things Considered and Marketplace.

“The 805” premiered on Dec. 1 on 88.7 FM Santa Barbara and 89.1 FM Oxnard-Ventura. After it airs, each episode is also available at or on the KCRW app.

A community service of Santa Monica College, and with a team of hosts and producers based in Los Angeles and downtown Santa Barbara, the station broadcasts locally focused news and in-depth interviews.