KVBB 94.5 FM celebrates its sixth year in on the air on May 4, 2020. The station was granted its license in 2013 as one of about 1,000 low power FM stations around the
country when a licensing window was opened and closed that year by the Federal Communication Commission. It is believed that such a window may never open again.
The FM licenses were in a lottery that only nonprofit organizations could enter. As such, the parent company of KVBB is nonprofit corporation Big Bear Theater. The theater group offers at different times acting and singing lessons, musical theatre, music of all genres, literature—including plays, poetry, novels and short stories—and literacy through creative writing and storytelling.
John Phane is creative director with a career going back many years. He has worked in film, TV and has appeared in or directed some 100 stage productions. He is a member of the Screen Actors Guild, the American Federation of Television and Radio Artists and Actors Equity Association.
Much of what is created by the theater group appears in broadcast form on KVBB. In addition to the shows, KVBB also reports on local politics, news, weather, road conditions and Big Bear’s history.
The station gives visitors and residents of Big Bear alike a forum through which to learn about the arts and to exchange ideas and information pertinent to the Big Bear Valley.
The heart of the radio station has been Phane as station manager and John’s life partner, Lisa Adams, as CFO and sales manager. Phane wrote the grant application for the station; did the engineering and physically constructed the station.
John has decades of experience. He started his radio career in Big Bear on KTOT 100.7 FM. That station closed about the time KBHR 93.3 FM went on the air.
As KTOT signed off, Phane was hired as the first voice of Y-102 FM in Victorville. He stayed there for about a year and was hired away to be the first voice of the Country Cat, KATJ, 100.7 in Victorville. From there it was off to Ojai to another radio station. He was KHAY in Ventura and 96-ZTR in the heart of Los Angeles.
Phane returned to the valley in 1996 and was co-founder of TV 6 and was the first face on the air with that long time favorite in June of that year. It wasn’t long and he was off again working road shows.
John met Lisa while working TV 6 as she came on the show as a fitness instructor. She was a top aerobics teacher at the time. That meeting took Phane off the road and settled into a home for the first time in his adult life.
Lisa and John were together for 23 years and in that time created two newspapers, a travel magazine and a radio station. In addition to sales, Adams was an award winning photographer.
Adams took on the role of introducing the station to the Big Bear business community and talked with virtually every business owner in the valley about underwriting the station.
Unfortunately, after a two-and-a-half year battle against ovarian cancer, Lisa is not here to celebrate his highlight of her creation. She passed in February.
When Lisa became ill John stepped back from constant promotion of the station. Now, to honor Lisa’s hard work and dedication, it’s time to revitalize KVBB and its programming and make it the integral part of the community it was in the past.
To that end KVBB is now introducing new programming and is in the processing of creating even more programs that will launch in the coming months.