KHUG looks to bring SCV sound to community rock, blues FM radio station

By Perry Smith

Last update: Friday, December 15th, 2017

Castaic resident Henry Urick enjoys finding opportunity where others have not.

It’s been a driving philosophy for him, and it’s also why he gets such a kick out of his current project, KHUG 97.5 FM.

In fact, while broadcasting a radio station from his Sloan Canyon home in Castaic might seem like a “pretty preposterous” venture, that might be why the president and CEO of Cornerstone SMR gets such a kick out of transmitting commercial-free music.

Urick, the owner, producer, disc jockey, chief engineer and janitor of KHUG 97.5 FM, walks up to the transmitter cabinet next to his house as the radio tower sits on the hill above him in Castaic on Monday, Dec. 11, 2017. Nikolas Samuels/The Signal

His day job as president and CEO of Cornerstone SMR, includes transforming the company to become a major force in the next level of industrial smart machine digital technology, he said. He also was recently named Chairman of VIE, a successor of a planned merger between Cornerstone SMR and ONCE Labs Inc.

But the radio station is a labor of love.

“A lot of times, I’ve always been, I wouldn’t say I’m a maverick, but I see opportunity where no one else does,” he said. “(Broadcasting from my home) is highly improbable, but I guess that’s why I like doing what I’m doing.”

What he’s doing is taking the Father’s Day gift of the broadcasting equipment from his son, who helped create FM community class licenses that let him broadcast a 100-watt signal from his home in the northwest corner of the Santa  Clarita Valley — and turning it into a community-based radio station that encourages listeners to send him songs they’d like to hear.

His property has a more than 600-foot-high ridgeline that helps him spread his love of classic rock by day, and blues and R‘n’B in the evenings. His 24-7 all music, all the time, with no commercials format means that he can safely claim playing more blues than any other station in California, he said.

Henry Urick, the owner, producer, disc jockey, chief engineer and janitor of KHUG 97.5 FM, sits next to the control console in his upstairs bedroom as his station plays from the radio on his lap in Castaic on Monday, Dec. 11, 2017. Nikolas Samuels/The Signal

And while one of his greatest fears is listeners becoming tired of the songs in his station’s library — which isn’t likely to happen soon since the former organist for The Intentions has chosen more than 1,900 personally, based on the timelessness and quality of the song, among other factors — to that end, he’s looking to add more local artists into the fold.

Right now, his transmission reaches pretty clearly from Castaic to Newhall, he said, but coverage is spotty in Canyon Country, due its topography, he said.

“Canyon country can be challenging, depending on where you are — certain parts it’s great, other parts it’s nonexistent,” he said, “but I‘ve never shied away from challenges, so now I’m determined to upgrade the transmission equipment.”

In fact, as he continues on his almost Quixotic quest to spread his love of music, the more he realizes the potential to reach more people, looking at new equipment and ways to reach an SCV audience.

“I actually didn’t believe that KHUG would have the signal it has, initially,” he said. “This new community radio station initiative gives you very limited power.” However, once he got going… After I put it on the air, I realized, KHUG is the little engine that could.”

The station is available online, as well, with K-Hug beginning its worldwide streaming this week on www.khug.rocks, and through the services TuneIn and Streema.

Henry Urick, the owner, producer, disc jockey, chief engineer and janitor of KHUG 97.5 FM, points to the radio tower on the hill in Castaic on Monday, Dec. 11, 2017. Nikolas Samuels/The Signal
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KHUG looks to bring SCV sound to community rock, blues FM radio station

Henry Urick, the owner, producer, disc jockey, chief engineer and janitor of KHUG 97.5 FM, sits next to his microphone in his upstairs bedroom in Castaic on Monday, Dec. 11, 2017. The radio station has been airing 24 hours a day, 7 days a week since June. Nikolas Samuels/The Signal

Castaic resident Henry Urick enjoys finding opportunity where others have not.

It’s been a driving philosophy for him, and it’s also why he gets such a kick out of his current project, KHUG 97.5 FM.

In fact, while broadcasting a radio station from his Sloan Canyon home in Castaic might seem like a “pretty preposterous” venture, that might be why the president and CEO of Cornerstone SMR gets such a kick out of transmitting commercial-free music.

Urick, the owner, producer, disc jockey, chief engineer and janitor of KHUG 97.5 FM, walks up to the transmitter cabinet next to his house as the radio tower sits on the hill above him in Castaic on Monday, Dec. 11, 2017. Nikolas Samuels/The Signal

His day job as president and CEO of Cornerstone SMR, includes transforming the company to become a major force in the next level of industrial smart machine digital technology, he said. He also was recently named Chairman of VIE, a successor of a planned merger between Cornerstone SMR and ONCE Labs Inc.

But the radio station is a labor of love.

“A lot of times, I’ve always been, I wouldn’t say I’m a maverick, but I see opportunity where no one else does,” he said. “(Broadcasting from my home) is highly improbable, but I guess that’s why I like doing what I’m doing.”

What he’s doing is taking the Father’s Day gift of the broadcasting equipment from his son, who helped create FM community class licenses that let him broadcast a 100-watt signal from his home in the northwest corner of the Santa  Clarita Valley — and turning it into a community-based radio station that encourages listeners to send him songs they’d like to hear.

His property has a more than 600-foot-high ridgeline that helps him spread his love of classic rock by day, and blues and R‘n’B in the evenings. His 24-7 all music, all the time, with no commercials format means that he can safely claim playing more blues than any other station in California, he said.

Henry Urick, the owner, producer, disc jockey, chief engineer and janitor of KHUG 97.5 FM, sits next to the control console in his upstairs bedroom as his station plays from the radio on his lap in Castaic on Monday, Dec. 11, 2017. Nikolas Samuels/The Signal

And while one of his greatest fears is listeners becoming tired of the songs in his station’s library — which isn’t likely to happen soon since the former organist for The Intentions has chosen more than 1,900 personally, based on the timelessness and quality of the song, among other factors — to that end, he’s looking to add more local artists into the fold.

Right now, his transmission reaches pretty clearly from Castaic to Newhall, he said, but coverage is spotty in Canyon Country, due its topography, he said.

“Canyon country can be challenging, depending on where you are — certain parts it’s great, other parts it’s nonexistent,” he said, “but I‘ve never shied away from challenges, so now I’m determined to upgrade the transmission equipment.”

In fact, as he continues on his almost Quixotic quest to spread his love of music, the more he realizes the potential to reach more people, looking at new equipment and ways to reach an SCV audience.

“I actually didn’t believe that KHUG would have the signal it has, initially,” he said. “This new community radio station initiative gives you very limited power.” However, once he got going… After I put it on the air, I realized, KHUG is the little engine that could.”

The station is available online, as well, with K-Hug beginning its worldwide streaming this week on www.khug.rocks, and through the services TuneIn and Streema.

Henry Urick, the owner, producer, disc jockey, chief engineer and janitor of KHUG 97.5 FM, points to the radio tower on the hill in Castaic on Monday, Dec. 11, 2017. Nikolas Samuels/The Signal

About the author

Perry Smith

Perry Smith

  • Cir Ago

    We just became listeners after reading this article in the Signal. KHUG has great coverage around the Santa Clarita area. We’ve listened in Saugus, Canyon Country, Stevenson Ranch, and Newhall. It’s really an interesting concept that a guy decides he wants to start his own station and just does it all by himself. Pretty amazing and pretty good to listen to. Go KHUG.

  • Rainman

    We love your station Henry, especially listening to continuous quality music. We’ve heard a lot of songs that we haven’t heard on the radio in decades. Keep up the great programming!