Tribute page

Honoring Mike Hancock

The first News Director of KNSJ 89.1 FM

KNSJ staff, volunteers, donors and listeners are saddened to report that we lost one of our founders and a beloved friend of non-commercial, non-profit radio. A lover of community radio and a lover of life has left us. Mike Hancock, KNSJ’s first News Director has passed away last weekend, November 14th.

“Reporter Mike” was multifaceted, involved in so many good community causes. He was a community gardener, a Canyonlands community clean up leader, an avid cyclist, and alternative transportation advocate and organizer, an LGBTQ rights promoter, an environmentalist, a cat lover, and a social justice proponent. It was his keen sense of social justice that led him to join the small group of Activist San Diego members seeking media justice that led Mike to help found San Diego’s first community radio station, KNSJ 89.1 FM. Mike had already been on the air and taken radio broadcast courses at San Diego City College, but he yearned to tell the untold stories, big and small.

On behalf of the KNSJ Steering Committee we send our condolences and carry forward the warm, caring and talented spirit of Mike Hancock.

Mike was attracted to… and helped formulate KNSJ’s mission to “provide high quality radio for those people and viewpoints, which have traditionally been excluded by the commercial media, especially those cultural, ethnic and social groups who have been historically marginalized.” Mike loved the idea of “People Powered Radio”. He became KNSJ’s first News Director training interns and beginners in the basics of radio reporting and production. Later he worked closely with Jim Brewster who joined KNSJ after 30 years of News and media experience, Mike lent his talents to many community forums, which were broadcast live on 89.1 FM and streamed at When Mike was stricken with unexpected illness he had to retreat from his involvement in KNSJ as he suffered economic hardship during his health crisis. It was this setback that drove him back to a sustainable gig with commercial radio, though his values remained committed to media justice and social justice.

We would be remiss not to mention that ‘DJ Mike’ had a huge love and knowledge of music. He produced one of the first locally-curated music shows on KNSJ in the first months of broadcast after that station launched on July 4th, 2013. From those humble beginnings KNSJ now has more that a dozen locally created music shows (and still growing) evenings from 8pm to 6 am encompassing many varied genre.

The most outstanding quality that Mike brought to KNSJ was his deep humanitarianism. In his ten years of association he never raised his voice or became angry. He was always a positive spirit, eager to help and working for the common good. Mike was as kind and considerate a human as you will ever meet.

This is just the beginning of our tribute to DJ Mike and Reporter Mike. Please pass on your stories and remembrances to us at We will be setting up a Fund in Mike Hancock’s memory to train people with a passion for music and reporting. Contact