Saturday, February 19, 2011

As protests grow, buyer wants to move KUSF FM transmitter away from campus

The coverage area of KUSF 90.3 after its new
owner moves its transmitter to Sausalito.
As a campaign mounts to stop the sale of the University of San Francisco’s KUSF 90.3, the prospective new owner is asking the FCC for permission to move the station’s transmitter from the USF campus to a hill above Sausalito.

The prospective buyer, the University of Southern California’s Classical Public Radio Network, explained to the FCC:
    KUSF’s antenna currently resides on a building within the University of San Francisco (USF) campus. 
    Because, upon approval by the FCC, the license will be transferred to an entity not controlled by the university, it is necessary to relocate the station’s transmitter site. Additionally, due to the sensitive nature of the license transfer, the proposed assignee wishes to maintain better control of access to the transmitter and antenna which now must be handled through USF security personnel.
The station’s transmitter will move to a Sausalito location known as “Wolfback Ridge” and share a tower with Alice FM, Kiss FM, KCBS’s FM signal (actually KFRC) and KDFC.

The switch of KDFC 102.1 from classical to a simulcast of KFOX in San Jose started a series of license switches that sparked the KUSF controversy. Entercom Corp., owner of both KDFC and KFOX, decided to drop classical music, giving the format and eventually the KDFC call letters to USC’s Classical Public Radio Network. Entercom arranged to USC to buy KUSF 90.3 for $3.75 million. A sale agreement between all of the parties has been signed, and USC’s classical network is now programming KUSF, but the deal won’t close until the FCC approves the swaps.

Despite opposition from students, faculty and the San Francisco Board of Supervisors, USF isn’t budging. He told SF Public Press, “We legally can’t reverse the deal. … If we were to walk away from this, we could be sued for millions.”

To show support for KUSF, several noncommercial stations aired a three-hour simulcast on Friday from Amoeba Records on Haight Street. KUSF fans are raising money to stop the sale of the station’s signal. The money will pay for lawyers to file a petition against the sale with the FCC, according to Bay Citizen.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

There is an option in the contract to bi-laterally agree to cancel the purchase agreement. If USF & USC agree to cancel the sale, the license can be and should be sold locally to keep SF's only college station and only locally programmed community station, with citywide reach -- on the air. This is a far better option than USC acquiring a 6th station -- and a local fundraising arm.