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University of San Francisco Takes KUSF off FM and Plans to Sell License to Public Radio Group

Entrance to KUSF

I just heard the news that University of San Francisco is going to be transferring control of their FM license for college radio station KUSF to Classical Public Radio Network. Apparently this change is effective immediately and KUSF, as we know it today, will continue on as an 0nline-only station with the call letters KUSF.

As a San Francisco resident and listener (see my KUSF tour on Spinning Indie) I am completely devastated by this news, as KUSF is a great station and has been the only San Francisco-based college radio station with a terrestrial signal. It was just about a year ago that I profiled KUSF’s DJ Schmeejay as the host of one of my favorite radio shows, so I am discouraged that I will no longer be able to tune in to his show on my FM radio.

According to a statement today on the University of San Francisco website:

“The University of San Francisco (USF) announced today that KUSF, the university’s radio station, is moving to an online only format, effective immediately. The university has reached an agreement to assign the FCC license for radio frequency 90.3 FM to Classical Public Radio Network, which is launching a non-commercial classical music station in the Bay Area. CPRN is owned by University of Southern California…

The move to online-only distribution gives KUSF a powerful opportunity to grow its worldwide audience. Previously, the station was limited to 100 online listeners at a time, but capacity will be increased to accommodate thousands of listeners. The station will go dark briefly for necessary engineering work. It is possible the electrical work could take several days…The sale must be approved by the Federal Communications Commission.”

I’m guessing that the staff, DJs, and fans of KUSF will be protesting this sale, so stay tuned as details emerge in the coming days. I, for one, am not pleased that this distressing trend of universities selling off college radio station licenses has now hit my own back yard.

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2 Responses to University of San Francisco Takes KUSF off FM and Plans to Sell License to Public Radio Group

  1. Peter D January 18, 2011 at 1:49 pm #

    This is terrible news. That’s been a great station for music, as well as voice for multicultural radio participation in the city too with numerous native language shows, if I recall correctly from living there. I wonder how many schools are evaluating the relevance of FM broadcasting to their students and communities and how they weight each component?

  2. Jennifer Waits January 18, 2011 at 2:06 pm #

    Here’s a link to the Facebook event page for the protest/meeting happening at KUSF tomorrow night. It sounds like folks are meeting around 6pm on campus and then there’s a meeting at Fromm Hall at 7pm.

    Fromm Hall is behind the Cathedral on Parker x Fulton Street on the USF campus.

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