It’s hard to believe it’s been one week since University of San Francisco (USF) shut down college radio station KUSF as we know it. After turning off the FM transmitter, ushering out the on-air DJs and staff, and changing all the locks on the doors; USF handed over their airwaves to a simulcast of commercial classical station KDFC last Tuesday afternoon.
In the hours that followed, we learned that USF had signed a deal to sell off the station license and transmitter to Classical Public Radio Network (owned largely by University of Southern California). Meanwhile, related transactions on the commercial side of the dial by Entercom, meant that newly purchased classic rock station KUFX would be moving to KDFC’s frequency of 102.1. Although nothing has been approved by the FCC, all of the station takeovers and swaps were completed by yesterday, when KDFC left 102.1 FM and and moved its broadcast to 90.3 FM and 89.9 FM (as well as to other frequencies owned by religious radio station KNDL).
KUSF volunteers and fans have expressed their grave concerns about plans to take KUSF off of terrestrial radio and are mounting a huge effort to stop the sale. This current focus includes a letter-writing campaign to the Board of Trustees of USF, an online petition, and outreach to the San Francisco Board of Supervisors. After a peaceful rally at San Francisco City Hall at 1pm today; a resolution in support of KUSF will be proposed by SF Supervisor Ross Mirkarimi at the Board of Supervisors Meeting today.
It is hoped that KUSF’s long-time commitment to the community of San Francisco will garner supporters to help argue that this proposed sale is not in the public interest. In the meantime, there’s even a group at University of Southern California circulating a petition against the proposed station sale, arguing that,
“Preserving classical music from afar should not come at the expense of the cultural and musical communities that are now losing a key hub. As USC students, alumni, faculty and staff, it troubles us deeply that our own institution is partially responsible for this outcome.
Educational stations are one of America’s last widely-available outlets for local, critical and challenging content. During a time in which independent voices are increasingly scarce on the consolidated FM dial, USC’s initiative comes at the cost of hobbling a decades-old community institution. Please sign the petition below to express solidarity with those of the KUSF community working for the return of their station. It is our hope that USC can achieve its goals while preserving a valuable San Francisco voice.”
A meeting has also been set with KUSF DJs and staff this week to discuss the future of the proposed online-only campus station. Although the current volunteer effort is focused on preventing the station sale, everyone is still eager to hear what the plans for this campus station are, as details up to this point have been vague and conflicting.
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