YMF Media has submitted paperwork with the FCC in the hopes of assigning the licenses for KVTO 1400 AM (Berkeley, CA) and KVVN 1430 AM (Santa Clara, CA) to Pham Radio Communication. According to the asset purchase agreement, YMF Media will be paid $6 million for the station sales.
Currently the California Historical Radio Society (CHRS)/Bay Area Radio Museum is located at the KVTO-AM (formerly known as KRE) site in Berkeley and operates amateur radio station W6CF out of the same location. CHRS has been fundraising in order to hopefully purchase the historic KRE building and land. An update on the CHRS website includes a prepared statement from the CHRS Board of Directors, which states:
“We have been informed that KVTO has been sold. Early indications are that the successful bidder is not inclined to sell the building to CHRS at this time. The investor toured the building with a commercial real estate agent May 28th and has implied that they intend to assess the best use of the property and the building in the coming months. This is an unexpected turn of events. CHRS is setting up a meeting with the new owner to discuss our future at 601 Ashby. We will keep you informed.”
Over email, CHRS President Steve Kushman told me, “We have been told verbally that there is ‘no rush’ for CHRS to leave KRE. We are trying to set up a meeting to find out how long. In the meantime, the search is on for a permanent home for the Museum & Hall of Fame.”
Primarily a Chinese language station, KVTO-AM has also aired a variety of shows, including the German Radio Hour on Sunday mornings. KVVN-AM is a Vietnamese language station.
I visited KVTO last year for Radio Day By the Bay and am saddened to think that this summer’s event on July 20 could be CHRS’ last shindig as a tenant in the historic building. I’ll keep my fingers crossed that they can work something out with the new owners so that the non-profit’s headquarters and historic radio collection can remain in the classic KRE building in Berkeley. If that doesn’t work out, CHRS is already at work sleuthing out new locations.
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