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Santa Cruz’s KUSP votes to sell license

KUSPThe Santa Cruz Sentinel reports that public radio station KUSP has taken a major step towards selling its license. On Monday KUSP’s board, staff, and volunteers approved a letter of intent to offer it to the Classical Public Radio Network for $1 million. CPRN owns classical radio station KDFC in San Francisco and is headquartered at the University of Southern California. The foundation has a history of interest in the South Bay and currently broadcasts to the area from 104.9 FM.

This move would stave off bankruptcy for KUSP, according to the article. The station faces over $700,000 in unpaid bills to NPR and debts. It is unclear, however, whether the offer will be accepted. Other possibilities still include partnerships with KCRW in Santa Monica or nearby KAZU in Seaside.

I have always experienced KUSP as an interesting hybrid between a public radio station that offers syndicated NPR content and a community station focused on airing local programs. From what I’ve read, it appears that the impulse to move in both directions, combined with competition from KAZU and the recession of 2008/9, led to the present situation. More on the station’s history here.

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3 Responses to Santa Cruz’s KUSP votes to sell license

  1. pattipan May 5, 2015 at 5:55 pm #

    When I moved to Santa Cruz in 2009 I found KAZU & KUSP. I couldn’t tell the difference so I donated to both. Neither were in their comments or announcements very Santa Cruz focused rather they both seemed to cater to Monterey.

    Had I realized that KUSP was here in Santa Cruz all my donations would have gone to them. They did a poor marketing job in terms of drumming up local support and building a sense of community for a Santa Cruz audience.

    I am going to miss Democracy Now, Dr Dawn, and the tech guys that followed her. They were all better programs than the syndicated NPR shows. Too hard to compete against KAZU, a station with deep pockets from my tax payer dollars supporting CSU system. Let the wealthy stiffs in Pebble Beach donate to them now.

    It is really a shame that they let it go to the end and didn’t pivot in a new direction. Big loss to the community. I like classical music though.

  2. Whatamiseeing May 5, 2015 at 7:50 pm #

    OMG…………700k in debt to NPR plus debt!!!!!!!!!!!! Who’s at the helm here? Obviously no one! That bleeding should have been stopped a long time ago! So apparently they are just going to give up the license for incurred debt. What a waste,idiots!

  3. Jerry Drawhorn May 7, 2015 at 12:25 pm #

    KAZU was never a student-oriented station…always intended to be a full-time NPR “News-Talk”. I wonder if people realize that KAZU already has a HD-2 channel that’s Classical.

    You might try KZSC…they have Pacifica News and a pretty broad slate of different music programs.

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