The 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.