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KUSP: proposed transfer to classical network “hit a nerve”

KUSPThe community in and around community radio station KUSP-FM of Santa Cruz, California continues to debate its future. When last we visited this crisis KUSP management had posted a variety of possible new formats for the struggling signal, dubbed “Pine,” “Maple,” “Plum,” “Fig,” and “Walnut.” Some of these bucolic scenarios involve all news, or all music, or news from other sources besides NPR. They also juggle with possibly selling the operation’s license to reduce its debt. Now KUSP has proposed even more possibilities with cute tree names: “Elm,” “Spruce,” “Cedar,” and “Poplar” (they’re all outlined here).

One thing seems at least a bit more contested at this point: handing the whole shebang over to the Classical Public Radio Network, a group associated with classical station KDFC in San Francisco.  “There are voices in the community strongly opposed” to moving in this direction, KUSP manager Terry Green recently acknowledged in the Santa Cruz Sentinel, “and we recognize that broaching the idea at all has hit a nerve.”

The station ran another public meeting on Monday night at the Loudon Nelson Community Center in Santa Cruz. “It is expected that a decision on a path forward will be made by the Board in early July, and a public announcement of the decision immediately thereafter,” the signal’s Participate page says. You can still weigh in on the various proposed scenarios at that site. There’s also the KUSP Forward group to join (if you like). More nervous news on this subject as we get it . . .


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One Response to KUSP: proposed transfer to classical network “hit a nerve”

  1. Klewis June 9, 2015 at 9:37 am #

    Any idea why CPRN has hit a nerve?

    Seems like there are several possible reasons:
    +Mark Hand not disclosing his role as a board member while acting as a paid consultant to KUSP on this deal
    +The way CPRN aquired KUSF
    +Their stated desire to create a revenue-driven classical music delivery service
    +Their amassing donations seemingly for local station operation to aquire a network of formerally local peogrammed stations spanning up California from the border of Mexico to Angwin
    +Their demonstrated history of not playing a substantial role in local communities from which the broadcast
    -Canned, non-local, simulcast programming
    -Leveraging a relationship w/USC to create a precedent for an LLC (not operated on campus) to acquire NCE licenses

    I’m sure that’s just the tip of the iceburg. Santa Cruz is right to be wary. The frequency is irreplacable and presently allocated for their use. Although, it may need restructuring — access and independent local programming are important.

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