It’s been a long, contentious battle over the one-time FM college radio station KUSF-FM at University of San Francisco (USF), whose license was sold to Classical Public Radio Network (CPRN) after the sudden shut-down of the college radio station in January, 2011. After numerous legal filings and an FCC investigation, the license sale was approved and a Consent Decree was issued (along with a collective fine for USF and CPRN) in 2012. At the time, two Applications for Review were submitted to the FCC by Friends of KUSF and Ted Hudacko, arguing, among other things, that additional scrutiny needed to be applied to the USF/CPRN deal.
Today, the FCC released a memorandum and order (PDF) denying the final Applications for Review that were filed in regards to the sale of the KUSF-FM license (the CPRN-owned station is now known as KOSC-FM and airs classical music programming under the brand name KDFC) and the simultaneous Consent Decree against both University of San Francisco and the purchaser, Classical Public Radio Network. In its order the FCC writes,
Upon review of the Hudacko AFR, the Friends AFR, and the entire record, we conclude that Hudacko and Friends have failed to demonstrate that the Bureau erred. We find that there is no substantial and material question of fact concerning statutory or rule violations, including violations of 47 C.F.R. §§ 1.17, 73.503 and 73.1125, which have been resolved in the Consent Decree. We further find that the Bureau’s settlement of the violations admitted in the Consent Decree represented an appropriate exercise of the agency’s broad discretion to settle enforcement actions. Finally, we uphold the Bureau’s determinations in the Bureau Letter and grant of the Application.”
In addressing some of the main arguments presented in the Applications for Review by Friends of KUSF and Ted Hudacko, the FCC argues that neither Application for Review built a case that a premature transfer of control of the station happened nor that there were violations of the main studio rule. Regarding the premature transfer of control, the FCC writes, “We find that Hudacko and Friends failed to present a substantial and material question of fact on this issue. Neither party cites any Commission precedent or authority to indicate that the PSOA [Public Service Operating Agreement], either on its face or as effectuated, violated the Commission’s policies on licensee control.”
In reference to the allegations about main studio rule violations (it was argued that USF no longer could originate programming from its campus, which USF officials denied), the FCC found that, “…there was no substantial and material question of fact on this issue.”
In response to allegations about 3rd party fundraising occurring over KUSF under CPRN’s watch, the FCC writes,
Friends argues that CPRN engaged in fund-raising for the Station by airing programming that solicited donations for CPRN’s existing station, KDFC(FM), “in violation of Section 73.503(c)’s express prohibition against third-party fundraising over NCE airwaves.” However, Section 73.503(c) does not address third-party fundraising. Rather, it prohibits payments to the licensee in excess of expenses in return for airing programming on an NCE station. Section 73.503(c) is the provision that USF and CPRN admitted violating in the Consent Decree. Accordingly, we reject this allegation.”