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Thursday, July 28, 2011

FCC Narrows Inquiry Into KUSF 90.3 FM Sale

Posted By on Thu, Jul 28, 2011 at 4:50 PM

[Correction appended on Friday, July 29, 5:40 a.m.:]

click to enlarge KUSF friends enjoying a gentler time
  • KUSF friends enjoying a gentler time

The Federal Communications Commission has agreed to narrow its request for documents from the University of San Francisco as the regulator investigates the transaction that turned KUSF from community radio programming to a classical music format.

"With this latest decision, the FCC agreed that the scope of their original request was so broad as to include material that was not relevant to their inquiry," a USF spokeswoman said.

Ted Dively, president of the board of directors of Friends of KUSF, which seeks to block the proposed sale, said he was encouraged that the FCC continues its quest to shed light on what he says was an unusual transaction.

"I think the light of day on this deal is an excellent thing, and I think the public has a right to know what went on between USF and Classical Public Radio Network," he said.


In January, KUSF was taken over by KUSC of Los Angeles as part of an expansion into the Bay Area. The USC-controlled holding company CPRN operates the station on an interim basis while the FCC reviews a proposal for a transfer of the 90.3 license.

After a formal protest by backers of KUSF's old community radio format, the FCC in June requested private communications from university officials pertaining to the transaction, and detailed answers to 15 questions about KUSF's operations.

KUSF owner University of San Francisco and KUSC had 30 days to respond. With about a week left to fulfill the request, USF officials asked the agency to narrow its scope.

In a statement Wednesday, Peter Franck, counsel for Friends of KUSF, suggested the university sought to prevent disclosure of information about the deal.

The FCC has indicated that it is looking into the background of the shutdown of KUSF as a student and community station and its proposed

transfer. Now the University wants to withhold some of the requested

documentation without giving any serious reason for withholding those

documents. This strengthens our belief that this entire transaction has

not been open and that a close examination of the documented facts will

show that it is not in the public interest and should not be approved by

the Commission.

For its own part, KUSF says it will hand over documents described in the narrowed request.

"USF is complying with the FCC's process and will continue to do so," a spokeswoman said. "All requested documents are being prepared for submission to the FCC."

* Correction: A previous version of this post incorrectly quoted Dively

saying "what went on between USF and Classical Public Radio Network,

and other entities controlled by the University of Southern California."

We misheard Dively. He did not suggest the involvement of other

entities controlled by the University of Southern California. SF Weekly regrets the error.

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