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Wednesday, June 29, 2011

KUSF Sale: FCC Wants to Sweat the Details

Posted By on Wed, Jun 29, 2011 at 1:27 PM

KUSF supporters at a hearing on the station's closure earlier this year. - CHRIS STEVENS
  • Chris Stevens
  • KUSF supporters at a hearing on the station's closure earlier this year.

Doesn't look like the FCC is going to just rubber-stamp USF's sale of the beloved community radio station KUSF.

In a letter yesterday, the FCC's audio honcho asked to see all the documents generated in the last year related to the sale of the 90.3 FM broadcasting license to the Classical Public Radio Network. The $3 million deal, which was announced out of nowhere in January, immediately silenced what had been a treasured spot for local, smaller, older, and weirder music on the Bay Area radio dial.

Before the sale is complete, the FCC has to sign off. Yesterday's request for more information does not mean the sale won't be approved. But KUSF volunteers and DJs -- who were understandably furious and heartbroken at the sudden closure of their station -- are taking it as an encouraging sign.

"As far as I'm concerned this is a big fat, hairy wonderful deal," said Ted Dively, president of the board of directors of Friends of KUSF, which petitioned the FCC to reject the sale. "We think it's a positive step in restoring this resource to the community."

The university says it will comply with the request and is confident the sale will be approved. It issued this statement yesterday:

The university will respond fully to the Commission's inquiry. Counsel to the university is preparing its response now, and when that response is complete, and submitted, it will be made public, as required by the FCC. The agreements with CPRN were drafted in full compliance with the Commission's rules, and both the university and CPRN have conducted themselves in full compliance with those rules since the agreements went into effect. We have no reason to believe that the Commission will not grant the assignment application.

For more, check out Matt Smith's post on our news blog, the Snitch.

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Ian S. Port

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