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Wednesday, May 30, 2012

KUSF Sale Report: FCC Limbo Now at 16 Months

Posted By on Wed, May 30, 2012 at 10:28 AM


Call it 16 months of dead air: That's how long it's been since San Francisco's beloved KUSF 90.3 FM went dark in the middle of a January Tuesday, with no warning whatsoever.

And after all that time, it's still unclear whether the sale of the station to a SoCal classical music radio network -- which infuriated community radio supporters and music fans across the country -- will actually be approved.

The $3.75 million sale of the station's FM broadcast license is still in limbo at the FCC, the government body that oversees such transactions. The agency called for further review of the sale last year, but it has no deadline to meet and won't comment on its work. So there's no indication of how long it might be before the fate of KUSF is decided.

Such a length of time is "extremely unusual," one FCC expert told the Bay Citizen yesterday, noting that the body is normally sensitive to the havoc that long-term uncertainty can wreak upon broadcast outlets.

Of course, KUSF supporters petitioned the FCC to deny the sale, and aren't exactly upset that it hasn't gone through yet. "No news is still good news," one organizer at Save KUSF told the Bay Citizen.

Meanwhile, even the supposed beneficiary of the sale -- newly nonprofit classical music station KDFC -- is suffering, because it can't raise money while the deal is in the air.

The sale of KUSF stripped the cultural landscape of San Francisco of an important element. But for station supporters, there's little left to do now but go to Save KUSF events and wait.

[The Bay Citizen]

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