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Friday, February 4, 2011

KUSF Needs You To Write the FCC

Posted By on Fri, Feb 4, 2011 at 4:45 PM

  • Only Uncle Sam can save you now....

On Tuesday, the Board of Supervisors will likely approve a symbolic resolution opposing the University of San Francisco's decision to sell KUSF, the community-based radio station that was abruptly shut down two weeks ago. Even if the vote is unanimous, as author Supervisor Ross Mirkarimi hopes, it will won't likely change anything.

The community has a much better chance at saving the old indie station if everyone writes to the Federal Communications Commission, which is considering the sale this month.

If this isn't ironic -- USF tells us the

government agency that regulates communications

technology is asking that the public send its comments via snail mail.

So go buy a stamp and an envelope.

Here's the address:

Federal Communications Commission

Office of the Secretary

445 12th Street, SW,

Room TW-A325

Washington, DC 20554

According to, you can also send the letter to USF's Michael Bloch to be included in the FCC's public file for USF:

Michael Bloch

University of San Francisco

College of Arts and Sciences

2130 Fulton Street

San Francisco, CA 94117

The fate of the radio station is in the hands of FCC. The university says it can't get out

of the $3.75 million deal it made to sell 90.3FM even if it wanted to, according to spokesman Gary McDonald. (We're guessing it

doesn't, though McDonald wouldn't comment on that.) The university is contractually bound to the decision, unless the feds oppose the transaction.

"There's no backtracking for us at this point," McDonald says. "You can't just decide you can't go through

with the contract you've signed. The FCC can undo the deal. USF can't

undo the deal."

So what if the FCC was to reject the sale?

USF isn't expecting that to happen.

"We're not making a contingency plan because we're expecting the deal to

go through," McDonald says.

McDonald says that KUSF was no

longer serving the educational purpose it did when it first started in

the 1970's. "It was completely managed and run by students. Now it's

only 10 percent run by students. Now we're subsidizing what's

essentially a community-run station with student tuition dollars, and

that's what we think isn't fair."

The university has maintained the full-time staffers to maintain the online radio station, the only place you can still hear KUSF content.

And it will likely stay that way, unless you write Uncle Sam.

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Lauren Smiley


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