University Pulls Plug on KUSF, Music Community Reacts with Horror

Categories: Bummer, News
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In a surprise move, University of San Francisco officials today yanked KUSF, its nearly 34-year-old community radio station, off the air, kicking out DJs and staff during the middle of a morning show. The FCC license for the frequency 90.3 FM was sold to an organization launching a public classical station in the Bay Area, and KUSF will continue, eventually, as an online-only station.

You can read our full report on the sale of KUSF over at the Snitch, our news blog. Below, reaction from the local music community, and details from a former KUSF broadcaster about previous warnings that changes were in store for KUSF.

The sudden closure and conversion of the station to an online-only format drew sad and angry words from some in the Bay Area music community, and from peer stations across the country.

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Apparently, though, some KUSF staff members knew that changes could be coming to the station. We got the following information from a longtime former broadcaster at KUSF who asked to remain anonymous.

• Station manager Steve Runyon announced at a summer 2010 meeting that the station faced eviction by USF and may move to Fort Mason. He also mentioned the possibility of the license being sold. Other Jesuit college radio stations, including Los Angeles station KXLU, have had similar actions take place -- threats and sales of licenses.

• At the January 2011 meeting it was announced that the station would move to a new building on campus, but there was no mention of losing the FM license.

• USF administrators (including KUSF paid staff) sign a very strict confidentiality agreement, so they've always been tight lipped about anything related to station finances, inner workings, and business with the university -- hence the "surprise" announcement.

No matter what was known, it's shocking for such a longstanding feature of the local music and culture scene to disappear so thoroughly and completely (even on the web!), and without any warning.

There's a gathering at USF's Fromm Hall tomorrow at 7 p.m. to protest the closure. Check back here for more info and updates.

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Folllow us on Twitter @SFAllShookDown, follow Ian S. Port @iPORT, and like us at Facebook.com/SFAllShookDown.

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2 comments
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suzeesg

Thanks Chuck - we enjoyed playing your music on 90.3 and I enjoy listening to you now. I was doing quite well until an ex-KUSF jock posted the "mats' Left of the Dial' and the tears finally flowed. sobsue spong

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