|KUSF Students Try to Block Sale|
Soon after the University of San Francisco announced Tuesday
it would sell radio station KUSF
to a classical music network, volunteers gathered to plot a strategy to block the sale.
By morning, they had come up with a tentative plan to rally support to retain 90.3 FM as a community radio station with multilanguage programming and a group of DJs known for playing underground music.
The group discussed proposals Tuesday night, which included organizing San Francisco political opposition to the sale, rallying donors in support of a counterproposal to buy the license, and setting up an independent organization to run the station as it had been previously.
As of Tuesday morning, Irwin Swirnoff, KUSF's director for new music, had planned to appear on KQED's Forum
show at 9 a.m. to discuss the group's plans.
The university closed the station abruptly Tuesday, issuing a press release that said KUSF would become online only. The Federal Communications Commission must approve the sale of KUSF's license. The sale involves a three-way transaction in which The University of Southern California will purchase KDFC, turn it into a nonprofit, and plant the classical station at KUSF's old spot on the dial. Meanwhile, KUFX moves from San Jose to San Francisco by taking over KDFC's old frequency at 102.1 FM. University of San Francisco officials will get $3.75 million from the sale.
FCC approval could take months, and volunteers hope that will buy them some time to build a political groundswell, a donor base, and a business organization.
By Wednesday morning, volunteers had created a Facebook page
, and fired off an internal e-mail asking supporters to help block the sale:
There was a meeting to SAVE KUSF
1. Spread the word.
Ask people to show their support.
"Like" Save KUSF on Facebook:
KUSF music director Irwin Swirnoff is slated to be on-air Wednesday 1/19 9am
3. Make noise.
If you know alumni, bands, or folks the news media would consider influential supporters of SAVE KUSF, please ask them to write ASAP: firstname.lastname@example.org
4. Show up.
6pm: Phelan Hall (outside KUSF's building) | protest
7pm Fromm Hall (near the church) for the meeting | public meeting
5. Say no.
Contact USF Dean Camperi. Ask him to stop the sale. Ask him to let us give the public a voice. This is especially important for USF and USC students and alumni.
Dean Camperi, Harney Science Center 244
University of San Francisco, 2130 Fulton Street San Francisco, CA 94117
(415) 422-5939. Hold tight. There will be a petition and more updates soon.
Meanwhile at 6 a.m. Wednesday, Kenya Lewis, who's working with KUSF volunteers, sent SF Weekly
an early draft of the group's manifesto:
to save KUSF
students, volunteers, listeners and local residents who recognize KUSF's singular role in the limited public radio landscape. Advocates:
KUSF has loyal fans worldwide. USF students, musicians, politicians, music fans, alumni -- an amazing array of supporters have responded immediately to protect KUSF. We hope to compile a list within the following week.
Why is it a concern to the public: Operated in the tradition of college radio, KUSF is a well-respected national voice and unique cultural attribute to the community.
The public, whom it has benefited for over the past 30 years, deserves to evaluate its removal.
KUSF's not-for-profit, community-based programing is valued by the student body, and by San Francisco's diverse community at large, as host to popular shows like "Chinese Star Radio."
Despite all statements indicating otherwise, online streaming does not serve the same educational or public purposes as radio broadcast. KUSF's ability to broadcast is what connects its large audience in and outside the Bay Area. Without the FM frequency, bands wouldn't visit the station to play in the studio. Record companies wouldn't send their new releases. If KUSF were confined to the Internet, only people who already know about the station would listen. An Internet-only station, meanwhile, can't reach an audience as diverse as an on-air station.