FCC Narrows Inquiry Into KUSF 90.3 FM Sale

Categories: Community
[Correction appended on Friday, July 29, 5:40 a.m.:]
KUSF friends enjoying a gentler time

The Federal Communications Commission has agreed to narrow its request for documents from the University of San Francisco as the regulator investigates the transaction that turned KUSF from community radio programming to a classical music format.

"With this latest decision, the FCC agreed that the scope of their original request was so broad as to include material that was not relevant to their inquiry," a USF spokeswoman said.

Ted Dively, president of the board of directors of Friends of KUSF, which seeks to block the proposed sale, said he was encouraged that the FCC continues its quest to shed light on what he says was an unusual transaction.

"I think the light of day on this deal is an excellent thing, and I think the public has a right to know what went on between USF and Classical Public Radio Network," he said.

In January, KUSF was taken over by KUSC of Los Angeles as part of an expansion into the Bay Area. The USC-controlled holding company CPRN operates the station on an interim basis while the FCC reviews a proposal for a transfer of the 90.3 license.

After a formal protest by backers of KUSF's old community radio format, the FCC in June requested private communications from university officials pertaining to the transaction, and detailed answers to 15 questions about KUSF's operations.

KUSF owner University of San Francisco and KUSC had 30 days to respond. With about a week left to fulfill the request, USF officials asked the agency to narrow its scope.

In a statement Wednesday, Peter Franck, counsel for Friends of KUSF, suggested the university sought to prevent disclosure of information about the deal.

The FCC has indicated that it is looking into the background of the shutdown of KUSF as a student and community station and its proposed transfer. Now the University wants to withhold some of the requested documentation without giving any serious reason for withholding those documents. This strengthens our belief that this entire transaction has not been open and that a close examination of the documented facts will show that it is not in the public interest and should not be approved by the Commission.
For its own part, KUSF says it will hand over documents described in the narrowed request.

"USF is complying with the FCC's process and will continue to do so," a spokeswoman said. "All requested documents are being prepared for submission to the FCC."

* Correction: A previous version of this post incorrectly quoted Dively saying "what went on between USF and Classical Public Radio Network, and other entities controlled by the University of Southern California." We misheard Dively. He did not suggest the involvement of other entities controlled by the University of Southern California. SF Weekly regrets the error.

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Ted Dively
Ted Dively

Matt Smith has misquoted me, which I'll chalk up to a poor cell phone connection. When he interviewed me for a grand total of about two minutes this morning, I never said anything about "other entities. controlled by the University of SouthernCalifornia," because I'm not aware of any others. I did say that USC has a90% interest in CPRN, and that another entity based in Colorado has a 10%stake in CPRN. USC doesn't control that other entity, as far as I know. Ted Dively

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