In an application accepted for filing by the FCC today, the owner of Santa Cruz public radio station KUSP is proposing the transfer of its Los Gatos translator at 90.3 FM to Classical Public Radio Network (CPRN) for use in rebroadcasting KDFC out of Angwin. According to an asset purchase agreement dated October 24, 2011, the owner of KUSP, Pataphysical Broadcasting Foundation, will receive $205,000 for the sale of the translator, pending FCC approval.
This is the latest step in the patchwork quilt of stations that the formerly commercial KDFC (Entercom handed the KDFC brand off to CPRN and replaced classical music on 102.1FM with a simulcast of rock station KUFX) is using in order to extend its classical radio audience into the South Bay. Currently CPRN is broadcasting over KUSF 90.3 FM in San Francisco through a public service operating agreement with University of San Francisco as they await a ruling from the FCC regarding their proposed purchase of the station. They also broadcast over the one full power station that they own, the former KNDL (now renamed KDFC) in Angwin.
KDFC fans in the South Bay will be thrilled to get more coverage in their area, as the KUSP translator is expected to reach Los Gatos, Saratoga and nearby towns. It may extend even further than that, as I can recall hearing a signal from KUSP bleeding into San Francisco on 90.3 FM (interfering with KUSF) long before the KUSF shut down. An update on the KDFC website today announces:
“Just in time for the holidays, Classical KDFC in San Francisco can now be heard on 90.3 in Los Gatos, Saratoga, and in towns close by. We are purchasing a small translator station that was for sale there and while it is not a solution to the South Bay/Peninsula signal problem, it is a small step in the right direction. KDFC is still seeking a station that will cover the South Bay and more of the Peninsula, and to improve the signal coverage in other parts of the Bay Area as well.”
The application filed with the FCC includes a reference to the ongoing FCC inquiry into the sale of KUSF to CPRN, stating that:
“ON JUNE 28, 2011…THE AUDIO DIVISION ISSUED AN INQUIRY LETTER ‘INVOLVING THE PARTIES’ COMPLIANCE WITH COMMISSION RULES AND POLICIES CONCERNING THE OPERATION AND CONTROL OF’ STATION KUSF(FM)…, SAN FRANCISCO, CA. CLASSICAL PUBLIC RADIO NETWORK LLC (‘CPRN’), THE PROPOSED ASSIGNEE OF K212AA, IS THE PROPOSED ASSIGNEE OF KUSF. CPRN AND THE LICENSEE OF KUSF RESPONDED TO THE INQUIRY LETTER AND, AS OF THIS DATE, THE MATTER REMAINS PENDING.
WHILE PROTESTERS OF THE KUSF ASSIGNMENT HAVE ALLEGED, INTER ALIA, CHARACTER VIOLATIONS BY THE KUSF LICENSEE AND CPRN, AND THE INQUIRY LETTER SOUGHT RESPONSES BY THE PARTIES WITH RESPECT TO SUCH ALLEGATIONS, NO ISSUES HAVE BEEN DESIGNATED AND CPRN IS CONFIDENT THAT IT HAS COMPLIED WITH THE COMMISSION’S RULES AND POLICIES, INCLUDING WITHOUT LIMITATION ITS CHARACTER POLICIES.“
It’s been nearly a year since the KUSF shutdown and it still remains to be seen how the FCC will rule in the proposed transfer of the station to CPRN. This translator purchase in the South Bay is an interesting twist as CPRN tries to keep its South Bay listeners tuning in. In the meantime, fans of KUSF are continuing their fight to Save KUSF while broadcasting online at KUSF in Exile, hosted by New Jersey community radio station WFMU at a location off campus. A fully functioning online-only radio station has still not returned at University of San Francisco, but students interested in radio have been volunteering at KUSF in Exile.