radio station caught up in a high-stakes shuffle of classical and classic rock
stations. Guess who loses?
By Fred Mills
Barely two weeks into the new year and one of the more
pessimistic predictions for 2011 that music biz watchers had been warning of
has come through: that college radio will continue to suffer substantial attrition. Indeed, one of the nation’s longest-running and most influential
college radio stations has just shut down. KUSF 90.3 FM, the University of San Francisco’s
noncommercial icon, abruptly went off the air yesterday morning without any
semblance of advance notice to employees, volunteers, or listeners.
CaliforniaWatch.org has an extensive report outlining the
sequence of events that led up to yesterday’s shock-and-awe tactic at the hands
of the university. According to a press release, the college station would
become online-only “effective immediately” and the 90.3 bandwidth has been
assigned to the University of Southern California, which in turn is taking over San Francisco classical
station KDFC 102.1 with plans to broadcast from 90.3. Meanwhile 102.1 will
become a classic rock station originating from San Jose’s KUFX 98.5. The $3.75 million sale
involves broadcasting monolith Entercom Communications, and while the FCC hasn’t
approved the sale yet, you know how these things usually go.
At KUSF, volunteers were escorted off the premises by
security and locked out and the KUSF website was taken down. Volunteers are
reportedly planning a protest.
Read the full report here.
KUSF has been on the air since 1977 and was a huge force in
helping break punk rock and new wave in the US. It’s long been considered one
of American college radio’s flagship operations.