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SF school board lends KALW-FM $200,000

AT KALW — Matt Martin, left, visits with Martina Castro and Ben Trefny as Casey Miner, right, readies a report. Photo by the Chronicle’s Lance Iversen.

Noncommercial KALW 91.7 has received a $200,000 loan from the San Francisco school board, according to the Chronicle and Bay Citizen.

The school board holds the license for the station, but the station runs independently. KALW must repay the loan, with 1.5% interest, by the end of 2012.

The Chron said the station has been losing money for the past three years and is now $120,000 in the hole. It’s annual budget is $1.4 million, most of which comes from listeners like you. GE engineers put the station on the air in 1939 as an exhibit for the World’s Fair on Treasure Island.

In 1941, the station was donated to the school district to train students in radio broadcasting. In 1992, KALW cut financial ties to the district and survived on donations and grants alone. However, the district has provided administrative services and free rent at Burton High School, according to the Chron. The Chron said the line of credit is equal to the salaries of two teachers.

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