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As protests grow, buyer wants to move KUSF FM transmitter away from campus

The coverage area of KUSF 90.3 after its new
owner moves its transmitter to Sausalito.

As a campaign mounts to stop the sale of the University of San Francisco’s KUSF 90.3, the prospective new owner is asking the FCC for permission to move the station’s transmitter from the USF campus to a hill above Sausalito.

The prospective buyer, the University of Southern California’s Classical Public Radio Network, explained to the FCC:

The station’s transmitter will move to a Sausalito location known as “Wolfback Ridge” and share a tower with Alice FM, Kiss FM, KCBS’s FM signal (actually KFRC) and KDFC.

The switch of KDFC 102.1 from classical to a simulcast of KFOX in San Jose started a series of license switches that sparked the KUSF controversy. Entercom Corp., owner of both KDFC and KFOX, decided to drop classical music, giving the format and eventually the KDFC call letters to USC’s Classical Public Radio Network. Entercom arranged to USC to buy KUSF 90.3 for $3.75 million. A sale agreement between all of the parties has been signed, and USC’s classical network is now programming KUSF, but the deal won’t close until the FCC approves the swaps.

Despite opposition from students, faculty and the San Francisco Board of Supervisors, USF isn’t budging. He told SF Public Press, “We legally can’t reverse the deal. … If we were to walk away from this, we could be sued for millions.”

To show support for KUSF, several noncommercial stations aired a three-hour simulcast on Friday from Amoeba Records on Haight Street. KUSF fans are raising money to stop the sale of the station’s signal. The money will pay for lawyers to file a petition against the sale with the FCC, according to Bay Citizen.

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