The sale of KUSF’s radio signal has stirred up much controversy within the Bay Area community, but now the KUSF staff is working to move forward with the station’s website. Since last week, KUSF has been streaming online.
“We are doing everything possible to rebuild KUSF,” KUSF program director Trista Bernasconi said.
Their main concern is retaining the high standards of the radio shows. Bernasconi said, “I don’t want to just have filler, I would rather have a quality program.”
There is also the decreasing number of KUSF members. Since the sale on Jan. 18, there has been a mix of students and volunteers who are unsure about coming back to KUSF. Though the station has been streaming online prior to the sale, the new programming will be difficult to manage. Many professionally-trained community volunteer members have quit the station.
While on air, KUSF drew in about 30,000 to 50,000 listeners per week. Since the switch from waves to the web, only about 40 to 50 listeners tune in weekly. Bernasconi explains that a large number of KUSF fans have stopped listening because their favorite DJs are no longer with the station. Additionally, due to the station’s unexpected pull off the air, many fans were not aware of KUSF’s online-only streaming.
The nature of the sale has created uproar within the local community and the rest of California. The non-commercial radio station KUSF was forced off the air without warning after USF sold 90.3 FM to a classical station, KDFC, for $3.75 million.
According to Rev. Stephen A. Privett, S.J., the university could not afford a station that was not primarily student-oriented; only 10 percent of the staff were students. The KUSF-KDFC contract is awaiting approval from the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) members for a few more weeks.
Individuals have voiced their complaints in letters to Michael Bloch, associate dean for social sciences, who holds a copy of the file that has been sent to the FCC. The copy is available for public viewing in Bloch’s office (Harney 244), Monday through Friday from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m.
Various correspondence letters in the file state KUSF is “absolutely irreplaceable.” One called the incident a “blitzkrieg-like effort to sell KUSF.”
Many letters in the file praise KUSF’s programming diversity, mix of culture, and their promotion of local musicians, venues and events. “In a land of corporate radio, KUSF provided a beacon of diversity and independence.” One individual pleads, “Please do your part to keep creativity alive and music interesting.”
The KUSF-KDFC sale has significantly shifted the perspective of many supporters of the University. “The ill-advised shuttering of KUSF has left a black eye on the school as a whole.” “USF’s actions have brought nothing but shame on the university.”
USF alumnus Ben Richards said, “The sale of KUSF is a devastating loss not only for the cultural arts, but the community as a whole.”
USF alumna Dawn Mauberret, a former KUSF DJ and director of promotions, wrote about her success — thanks to the station. According to Mauberret, KUSF gave her the chance to write real press releases, organize events, produce weekly shows and manage the promotions department. She landed three internships and her first paying media job through the KUSF network.
Though the public is putting up a good fight to halt the contract approval, Trista Bernasconi continues to improve the now online-only streaming KUSF. She is reaching out to the Media Studies department in hopes of recruiting students to learn about broadcasting through KUSF. Additionally, Bernasconi is working with promoters to spread the word about KUSF while establishing quality web presence of the station. She said, “KUSF is a great resource students can take advantage of,” and welcomes students to come help out with the station.
Anyone who is interested in joining the KUSF team can contact the Program Director, Trista Bernasconi, at firstname.lastname@example.org.
To tune in to KUSF online, visit www.live365.com/cgi-bin/mini.cgi?stationname=kusf&site=PLR-kusf&tm=1105
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