Battle erupts over Oregon public radio network


Oregon state and local leaders are calling for a cooling-off period in a showdown over control of the public radio network that serves Southern Oregon (Medford) and parts of Northern California.

Jefferson Public Radio (JPR) is a vast network of stations, some owned by Southern Oregon University and others by the Jefferson Public Radio Foundation. It broadcasts from the basement of a building At Southern Oregon University in Ashland, OR.

Medford Mayor Gary Wheeler and others fear the dispute could spin out of control, the Oregonian reported 6/21.

An audit has warned that the foundation’s non-radio projects, such as the restoration of an old theater and construction of a new HQ in Medford, could overextend Jefferson Public Radio, putting the university at risk financially for its debts.

The foundation’s board is meeting to decide whether to accept a proposed settlement between the school and the foundation, which would separate the radio stations from the foundation.

The foundation has restored a theater in Redding, CA as a cultural center, and has launched into restoration of another in Medford. It is also turning an old warehouse into a new headquarters in Medford.

The university, which owns 14 of the stations and provides some of JPR’s finances, commissioned the audit that questioned JPR’s entrepreneurial spirit and called into question Ron Kramer’s dual roles as leader of both the broadcast operation and the foundation. The university president fired him from the radio job after that. The foundation owns eight of the stations.

The JPR stations:

Ashland, Oregon     88.3 FM          KSRG

Eureka, California   107.3 FM       KNHT             Licensed to Rio Dell, California

Klamath Falls, Oregon        88.5 FM          KLMF

McCloud, California            91.9 FM          KLDD

Medford, Oregon      90.1 FM          KSOR             Licensed to Ashland, Oregon

Myrtle Point, Oregon           94.1 FM          KOOZ

Roseburg, Oregon   91.5 FM          KSRS

Yreka, California      91.3 FM          KNYR

Ashland, Oregon     89.1 FM          KSMF

Coos Bay, Oregon   88.5 FM          KSBA

Klamath Falls, Oregon        90.9 FM          KSKF

Redding, California             89.7 FM          KNCA             Licensed to Burney, California

Mount Shasta, California   88.1 FM          KNSQ

Eugene, Oregon      1280 AM        KRVM

Eureka, California   91.5 FM          KNHM

Grants Pass, Oregon           930 AM          KAGI

Medford, Oregon      1230 AM        KSJK Licensed to Talent, Oregon

Mendocino, California        1300 AM        KPMO

Mount Shasta, California   620 AM          KMJC

Roseburg, Oregon   950 AM          KTBR

Yreka, California      1490 AM        KSYC

Redding, California   1330 AM        KJPR Licensed to Shasta Lake City, California

See The Oregonian story here