Contract filed for controversial Houston noncom FM deal


The University of Houston wants to split its hybrid KUHF-FM, running a mix of News/Info and Classical, into two, allowing each format to have their own home on the FM dial. Rice University’s sale of KTRU-FM will make that possible, and the paperwork is now at the FCC.

The sale was actively resisted by the students at Rice, who protested the sale. However, Rice President David Leebron said that the students themselves declined to accept an increase in their “blanket tax” from $5.50 to $7.50 which would have allowed the station to meet increasing operating costs. He also said that it was important to cut a deal while the station had value.

In the end, the reported price tag of $9.5M has been increased with a $432K sweetener for Rice in the form of student internships. UH will provide six paid intern positions for Rice students at the station over the course of three years, an investment which will total the aforementioned $432K in compensation for the students getting the position.

UH will also offer the current KTHU chief engineer the opportunity to apply for the same position going forward.
The station is also in line for an unspecified call letter change.

It will go into a duopoly with KUHF-FM, and will be be cross-owned with UH’s KUHT-DT.

Brokerage Patrick Communications represented the seller.

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