Angry protesters filled a University of San Francisco (USF) hall to its 500-seat capacity Wednesday night, with others left outside, as supporters of KUSF-FM spared with USF President Father Stephen Privett over the shutdown of the broadcast signal and announced sale of the Alternative outlet to a new Classical music entity.
The Jesuit priest began the meeting with a prayer, as is the custom at all USF events. But even his religion came under fire from one protester. “The way you run your Jesuit University, just cutting people mid-sentence is not really a very Christian or Catholic or whatever you want to call it. That’s not the way you do things,” said protester Kevin Kunze in video included in a news report by KTVU-TV (Fox).
Privett defended the secret negotiations to sell the KUSF license, noting the nondisclosure agreements that the parties had signed. He insisted that running a radio station was not a core part of the university’s educational mission. “We teach broadcasting. We are not fundamentally a radio station,” he said. USF is retaining rights to the KUSF name and will re-launch the station in a few weeks as an online-only operation.
The reshuffling of the San Francisco radio dial was also a hot topic Wednesday on KQED-FM’s “Forum” call-in/interview program. The KUSF change is only one part of the puzzle which will also see commercial KDFC-FM move to a new non-commercial entity to displace both KUSF and a North Bay Religious station. RBR-TVBR Executive Editor Jack Messmer was among the guests speaking on KQED.
RBR-TVBR observation: The “Save KUSF” folks have linked up online with the “Save KTRU” folks who have filed a petition with the FCC to deny the pending sale of Rice University’s KTRU-FM to the University of Houston, which plans to make it a Classical outlet. A petition to deny always delays FCC processing, but the reality is that the Commission no longer gives any weight whatsoever to objections based on format changes.