San Francisco non-commercial FM sold


The University of San Francisco (USF) announced Tuesday that it is selling the FCC license for 90.3 MHz to Classical Public Radio Network, owned by the University of Southern California. USF is trying to assure fans of the Alternative station that it will continue as an online-only operation – but that’s not sitting well with supporters who are calling for demonstrations.

Indeed, KUSF was taken off the air and its website displayed a message: “Please check back soon for an important announcement regarding KUSF.”

“The call letters KUSF were not sold, and the KUSF logo and all music inventory will remain USF property. All KUSF staff will be offered similar positions at,” the university said in announcing the sale of the FCC license.

“The move to online-only distribution gives KUSF a powerful opportunity to grow its worldwide audience. Previously, the station was limited to 100 online listeners at a time, but capacity will be increased to accommodate thousands of listeners,” said the USF announcement. “The station will go dark briefly for necessary engineering work. It is possible the electrical work could take several days.”

But wait, there’s more! Classical Public Radio Network has acquired the call letters, format and staff of KDFC-FM from Entercom, which is exiting the Classical format and simulcasting recently acquired Classic Rock KUFX-FM “The Fox” San Jose. KDFC staffers won’t even need to find new parking spaces, since the new non-commercial entity will rent studio space from Entercom.

But wait, there’s still even more to this story. Classical Public Radio Network is also buying another non-comm in Wine Country to the north of San Francisco Bay. Howell Mountain Broadcasting is selling KNDL-FM Angwin along with its translator serving Ukiah-Lakeport. That sale for $2.725 million was brokered by Kalil and Company. KNDL will exit its Christian music format and the 89.9 MHz signal will simulcast the San Francosco Classical station. 

RBR-TVBR observation: This is not a powerhouse, but will give the buyer a much-sought outlet for its Classical format in the San Francisco market. The station is 2.85 kw from a 91-meter tower. But it is located right in the city and covers all of San Francisco, plus important population areas of the East Bay. The North Bay simulcast will cover Santa Rosa and lots of towns that you see on wine labels. Even so, many loyal KDFC listeners will find themselves without a Classical station they can receive over the air.