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KUSF 90.3FM (1977 - 2011)

Posted by Billyjam, January 18, 2011 07:18pm | Post a Comment
Since late morning today, Facebook, Twitter, texts, and phone calls have been abuzz with the shocking news that San Francisco radio station KUSF 90.3FM is no longer. "They pulled the plug in the middle of my show. Took the transmitter off the air. They sold the radio station behind our backs without telling us a thing," said shocked Tuesday morning (9am to noon shift) DJ Schmeejay this afternoon, as he was leaving a message on the voicemail of one of his  many regular listeners, Bill Uhlir, in Oakland, in a last minute bid to save his FM station. "I am a faithful KUSF listener and I am in total disbelief. I can't believe it," said Uhlir, echoing the sentiments of all the other KUSF fans who were caught off guard by the sudden announcement that the Jesuit owned University of San Francisco radio station was no longer. After reliably broadcasting on 90.3 since 1977, this felt so sudden! It was announced by the university that KUSF would continue as an online only outlet. As of late morning the 90.3FM signal was blank with just the bleeding over of audio from nearby frequencies.

"Come to the protest meeting tomorrow," said KUSF DJ Schmeejay, before hanging up and making his next call, another plea for help. The last minute meeting is planned for 7pm tomorrow (Wednesday) at Fromm Hall behind Saint Ignatious Church on the USF campus. Many are expected to show up. Unfortunately however, knowing how these things go, I doubt the meeting will have any effect. It is probable that KUSF will not return in its beloved FM broadcast format. "This has become really common, colleges selling their FM licenses to NPR stations for millions and keeping the student station as web-only," said Ken Freedman, the general manager at non-commercial, freeform radio station WFMU. "Last week, same thing happened to Duquesne University's WDUQ, and a few months back to Rice University's KTRU. Both KUSF and KTRU were really good stations."

Indeed, KUSF was a wonderful station (one that I was fortunate to produce a show on for several years) and one that provided the Bay Area with not just excellent, cutting edge new music (tons of local bands got their break there) but also unique community programming including several Asian language news programs. KUSF began in 1963 as a campus-only AM station and in 1977 became the FM freeform station that it was up until this morning, broadcasting from Phelan Hall on 90.3FM.
 
The protest meeting is 7pm Wednesday at Fromm Hall on the USF campus near Fulton & Parker, not far from Golden Gate Park and Amoeba San Francisco. Take time to attend if at all possible. Also, KUSF supporters are asked to air their voice over the situation via email to savekusf@gmail.com.

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