KUSF, the University of San Francisco radio station, has been a stalwart of college free form programming for many years, but no more. The University sold the station’s FCC license for radio frequency 90.3 FM to Classical Public Radio Network, which is launching a non-commercial classical music station in the Bay Area. CPRN is owned by University of Southern California.
The call letters, music and logo were not sold and USF will continue to air the station online. According to an announcement by the University, all staff will be retained. The announcement also points out that the station can now expand its audience further: “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.”
“After all, to give students experience in broadcasting you don’t need an actual FM transmitter/license. For example, San Francisco State University has a decent broadcast program, and no FCC licensed station, only a streaming one.” says Rusty Hodge, Founder of San Francisco based Soma.FM.
Hodge adds that “the loss of KUSF is a big one for the community.”
While it may be a big loss for the community, it does sound like a win for the University and its students. The school gets cash and freed from expensive maintenance and licensing worries, the students pick up access to a nice streaming enterprise that gains them newer technology experience and a more global reach. And the students may well be more drawn to listening to and producing online programming than they were to broadcasting..