Regulators Focus Eye on the Sale of KUSF

Ari Vais, right, and Chuck Prophet on an afternoon show at KUSF-in-Exile on Tuesday.
Published: August 27, 2011

When KDFC, the popular commercial classical radio station, was sold to the University of Southern California in January and bumped down to 90.3, the nonprofit end of the dial, hundreds of thousands of classical music fans lost the ability to hear the station’s offerings, thanks to the downgraded signal strength.

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Adithya Sambamurthy/The Bay Citizen
Ray White, an afternoon host, in the new KDFC 102.1 FM studios in San Francisco.
But that was not the only local effect of the sale. For over three decades, 90.3 had been home to the much-loved University of San Francisco radio station KUSF, which was yanked off the airwaves to make room for KDFC when U.S.F. sold its license to U.S.C. for $3.75 million.

In the days and months after the abrupt sale, fans of KUSF gathered support and started an ad-hoc streaming service called KUSF-in-Exile.

But even with the public interest, most people thought the Federal Communications Commission would approve the sale; that regulatory agency rarely blocks transactions and makes it a point not to weigh in on the content of the programming.

Now, though, more than six months after KUSF went off the air, that easy approval is not such a sure bet.

In late June, the commission sent an unusual “letter of inquiry” to U.S.F. and to the Classical Public Radio Network, the nonprofit largely owned by U.S.C. that was set up to manage the now-public KDFC. Media observers speculate that the move may signal that the F.C.C. will use the KUSF situation as an occasion to sharpen regulation of national noncommercial radio.

Brenda Barnes, president of U.S.C. Radio, called the 15-question letter “unprecedented.” John Crigler, a communications lawyer in Washington, said, “Whatever the F.C.C. decides will have some kind of ramification for every noncommercial station going forward.” The machinations inside the agency are difficult to discern. There is no set time for the commission to make a ruling and no clear understanding about what its members are trying to determine in parsing the details of the KUSF sale.

The agency declined to comment on the pending case.

All that can be ascertained about its position is in the letter, which those from all sides of the issue are scrutinizing with Talmudic zeal.

“The key there is that this letter came out of the media bureau,” Ms. Barnes said. “That signals to me that they are looking at a policy issue. What that issue is, we don’t know.”

The letter included several requests. It asked for a year’s worth of e-mails between the parties related to the sale and for information relating to the operating agreements between the two universities, among other materials.

Friends of KUSF, the group that has raised about $40,000 to legally contest the sale, had previously submitted documents to the commission claiming that U.S.F. had destroyed the station’s studios, and could not oversee or originate the broadcast during the transition period before agency approval, as F.C.C. rules dictate.

In early August, the universities replied to the letter of inquiry, dismissing concerns about the state of the KUSF studio and refusing to submit the requested e-mails.

In a strong rebuttal, two lawyers for Friends of KUSF, Alan Korn and Peter Franck, called the answers to the agency’s questions “deceptive.” The group has called for a hearing. It hopes the F.C.C. will expand its oversight of noncommercial radio transactions, which, thanks to a bad economy and big audiences for public radio, have been a booming market.

Universities like U.S.F., Vanderbilt and Rice are selling their stations, turning their homegrown programming over to National Public Radio or nonprofits like KUSC, which owns a network of stations in California.

“It basically comes down to media consolidation,” said Tracy Rosenberg, executive director of Media Alliance, a media watchdog based in the Bay Area that drafted a letter in July asking the F.C.C. to hold an inquiry on noncommercial-radio sales. Thirty other media and music organizations also signed the letter.

“It’s not only KUSF — it’s an ongoing problem, and it’s going to get worse,” Ms. Rosenberg said. “I hope that U.S.F. is a test case for examining these issues.”

KUSF In Exile 09.27.11 Noon-3 PM Carolyn

If anyone personifies the word 'maven' it's DJ Carolyn. Her impeccable
taste in punk, garage and rock has influenced Bay Area listeners for over
two decades. A listener passionately sent in, 'she has always been the
only DJ that matters. She finds music nobody else does, and it rocks!' Her
dedication to the local scene goes beyond spinning the latest indie disc
or old-school classic, to outright mentorship of fledgling talent. Catch
her weekly show... and you'll find out why, when it comes to Bay Area
rock, you've been served." -From SF Bay Guardian who awarded Carolyn as
2006's and 2008's Best DJ: Terrestrial Radio

1st Hour

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Carolyn (Music) with Carolyn 09/27/2011 12:00PM to 02:00PM

12:01PM The Clean “Whatever I Do Its Right” from ANTHOLOGY (CD, Album, Private, 2003) on Merge Records

12:03PM The Gears “Teenage Brain” from Rockin' At Ground Zero (LP, 1979)

12:05PM Mission of Burma “Academy Fight Song” from Signals, Calls and Marches (Remastered) (LP, 2008) on Matador (USA)

12:08PM Ty Segall “The Drag” from Ty Segall (LP, 2008) on Castle Face Local

12:11PM Cheater Slicks “We All Love Peanut Butter” from Our Food Is Chaos (7 Inch, Single, 2011) on Almost Ready Records New — bonus 7" with LP

12:14PM Monoshock “SOLEDAD” from Runnin' Ape-like from the Backwards Superman: 1989-1995 (CD, 2004) on S.S. Records Local

12:20PM Jack Oblivian “Caboose Jump” from Rat City (LP, 2011) on Big Legal Mess New

12:23PM Hank IV “Bellyfull of Slugs” from Bellyfull of Slugs (7 Inch, Single, 2011) on SS Records Local, New

12:27PM Scientists “Atom Bomb Baby” from The Human Jukebox 1984-1986 (CD, 2001) on Sympathy For The Record Industry

12:31PM Boomgates “Bright Idea” from Bright Idea/ Cameo - single (7 Inch, 2010) on RIP Society (Australia)

12:34PM Lincolns “we got some” from Garage Punk Unknowns Part 1 (CD)

12:36PM Downliners Sect “Why Don't You Smile Now” from Why Don't You Smile Now (CD, Single)

12:38PM Alex Cuervo “Everybody Disappear” from 4-song Solo EP (7 Inch, Single, 2011) on Trouble In Mind Records New

12:43PM Royal Headache “Surprise” from Royal Headache (LP, 2011) on RIP Society (Australia) New

12:44PM Thee Ludds “Skin And Bones” from Where To Begin (7 Inch, Single, 2011) on Hodad

12:47PM The Neighborhoods “No Place Like Home” from No Place Like Home (7 Inch, Single)

12:48PM The Real Kids “She's Alright” from Real Kids (LP) on Norton

12:50PM Black Helicopter “Buick Electra” from Invisible Jet (CD, Album, Rock, 2006) on ecstatic peace

12:54PM Angry Angles “Blockhead” from Blockhead (7 Inch, Single)

12:58PM The Sleaze “Retro sexy in blue” from Called You Once (7 Inch, 2011) on Total Punk New

01:03PM Total Control “One More Tonight” from Henge Beat (LP, 2011) on Iron Lung (US)

01:06PM Veronica Falls “Beachy Head” from Veronica Falls (LP, 2011) on Slumberland (USA) New

01:08PM Spaceshits “I'm Dead” from Winter Dance Party (LP, 1997) on Sympathy For The Record Industry

01:11PM France Has The Bomb “Invisible Angle” from Invisible Angle (7 Inch, Single, 2010) on Hozac

01:12PM The Tearjerkers “Heart On The Line” from Heart On The Line (7 Inch, Single)

01:13PM The Mummies “I'm Gonna Kill My Baby Tonight” from Death By Unga Bunga!! (CD, 2004) on Estrus (USA) Local

01:21PM The Konks “My Head” from Nerves/ My Head - single (7 Inch, 2009) on Static Eye Records

01:23PM The Renegades “Thirteen Women” from Thirteen Women/ Can't You See - single (7 Inch, 2010) on Norton — originally released 1964 - dedicated to Evan Funk Davies who is also celebrating his birthday today!

01:27PM The Wailers “You Weren't Using Your Head” from Live Wire (LP) on Norton

01:29PM Los Buenos “Woovy Groovy” from Sensacional Soul Vol 1 (LP, 1969) on Vampisoul

01:32PM The Electric Eels “AGITATED” from The Eyeball of Hell (LP, 2001) on Scat

01:34PM HitlersS “Spastic Dance” from Spastic Dance (CD, 1979)

01:37PM Arsene Obscene “Je Suis Americain” from Rock Sauvage EP (7 Inch, 2011) on 13 O'Clock Records New

01:42PM Dave Cloud & The Gospel Of Power “On The Rebound” from Practice In The Milky Way (CD, 2011) on Fire New

01:45PM Church Police “The Oven Is My Friend” from Not So Quiet On The Western Front (LP) on Maximum Rock N Roll

01:47PM The Drags “I Like To Die” from I Like To Die (7 Inch, Single, 1995)

01:50PM Starfuckers “LOVE ME” from Metallic Diseases (LP, 2011) on Holy Mountain New

01:54PM Oblivians “Bum a Ride” from Soul Food (LP, 1995) on Crypt Records

01:57PM REM “I'm Gonna DJ” from Accelerate (LP, 2009)

01:58PM Ramones “California Sun” from California Sun (Single)

02:02PM Kitchen Floor “No Love” from Look Forward To Nothing (LP, 2011) on Siltbreeze (USA)

02:07PM The Sniveling Shits “I Wanna Be Your Biro” from I Can't Come (CD, 1989) on Damaged Goods

02:12PM Primitive Calculators “Pumping Ugly Muscle” from Primitive Calculators (LP, 1979) on Chapter Music

02:15PM Thee Milkshakes “Let Me Love You” from Let Me Love You (CD, Single)

02:18PM John Fred And His Playboy Band “Little Dum Dum” from Permanently Stated (LP, Single, 1969) on Paula

02:20PM The Mighty Moguls “Doodle Bug Race” from Doodle Bug Race (CD, Single)

02:25PM The Liminanas “I'm Dead” from I'm Dead / Migas 2000 - Single (7 Inch, 2010) on Hozac

02:28PM Albertos Y Lost Trios Paranoias “Kill” from Stiff Singles (CD) on Stiff

02:31PM The Skinnies “Out Of Order” from Out Of Order (7 Inch, Single, 1979) on Rave Up

02:32PM Black Flag “No Values” from Everything Went Black (LP, 1982) on SST Records

02:33PM Ruts “Something That I Said” from The Ruts (12 Inch)

02:37PM Straightshooter “Straightshooter” from Straightshooter (7 Inch) on Sing Sing

02:41PM The Coathangers “Sicker” from Larceny and Old Lace (LP, 2011) on Suicide Squeeze New

02:47PM Wetdog “That Man Delivers Papers” from Frauhaus! (CD, 2009) on Angular Recording Corporation

02:49PM Pleasure Seekers “Never Thought You'd Leave Me” from What A Way To Die - single (7 Inch, 2001) on Norton — originally released 1965

02:52PM Modern Lovers “Modern World” from modern lovers (LP, Album, 1971) on Beserkley

02:55PM Lyres “I Really Want You Right Now” from I Really Want You Right Now (LP, Single)

02:59PM Nervous Eaters “LORETTA” from Eaterville, Vol. 1 (LP, 2011) on Penniman

03:02PM La Peste “I Don't Know Right From Wrong” from La Peste (LP) on Matador (USA)

KUSF In Exile 09.27.11 9-Noon Radiodrome DJ Schmeejay

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RADIODROME (Music) with dj schmeejay 09/27/2011 09:00AM to 12:00PM

Jean Michel Jarre "Chants Magnétiques Pt. 1" from "Les Chants Magnétiques"
Brian Dewan "Free Lunch" from "J Otto & Vivian Walsh"
Hot Guitars "Thurston Moore Does Jazz" from "Duets, Duels & DIYS"
BTO "You Ain't Seen Nothin Yet" from "Slow 45"
Marianne Faithful "As Tears Go By" from "Single"
Pali Gestro "Kalapom" from "Hungary!"
Todd Rundgren "Izzit Love?" from "Todd"
John Carradine "Flowers of Evil (Baudelaire)" from "Selected Readings"
Rail Dynamics "Recorded on Rainy Nights" from "The Tracks of The New York Central"
Holy Ghost! "Some Children" from "Holy Ghost!"
Storm Bugs "Hodge" from "Supplementary Benefit"
Daryl Hall & John Oates "Sara Smile" from "Slow 45"
Ruth Etting "A Faded Summer Love" from "Reflections (1927-35)"
The Singing Kolenda Family "He's Still The King of Kings" from "A Touch of Brass and Strings"
White Hills "No Other Way" from "H-p1"
Arletty "Deux sous de Violette" from "French Stars No 1"
Okkyung Lee "Bodies" from "Noisy Love Songs"
Hazel Dickens "Pretty Bird" from "Hazel & Alice"
Caribou "She's the One" from "Pink Room Session"
Guess Who "Undun" from "Slow 45"
Guess Who "Hand Me Down World" from "Slow 45"
Guess Who "No Time" from "Slow 45"
Dynamic Tsugaru-Shamisen "Unknown Title" from "Dynamic Tsugaru-Shamisen"
Dave Cloud and The Gospel of Power "Only Girl I Know" from "Practice in the Milky Way"
Al Jolson "There's a Rainbow 'Round My Shoulders" from "Personality Specials Volume 1"
David Essex "Rock On" from "Slow 45"
Mike Nichols & Elaine May "More Gauze" from "Examine Doctors"
John Cooper Clarke "90 degrees in my shades" from "Zip Style Method"
Throbbing Gristle "Very Friendly" from "1st Annual Report"
David Sylvian & Holger Czukay "Premonition" from "Plight & Premonition"
Paul Revere and The Raiders "Action" from "Steppin Out"
Jaill "Pardono" from "There's No Sky (Oh My My)"
BTO "Rock is my Life" from "Not Fragile"
The Gothics "Richie's Back in Town" from "Single"

KUSF In Exile 09.27.11 6-9 AM DJ Stevil

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3rd Hour

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KUSF In Exile 09.26.11 11-Midnight Room For Four DJ M Theo

Before there were recordings, music at home meant playing the piano; and before the inexpensive mass-produced piano, music at home meant gathering to play instruments together. With focus on the quartet, /Room for four/ explores the music that was written not primarily to be performed for an audience, but to be /played/ – for the players’ own enjoyment.

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KUSF In Exile 09.26.11 10-11 PM Jazz On The Cusp DJ Doctor Jekkyll

For over a century, jazz music has continued to be a living, breathing entity. To date, the music itself has defended itself admirably against those self-appointed guardians of last year's blues who would compartmentalize jazz as swing, bebop, cool, avant-garde, etc. Rather than hearing jazz as a sequence of separate styles, it is important to hear its continuity across time. Jazz is always on the cusp, always searching, always ready to incorporate a new discovery into the body of work that preceded it. There is no radical break between swing and bebop, between bebop and cool, between the early New Orleans styles and the avant-garde group improvisations of the 1960s. The music exists on a continuum.

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26th edition
26 September 2011

1. Echoes from Haarlem
John Carter Quintet
Variations on Selected Themes for Jazz Quintet
Moers Music
John Carter - clarinet
James Newton - flute

2. Softly, As In a Morning Sunrise
(Romberg/Hammerstein II)
Sonny Rollins
A Night at the "Village Vanguard"
Blue Note
Sonny Rollins - tenor saxophone
Wilbur Ware - bass
Elvin Jones - drums

3. Heksehyl
Tchicai, Cyrille, Workman
Witch's Scream
TUM Records
John Tchicai - bass clarinet
Reggie Workman - bass
Andrew Cyrille - drums

4. I Waited for You
Dizzy Gillespie
The Giant
Dizzy Gillespie - trumpet
Kenny Drew - piano
Niels-Henning Ørsted Pedersen - bass
Kenny Clarke - drums

5. Reading the River (for John Carter)
Marty Ehrlich
Can You Hear a Motion?
Marty Ehrlich - clarinet
Michael Formanek - bass
Bobby Previte - drums

6. Stella by Starlight
Phineas Newborn, Jr.
Harlem Blues
recorded 1969
released 1975
Phineas Newborn, Jr. - piano
Ray Brown - bass
Elvin Jones - drums

7. Gregarian Chant
Charles Mingus
Jazz Composers Workshop
Charles Mingus - bass
John LaPorta - clarinet
Teo Macero - tenor saxophone
George Barrow - baritone saxophone
Mal Waldron - piano
Rudy Nichols - drums

8. Alexander's Ragtime Band
(Irving Berlin)
Jaki Byard
On the Spot!
Jaki Byard -piano
Jimmy Owens - tambourine
Paul Chambers - bass
Billy Higgins - drums

9. Ramblin'
Ornette Coleman
Change of the Century
Ornette Coleman - alto saxophone
Don Cherry - pocket trumpet
Charlie Haden - bass
Billy Higgins - drums

10. Stardust
Ben Webster
See You at the Fair
Ben Webster - tenor sax
Roger Kellaway - piano
Richard Davis - bass
Osie Johnson - drums

KUSF In Exile 09.26.11 9-10 PM Guitar Journeys DJ Tuggy

Guitar Journeys champions diverse traditions of guitar music from around the world, including classical, fingerstyle, jazz, bossa nova, and genre-defying contemporary compositions.  Featuring the ancient music of 16th century lutenists, fresh compositions by today's living artists, and just about everything in between, Guitar Journeys is the Bay Area's portal into a spectacular universe of guitar music. Email, and tune in Monday nights at 11pm.

Hosts: Theresa Calpotura, DJ Tuggy, Giacomo Fiore, and Teja Gerken

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KUSF In Exile 09.26.11 3-6 PM Meta

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3rd Hour

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