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Another Day, Another $…

Tuesday, January 25th, 2011

…another college radio station sold out from under its staff. This time it was KUSF 90.3 FM, out of the University of San Francisco, which had its signal cut and staff escorted out security personnel on January 18th. The University sold the frequency to the University of Southern California, which also recently purchased classical station KDFC, which, in turn, will be broadcast at 90.3. The deal is complicated and is thoroughly detailed here, but the upshot is that KUSF no longer has a place on the dial and is switching to an online-only format. The University pocketed a cool $3.75 million from the sale, which still needs FCC approval. In the meantime, KUSF is putting up a fight.

I detailed the many reasons why webcasting alone is not suitable for the kind of radio station that KUSF, KTRU and WRVU embody in a previous post, and USF's administration is reusing many of the excuses put forth by VU and Rice: radio listenership is declining, the station wasn't serving the needs of the students, running a station is expensive, etc, etc. And, once again, a university administration ignores the fact that none of those excuses hold up under scrutiny (especially the first one) and demonstrates handily that it is willing to turn its back on the community it inhabits. I went to a Jesuit high school and I am well familiar with the principles of a Jesuit institution, so I find it incredibly disheartening that USF – which promotes "a common good that transcends the interests of particular individuals or groups" as a core value – could make such a decision. I can near guarantee that the San Francisco community, as well as the many artists and endeavors that KUSF supported, view the station as a "common good" (look no further than the extensive and well attended protests against KUSF's sale).



Sunday, January 23rd, 2011

What have we here?

Local Community Radio Act Passes!

Monday, December 20th, 2010

Yesterday evening, Congress finally passed the Local Community Radio Act, as Freepress reports.  Essentially, the bill opens up the broadcast spectrum to community-oriented low power FM stations, as a public resource and an opportunity for millions of people to have their voices heard.  This is huge step forward in seizing the airwaves from corporate interests and giving them to the average citizen, and for that alone, I am grateful.  However, it also offers our humble station the opportunity to upgrade our wattage to a respectable output.  We started out with a 10-watt signal in 1976, and that's where we've been since then.  That's not to say we haven't tried to increase our wattage (this is a nice crash-course on past attempts) – but, for the first time in 34 years, because of this bill's passage, we have a legitimate chance at upgrading to 100 (or God forbid, 250) watts.  

We're not quite sure yet how the bill is going to affect the St. Louis radio market or KWUR, but ideally, it will open up a few frequencies on the band, which would be filled by low power FM stations (like ours). The LCRA does this by eliminating the "third-adjacent minimum separation" requirement for broadcast signals, such that frequencies will become available now where they were prohibited by the buffer before.

I don't want to overstate our chances here; I really have no idea if and how it will affect our wattage situation (but believe me, we're going to find out).  I do know, though, that this was our only reasonable chance at getting an upgrade, and now that we have it, we're going to do everything we can to pursue it.  The next few months (or possibly years) will be tumultuous and we've got our work cut out for us, but I can honestly say that I have never been more excited to be involved with a college/community radio station.  Stay tuned to the blog (and of course, over the air) for more information as it comes to us.  Viva radio free St. Louis!





Wednesday, December 1st, 2010

Hey everyone, quick update on Hustle Week 2010.  The gift price list is here:

$10 – a Stack Sessions Sampler with hand-made packaging

$25 – a hand-made KWUR t-shirt, see info below!

$50 – EITHER a custom made station ID, airing forever, that will thank you personally OR a custom t-shirt, made for you by a KWUR DJ

$100 – we will name a part of the station after you, you get to choose which part.

**All donations above $10 come with a free Stack Sessions sampler (unless you're at the $10 level, in which case you'll already have one)**

Sa-weet.  Now, here are the shirts:



Tuesday, November 23rd, 2010

Hustle Week

Hey there boys and girls in radioland, it's that time of year again – HUSTLE WEEK.  That is to say, we're conducting our third annual fund drive/awareness week from November 29th through December 3rd.  We've got a whole lot of exciting things lined up for you during that week, as evidenced by the schedule below.  First, though, the basics:

From November 29th to December 3rd KWUR is conducting its fundraising drive, Hustle Week. KWUR is run on a shoestring budget that has been dramatically cut twice in recent years and there is no guarantee that the budget will not be cut again in the future. In the past, fundraising dollars have been spent on essentials like shelves for the 45s and promotional schedule posters. If enough money is raised, it can be used to help pay for an improved KWUR Week, better equipment in the station or even music acquisitions. If you care about KWUR and appreciate the quality programming KWUR provides every day and you've got five or ten dollars to spare, we'd really appreciate any help you can give us.

If you'd like to donate, you can:
1) Stop by the station whenever there's a show and donate directly to a DJ.
2) Call in a pledge at (314) 935-5952 and mail a check made out to KWUR and your gift preference to:

KWUR 90.3 FM
Campus Box 1205
One Brookings Dr.
St. Louis, MO 63130

We at KWUR would like to thank you for your donation and support through various gifts such as stack samplers, silk screened t-shirts, custom station IDs and even having a part of the station named after you.  Gift-price list forthcoming, stay tuned.

And the schedule:

Monday, 11/29:

  • Tabling at the DUC from noon – 2pm, with DIY stenciling.  Bring something that you'd like stenciled, we'll provide the paint and neat-o KWUR stencils. 

Tuesday, 11/30:

  • Tabling at the DUC from noon – 2pm, tabling at the South Forty House from 6-8.  We'll be doing a live broadcast at the South Forty House, so stop by and get yrself on air. 

Wednesday, 12/1:

  • More tabling, same as above.  There will be a live band banging out some tunes at the South Forty House, and if you make a nominal contribution, they'll write a song about YOU.

Thursday, 12/2:

  • All night broadcast, 8pm – 8am.  Join us on air or at the station while be play the best, weirdest, most fun stuff we can find in the stacks and our personal collections.  There will be plenty of late night ramblings, live in studio performances from Pretty Little Empire and other local bands, and some super secret call-in guests.

Friday, 12/3:

  • KWUR and The Gargoyle Committee present: Monotonix with Heavy Cream, 8:30pm at the Gargoyle on campus.  It's going to be absolutely nuts (understatement).  Free for students, $10 for the public.  More info here.

We'll be selling t-shirts, CD bundles and tickets to the show on Friday when we table, as well as handing out copies of the Stack Sessions Sampler vol. 1.  And, let's be honest, we'll be making a lot of noise, because that's what we do best.

Them's the basics, but stay tuned for more announcements on our twitter feed in the coming days.  Tell all your friends, tune in all week long for St. Louis' best underground radio, and throw us a little bit of cash if you can.  Thanks to everyone at the station who has worked to make this happen.  Remember, if you can't deliver it like a garage band, fuck it.