KUSF is dead. Long live KUSF!

The public outcry following the University of San Francisco’s secretive and unilateral shutdown of the legendary KUSF-FM was enormous. A planned public meeting staged by USF on January 20 changed location three times to accommodate the anticipated crowds.

Ultimately, the KUSF postmortem meeting/protest/public hearing was staged at USF’s Presentation Theater, on Turk Street at Masonic. With 470 seats the place was packed from the main floor to balcony. There was a large pot-banging protest stretching several blocks outside, which got the place up to capacity and left crowds milling around outside. There were SFPD inside, parked outside by the theater, and on the side streets. SFAppeal.com says 6 police cruisers and 20 officers were on the scene.

The actual meeting was contentious, with USF presenting it as a fait accompli, apparently holding all the cards with the papers signed and awaiting only the FCC’s rubber stamp. Media people who know the topic think it’s highly unlikely the FCC will derail the sale.

But the situation is definitely in motion. That was a darn big crowd of really motivated, talented, diverse and networked people. Who knows what they can pull off? They’re going after this from every angle.

Contingencies swirl … lawyers with advice are accreting around the volunteers … Doc Searles at Harvard sez the volunteers should angle for 87.7 FM, which the FCC just opened up, a frequency that merges into the low end of the TV spectrum, but still counts as FM radio …. notable public figures are being recruited, the legal angles are being dissected … And there seems to be a large, large effort coming together to shake up the FCC case — exploring apparently novel ideas around community access, as opposed to the usual, failed effort to protest a ‘format change,’ which the FCC doesn’t care about.

Independent Arts & Media was mentioned in the Bay Citizen for our official statement on the sale (the reference starts at paragraph 7).

The SF Weekly also filed a good, bloggy overview of the whole meeting yesterday, with great pix.

As for the temper and tone of USF, many, many other commentators have spoken of this, and they all seem on point. All I can add is that there are plenty of contradictions and doubtful assertions in the official line offered last night, and declarations about a lack of student involvement and a lack of other suitors which I personally know to be not at all accurate.

The volunteers are meeting again for more planning as I type this — and there will be many more meetings, and much more activity before this business is concluded.

If you are interested in this issue, one of the best places to get your data and plug in your energy is the Save KUSF Facebook page. I know Facebook sux, but it has its uses, and this one seems to be poppin’. Two days in and they already have over 4,000 fans. Pile on and let’s change the world AGAIN!


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