Thursday, January 20, 2011

KUSF Debate Rages On

By Rachel Swan
Thu, Jan 20, 2011 at 10:45 AM

One might think that after a relatively civil discussion on KQED's Forum, the storm would have abated somewhat. KUSF music director Irwin Swirnoff got to air his grievances about "homogenization" to Classical Public Radio Network managing director Brenda Barnes, who expressed sympathy, but maintained that classical radio has a diverse listenership, too. It seemed like KUSF staffers and volunteers would grudgingly accept, and eventually acquiesce to the new online format.

Not so. According to an article posted today by Bay Citizen reporter Reyhan Harmanci, a capacity crowd of 500 college radio supporters filled the university's Presentation Theater last night to lob criticism at USF president Stephen Privett. Many accused the university of making a "secret" sale, given that a confidentiality agreement prohibited station founder Steve Runyon and program director Trista Bernasconi from sharing the news with staffers. Although the university insists that KUSF could very well expand its listenership by converting to an online broadcast format, students and listeners still mourn the death of a 34-year-old station. For staunch KUSF supporters, all those platitudes about "going digital" are just a way to gild the lily.

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