Sunday, July 20, 2008

Changes at KCSU are Finalized for the Better

Beginning August 1, 2008, KCSU-FM at Colorado State University in Fort Collins, Colorado will be part of a finalized agreement which places KCSU, The Collegian Newspaper, and other Student Media groups under a newly-formed 501c3 non-profit organization. The student-controlled KCSU will continue to operate separately from the university with a student-dominated governing board, which will also include community members and faculty.

While the new Governing Board will provide guidance, the license of KCSU will remain with the Colorado State Board of Agriculture, which serves as the Colorado State University System Governing Board (the CSU System also includes the Colorado State University in Pueblo, and Fort Lewis College in Durango. Along with Fort Collins, the other campuses in the system have student-operated FM radio stations as well; KTSC, Pueblo, and KDUR, Durango).

During the process which formed the new Student Media Governing Board at CSU, the issue of a possible license transfer of KCSU arose with some trepidation. By keeping the KCSU license during this time of transition, The Colorado State Board of Agriculture avoids a potential legal quagmire that a license transfer could bring. That's because the Federal Communications Commission requires a public comment period for any proposed change in the licensee for radio stations, a process which often brings people and interest groups out of the woodwork.

In KCSU's case, the stakes at such a public comment period would be very high. With enough of an investment by the University, the spotty signal of the station can be improved to serve the Fort Collins-Loveland-Greeley market; an area which recently lost the signal of KVOD classical music from Colorado Public Radio (CPR). With CPR's mission at stake, to supposedly bring back classical music to the Larimer-Weld County market, observers see KCSU as a potential target for CPR acquisition because of what could be a relatively cheap price tag for such a station. The alternative for CPR is pretty steep. KYEN-FM, Severence is up for sale at a starting price of $10 Million.

The new agreement for student media at CSU reduces speculative activity over KCSU, but CONTINUED DILIGENCE will be wise. It was fifteen years ago that CPR head Max Wysick reportedly held a closed door meeting with then CSU President Albert Yates, unbeknownst to the KCSU Manager at the time. Fortunately for CSU and the communities of Fort Collins, Colorado and possibly Durango, Colorado (CPR already has its game going in Pueblo, Colorado), nothing concrete came from those discussions.

The new not-for-profit Student Media Governing Board stems from discussions on the CSU campus in recent months, which brought together students, University officials, and community members who recommended such a governing board.

8 comments:

Mitch said...

Fort Lewis College is actually no longer under the CSU system. FLC became independent a number of years ago.

Jimmy James Jr. said...

Mitch,

Thanks for your comment. I have emailed the author of this post for a correction.

JJJ

Anonymous said...

I was sad at the loss of KVOD here in Northern Colorado. But as a CSU alumnus I'm disturbed by the idea of loosing the current KSCU. We need to be adding more non-commercial and diverse stations not cannibalizing the ones we have. If the price for KYEN-FM is too high and there was not enough support KVOD perhaps there is not enough of a demand for a CPR station in this region. It is a growing area maybe down the road this will change.

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