[JPL] KTPB prepares to sign off after 15 years
dcrane at comcast.net
Sun Apr 30 03:59:44 EDT 2006
At 11:30 PM 4/29/2006, you wrote:
I'm glad you posted this link to the list. I've
copied and pasted a story that ran in the
Kilgore, LA News-Journal about ten days
ago. While the more recent story makes it appear
that the sale to Educational Media Foundation
(EMF) was the only game in town as far as
purchasers, that's not the case at all. They
simply had the most money. There was a local
group working with Public Radio Capital to ensure
that the station would remain in the hands of
locals. Kilgore College much preferred seeing
the money now rather than later, public good be damned.
It reminds me of what happened to WDCU when,
around 1995, the trustees at the University of
the District of Columbia decided to sell the
station that was licensed to the school. It was,
of course, a full-time jazz radio station and it
was operating in the black. The university
needed the money, hence the sale. The original
purchaser was to be a religious broadcaster which
operated a station in the commercial
band. They'd buy WDCU's non-comm frequency on
the cheap and turn around and sell their
commercial frequency on the
anything-but-cheap. This raised the hackles of
many DC'ers even on Capitol Hill. The sale of
WDCU to the religious broadcaster fell apart with
C-SPAN being the savior of sorts. All C-SPAN,
all the time now exists where once was heard
jazz. And with the recent flip of WETA from
classical to NPR talk, our nation's capital has
lost two non-comms broadcasting music formats in the last ten years.
What I find especially troubling about the sale
of KTPB to EMF is that it is continuing the trend
of religious broadcasters to clutter or even
appear to take over bit-by-bit the non-comm
band. And of course EMF and others like WAY-FM
are satellite based meaning that there is
virtually no local content. Is this what the
non-comm (88-92 MhZ) frequencies were designed
for? What happened to live and local? Or, at least local?
And speaking of local, KRFC (Ft. Collins) would
probably have a better dial position and power
had it not been for EMF and WAY-FM. As I recall,
it was only a result of some last minute
bargaining that allowed KRFC to begin
broadcasting a few years ago. Despite KRFC's
mission to directly serve its community, the FCC
awarded the two available licenses to religious
entities. EMF was in the final stages of
purchasing religious broadcaster KWBI here in
Denver. KWBI was licensed to Western Bible
College. The college was one of the finalists
for one of the licenses in Ft. Collins. In order
to expedite the sale, the college gave up their
rights to the Ft. Collins frequency essentially
"gifting" the frequency to KRFC.
At the risk of offending anybody who likes the
programming religious broadcasters offer, these
organizations do not play fair. It seems anytime
there is an application filed with the FCC by a
local group for even something like a translator,
the religious guys are right there
counter-filing. And in big numbers. That may
somewhat explain the delay in KUVO's establishment of a translator in Vail, CO.
I guess the point of this message is that not
only are there forces battling public radio on
the inside (WBEZ), there are also battles being
waged on the outside (KTPB) and probably both
inside and outside at some other stations. And I
feel totally helpless as these stations morph into unrecognizable entities.
dcrane at comcast.net
Volunteer Jazz DJ
KUVO Denver 89.3 FM
KC trustees OK KTPB radio sale
Potential buyer focused on Christian music format
By KATHERINE SAYRE
Friday, April 21, 2006
KILGORE Kilgore College trustees on Thursday
approved selling public radio station KTPB to a
California-based non-profit group focused on Christian music broadcasting.
Trustees voted 8-0 to authorize KC President Bill
Holda to sell the station's Federal
Communications Commission license and
broadcasting tower to Educational Media
Foundation for $2.46 million over 10 years,
including interest. The sale must be approved by
the FCC, which will have a 30-day public comment
period before deciding on the sale.
KTPB 88.7 FM, which first broadcast in 1991, airs
classical music, jazz and news programming from
the college campus. It's funded by a combination
of listener donations, college funds and a grant
from the Corporation for Public Broadcasting.
No representatives of Educational Media
Foundation which broadcasts from 250
transmitters nationwide attended Thursday's meeting.
Educational Media Foundation will pay $400,000
upfront and $1.6 million over the next 10 years
in monthly payments, bringing the total cost to $2.46 million with interest.
The foundation will rebroadcast a satellite
signal from the transmitter, Holda said. He added
that the group will have a regional representatives in the area.
Holda said the college was approached in the fall
by Patrick Communications, a communications
broker that links buyers and sellers for
television and radio media, to consider selling KTPB.
The company then linked the college with 25
potential buyers, with the top two offers coming
from Educational Media Foundation and public
broadcasters Red River Radio, owned by the Louisiana State University system.
Red River Radio with stations in Shreveport,
Alexandria, El Dorado and Lufkin broadcasts
classical, blues and other types of music, as
well as National Public Radio programs such as
"All Things Considered," "Car Talk" and "Prairie Home Companion."
Red River Radio was represented in the sales
talks by Public Radio Capital, a nonprofit group
that finds financial backing to buy public
stations in an effort to keep them in public broadcasting format.
Public Radio Capital offered the college $1.2
million in cash and $400,000 in broadcasting time
for local programing, Holda said.
The college wanted to pursue "what we thought was
the greater dollar value, and that was EMF," he said.
In pursuing a potential sale with Red River
Radio, he said, the college found several
potential "road blocks," including waiting up to
one year before the sale could be final because
of financial problems in Louisiana.
Holda said he also was told Red River Radio would
have to guarantee the purchase price in listener
donations before LSU-Shreveport officials would
take the proposal to the LSU Board of Supervisors.
"I came to Kilgore College in 1975 to teach
music, and my entire life has been grounded with
the arts," Holda said, adding he has been a
long-time listener of KTPB's classical music.
"I'm saying this because I want you ... to know I
really consider it a loss, a personal loss."
Before voting, the board opened the discussion for public comment.
John Whitsell, a Kilgore resident, said he
disagrees with selling the station because
listening to the classical music has meant a lot to his family.
"We have faithfully supported it and will
continue to as long as it exists because it has
meant a great deal to my wife and I," Whitsell said.
Richard Anderson, a KTPB announcer, said the sale
would have little, if any, tangible benefit for the community.
"I would consider it a a great loss if KTPB were
to go off the air," Anderson said.
Mary Decker, a member of Red River Radio's
advisory board, asked the college board for
another opportunity to work out a sale.
The area already has many Christian music format stations, she said.
"Public radio is a quality of life issue," Decker said.
Randell Brint, board president, told Decker that
the college had tried to work out a deal with Red River Radio.
"We recognize that this is potentially a very
emotional situation for a lot of people," Brint
said, but in the end, the college had to consider
what's best for the students, staff and taxpayers.
The deal with Educational Media Foundation "was a
much more appropriate choice, a better business
decision for the college," Holda said.
Erik Langner, project director for Public Radio
Capital, said the group is still interested in KTPB.
"We were certainly interested in working on
keeping KTPB as a public radio station," Langner said.
Glenda Erwin, vice chancellor of university
development at Louisiana State University in
Shreveport, said the university-owned public
radio system was very excited at the opportunity
to strengthen its signal in the Kilgore and Longview areas.
"Then, to make a long story short, (Hurricane) Katrina hit," Erwin said.
Erwin said public stations don't come up for sale
often. Many are being purchased by religious
groups, she said, and "sometimes it's hard to compete."
"We're just hoping that the public radio voice
can stay over there (in Kilgore)," Erwin said. "We haven't given up totally."
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