[JPL] KKJZ stays Jazz

Jim Wilke jwilke123 at comcast.net
Mon Oct 9 00:35:47 EDT 2006

I still don't quite get it.  I thought as a licensee you couldn't turn 
over programming responsibilities to another party.     When did it 
come to pass that a licensee no longer has to operate its station or 
control its programming? ... did I miss something here.   Was that part 
of deregulation?

I understand that many "university stations" have become increasingly 
independent, self-sufficient entities but are still answerable to the 
institution that holds the license.  But it seems to me if CSULB hires 
outsiders to operate their station they ought to give up the license.

Also, I wonder how many are the "few stations in the country focusing 
on classic jazz" ?  Mr. Butler makes it sound like it's only three or 
four.   Has anyone a count of stations that have jazz programming more 
than 50% of their weekly programming?

Jim Wilke

On Sunday, October 8, 2006, at 03:39  PM, Dr. Jazz wrote:

> New KKJZ owners to keep all that jazz
> CSULB offers station to L.A. classical music operator.
> By Kevin Butler, Staff writer
> Long Beach Press Telegram
> Article Launched:10/05/2006 11:13:27 PM PDT
> LONG BEACH - Cal State Long Beach intends to end its 19-year 
> relationship with the operator of its KKJZ-FM station and hire the 
> owner of a Los Angeles classical music station to run the jazz outlet 
> instead, a university body decided Thursday.
> The board of directors of the private CSULB Foundation, which holds 
> the radio license for classic jazz station KKJZ (88.1), unanimously 
> voted to begin negotiating a management contract with Mt. Wilson FM 
> Broadcasters, owner of the classical station KMZT-FM (105.1) and pop 
> standards station KKGO-AM (1260/540).
> Pacific Public Radio, which has operated KKJZ since 1987, had sought 
> to continue managing the station, but it was among three bidders 
> rejected Thursday. PPR has managed the station month-to-month since 
> its contract expired in December.
> The foundation chose Mt. Wilson, headed by independent radio owner 
> Saul Levine, because of its financial strength and its dedication to 
> jazz, said Joseph A. Latter, the foundation's assistant treasurer.
> The firm also pledged to promote the university and involve CSULB 
> students by providing them jobs, internships and scholarships, he > said.
> "They will provide a greater promotion of CSULB, both on and off the 
> air, particularly at events," Latter said.
> Levine's firm also promised to retain as many current KKJZ staffers as 
> possible, he said.
> Latter said that assuming negations go well, Mt. Wilson could begin 
> operating the station in three to six months.
> KKJZ is one of the few stations in the country focusing on classic 
> jazz, as opposed to the soft or smooth kind. The classic genre 
> includes the works of such jazz pioneers as Miles Davis and Charles 
> Mingus.
> The university is committed to keeping KKJZ a jazz station, Latter 
> said.
> The foundation has been "disappointed" that PPR has not adequately 
> promoted the school in the station's posters, concerts and other 
> events, Latter said.
> "You would have never known that CSULB was involved in those 
> activities," he said.
> Matthew Knabe, a member of PPR's board of directors, called those 
> statements "outrageous."
> "We promote Cal State Long Beach all the time," he said. "Everybody 
> knows we're from Cal State Long Beach."
> Knabe said that the station's 300,000 local listeners are going to be 
> "very upset" about the university's decision.
> Latter said he anticipates some negative reaction, but believes that 
> Levine's firm will make KKJZ a stronger station.
> Knabe said that by opening the bidding process this spring, the 
> university hurt fund-raising by putting doubts in potential donors' 
> minds about the station's future.
> As a result, revenue from its spring pledge drive was down about 
> $180,000 from the previous year and receipts from its Long Beach Blues 
> Festival were down about $175,000, he said.
> "Nobody's going to give you money if they don't know if you'll be 
> around," he said.
> Knabe says that the university has "systematically dismantled the 
> station since the beginning of the year to get us to a position of 
> weakness so that they could take us over."
> Cash flow was so weak PPR turned to the university for help, he said. 
> Two weeks ago, university officials asked all members of the PPR board 
> of directors to resign, Knabe said.
> Some PPR members stayed on, but university and foundation officials 
> occupy six of the nine board seats, he said.
> "To me that is a huge conflict of interest," Knabe said.
> The university owns the building the station is located in and pays 
> for electricity and maintenance. Knabe said PPR owns the jazz library, 
> equipment, antennae and transponder.
> The other bidders for the management contract were the Los Angeles 
> Jazz Institute and Southern California Pacific Radio, owner of 
> all-news station KPCC-FM (89.3).
> On the Net: www.jazzandblues.org
> Kevin Butler can be reached at 
> <mailto:kevin.butler at presstelegram.com>kevin.butler at presstelegram.com 
> or (562) 499-1308

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