San Francisco’s KUSF, in a tragic tale so familiar in college radio today, was silenced on January 18 in a multimillion dollar deal. But KUSF has not let the hammer fall without a fight: DJs, listeners and community members have staged protests in San Francisco. And tonight at noon PST (3 p.m. EST), six KUSF DJs will be broadcasting live from Amoeba Music San Francisco in an event will “celebrate the greatness that was (and hopefully soon again will be) KUSF on the FM dial where it deserves to be,” says WFMU’s (and former KUSF, KPFA and KALX DJ) Billy Jam, the event coordinator. “Overall the hope is that we further raise awareness of this scenario.” Participating KUSF DJs include Irwin, DJ Schmeejay, Jantine B, Stereo Steve, Carolyn and Harry D.
The event was devised as part of WFMU’s remote broadcast when Billy Jam and station manager Ken Freedman, both big supporters of KUSF’s, decided to feature the station’s DJs and shine light on the community mainstay’s tragic plight. Ameoba, also a long KUSF supporter, had no problem joining in the effort. As of now, the live event will be broadcast on WFMU (Jersey City, NJ) and also on California’s KZSU (Stanford), KXLU (Los Angeles), KDVS (Davis) and KFJC (Los Altos Hills), on WXYC (Chapel Hill, NC) and WREK (Atlanta, GA) on the east coast and on WCBN (Ann Arbor, MI), KRFP (Moscow, ID) and KVRX (Austin, TX) in the central and mountain zones. More stations will likely be participating by afternoon.
Billy Jam further articulated what the whole college and community radio is currently thinking. “KUSF is an integral part of the cultural fabric of San Francisco and the notion that it being only online is the same thing in this digital age is just bullshit. And perhaps more importantly it is part of an ugly trend of US college radio stations getting sold off, and hence is a direct attack on the endangered species that is independent freeform media in this country.”