USC expands radio network with purchase
USC Radio has reached an agreement to purchase KCNL, a San Jose-area Spanish talk and music station, for $7.5 million. The agreement continues USCâs statewide expansion, wherein KUSC will convert KCNL 104.9 to a non-commercial classical music station.
USC will acquire the station from Principle Broadcasting Network San Jose, LLC, owned by Charles Banta, according to Federal Communication Commission documents. The agreement is pending approval from the FCC.
Brenda Barnes, the president of USC Radio, said there has been an increase of USC alumni moving into the Bay Area and a USC-owned KCNL can help alumni stay connected to the university.
âWith the exception of Southern California, the most important region to USC when it comes to connecting with alumni and parents is the Bay Area,â Barnes said.
This is not the first time USC has bought a radio station in the Bay Area. USC purchased San Francisco stations KUSF and KDFC in January 2011. Students of the University of San Francisco launched a yearlong movement protesting USCâs purchase of the college radio station and KUSCâs plans to transform KUSF into an all-classical music station by July 2012. The deal to acquire KUSF is still pending.
In contrast, USCâs acquisition of KCNL has met far less opposition. According to Barnes, when USC first announced plans to buy KCNL, the university received thousands of emails for several weeks, applauding USCâs continued expansion into the Bay Area.
âEveryone was really thrilled with USC making the change and we received lots of letters from alumni living in the Bay Area who said they really want to hear USC radio,â Barnes said.
In addition to reaching out to alumni, Barnes said the university believes that broadcasting USC radio into the Bay Area helps attract prospective students and their parents.
âItâs about recruiting, branding and expanding the Trojan Family,â Barnes said.
Though KCNL will become a non-commercial classical music station like KUSC, its programming will differ from what USC Radio broadcasts in Southern California. KCNL, as well as KDFC, will air music from the San Francisco Symphony and other Bay Area classical music ensembles. KUSC will continue to broadcast the music of the Los Angeles Philharmonic, Opera and Chamber Orchestra to approximately 800,000 listeners every week, Barnes said.
USC plans to begin broadcasting from KCNL this spring if the FCC approves the sale.