Cutbacks at KCSM
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Thread: Cutbacks at KCSM

  1. #1

    Cutbacks at KCSM

    Sunday nite was Harry Duncan’s final “In the Soul Kitchen”. Ditto Ron Pelletier’s “Jazz From Gallery 41", and in fact all the 10pm "live" Evening Jazz shows are no more. Replaced by pre-recorded stuff. Apparently San Mateo Community College District (the license holder) insisted KCSM drastically cut budget. Given that they have pledge weeks every 3 months and nearly always make their goal, this seems odd, and of course "programs curated by actual live humans" is sorta what makes the station unique. Complain to the SMCCD if you're a KCSM fan, I'm told.

  2. #2

  3. #3

    Join Date
    Apr 2016
    Solano County, California

    Update on KCSM

    Who should take the blame for the failed sale of the College of San Mateo’s television station is the source of a legal battle, as school officials and a company hired to negotiate the acquisition are locking horns over which side muffed a lucrative deal.

    Opposing civil lawsuits filed in county Superior Court indicate San Mateo County Community College District officials and LocusPoint Networks representatives disagree on why KCSM-TV was excluded from a $114 million auction sale.

    LocusPoint Networks, hired by the district to sell the station, claim school officials dropped the ball on their most basic duty to culminate the deal while district employees believe the responsibility fell to the contractor.

    The unperformed move inviting the legal finger-pointing was a failure to formally enter the station into bundled auction of stations holding broadcast licenses from the Federal Communications Commission.

    District officials believe all steps tied to the station’s sale were the responsibility of LocusPoint Networks, which also hired accounting firm PricewaterhouseCoopers to assist in the process.

    “We filed suit last week because we believe that LocusPoint and [PricewaterhouseCoopers] failed in multiple ways including multiple negligent failures and breaches of contract,” said district spokesman Mitch Bailey in an email. “We are confident the court will agree with the college district.”

    Alternatively, LocusPoint Networks’ attorneys claim district officials are to blame for the sale falling through, according to their lawsuit.

    “The district failed to take the most fundamental ‘action necessary’ to successfully participate in the auction — placing a bid,” according to the LocusPoint Networks’ court filing.

    Work began to sell KCSM-TV in 2011, under an effort to eliminate a nearly $1 million annual deficit. It was launched in 1964 and broadcasts a variety of programs, some of which were used for educational purposes before online courses came into favor.

    Under an agreement struck nearly four years ago, the district and contractor had agreed the sum from any pending sale of the financially troubled station would be divvied up with LocusPoint Networks receiving 36.5 percent of the auction proceeds and the district keeping the rest.

    As part of the deal, LocusPoint Networks offered the district payments to keep the station running. The company’s lawsuit alleges officials knew of the failure to participate in the auction last November but kept taking operation payments, amounting to a breach of contract.

    Bailey acknowledged the station was excluded from the sale, and said despite the best effort of officials, the station could not be reinstated in the process.

    In its lawsuit, LocusPoint Networks is seeking an undetermined amount, but wants value commiserate to the money it would have received had the purchase gone through, plus the more than $3 million paid in operating expenses and interest. Final sales prices from the auction have not yet been published, and are expected to be available later this month.

    District officials counter with claims LocusPoint Networks and its associates were contractually solely obligated to assure the sale was completed.

    “LocusPoint was responsible to take ‘all such other actions as may be reasonably required by the college district as its bidding consultant and agent to achieve its successful participation in the auction,” noted Bailey in an email, including a passage from the agreement suggesting LocusPoint Networks was responsible to “submit all bids in the auction for the college district.”

    He added after the station was excluded from the sale, PricewaterhouseCoopers representatives failed to assure the auction process was navigated correctly, and admitted to the error.

    The outcome left the school district no choice but to file a lawsuit, said Bailey.

    - See more at:

  4. #4

    Join Date
    Apr 2016
    Solano County, California

    Update KRCB-TV PBS Affiliate of Santa Rosa is Taking over KCSM in this article.

    Sonoma County’s public broadcasting television station KRCB announced Thursday it will take over a South Bay public television station in a $12 million acquisition aimed at broadening its reach across the Bay Area’s nine counties.

    The Sonoma County channel will take over San Mateo-based KCSM-TV, currently run by the San Mateo County Community College District, doubling its coverage area from about 3 million to 6 million people, and potentially saving the financially imperiled South Bay channel from being turned into a commercial operation. The acquisition does not include KCSM’s jazz radio station 91.1 FM.

    “It will give KRCB a broad Bay Area-wide, Northern California footprint,” said Nancy Dobbs, KRCB president and chief executive officer.

    KRCB can afford to expand because of a $72 million cash infusion it received earlier this year under an agreement with the Federal Communications Commission to sell its channel and switch to a different band.

    The transaction, and others like it in a nationwide auction, freed up a stronger transmission band for the expanding wireless telecom industry and its demands for more bandwidth.

    The windfall propelled the KRCB governing board to look for ways to expand its regional coverage and secure the local public television station’s future, board president Eric McHenry said.

    With more people choosing streaming television content and getting rid of cable subscriptions, the station is preparing for an influx of people looking for quality broadcast channels, McHenry said.

    “You’ve heard of the cable-cutting — people, more and more, aren’t buying Comcast. They’re streaming and they’re putting up high-definition antennas and getting phenomenal TV signals,” McHenry said. “This (deal) strengthened that, it set us up correctly for the future.”

    KRCB will gain a prime antenna on Mount Sutro in San Francisco and Channel 27, a strong UHF transmission band, for public television programming.

    KRCB’s Channel 5 draws about 825,000 weekly viewers who watch by way of cable subscriptions, satellite and over the airwaves using a less-powerful VHF band, a change made due to the FCC deal. Its transmission tower is on Sonoma Mountain.

    The transfer of KCSM’s license to KRCB likely won’t finalize until next spring, once the FCC approves the deal after allowing for a period of public comment.

    The San Mateo County Community College District had been trying to sell its license to KCSM-TV since about 2011 because of financial pressures, after having run the station for nearly half a century.

    The station drew about a half-million weekly viewers in 2011 and was carried on about 60 cable systems, according to a report in the Mercury News.

    A representative from KCSM couldn’t be reached Thursday.

    Dobbs said the television station has not produced local programming for several years and there are no plans to bring KCSM staff to Sonoma County. It aired non-commercial national and international programs.

    All operations will move to KRCB North Bay Public Media’s offices on Labath Avenue in Rohnert Park.

    As part of the acquisition agreement, KRCB will still run an internship program for San Mateo County Community College District students and air a half-hour of student-produced programming each month.

    The station will broadcast as KRCB on Channels 5 and 27 in Sonoma, Lake, Napa, Marin, Solano, Contra Costa, Alameda, San Francisco, Santa Clara and San Mateo counties.

    KRCB will begin asking viewers across the region for input as they build a plan to broaden and sharpen content for the broader Bay Area.

  5. #5

    Join Date
    Aug 2008
    Yakima, WA
    RIP KCSM, 1964-2017. While TV 60 had a far less budget than KQED or even KTEH in their locally-based days, they provided plenty of great public television programming and telecourses for students.
    With KRCB taking over, I guess they will become a full simulcast until they can start producing some Bay Area shows.
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  6. #6

    Join Date
    May 2007
    Your mom's house
    Please note:


    End of second paragraph: "The acquisition does not include KCSM’s jazz radio station 91.1 FM."


    Paragraph 4: "The college still owns and operates jazz station KCSM-FM."

    (Stated in the interest of no one mistakenly interpreting this as a "RadioDiscussion™." For now, at least, this concerns KCSM-TV only.)
    Last edited by NoMoreLurking; 09-10-2017 at 01:51 AM.

  7. #7
    It would be great irony if KRCB-TV also acquired KCSM-FM. The signal of KRCB-FM on 91.1 FM has been severely hampered by reception of KCSM on the same frequency in Sonoma County. Higher terrain in Sonoma Co. makes the San Mateo signal come in miles outside of its projected contour. It makes listening to KRCB-FM in much of its city of license (Santa Rosa), especially when driving up US101, nearly impossible. Turns out it is possible to hear two FM signals at the same time, in addition to lots of "picket fencing."

    For whatever reasons, Ms. Dobbs at KRCB has never successfully tried to improve the radio signal, beyond a low power translator on 90.9 FM, all while a pretty big handful of other stations have crowded up the FM dial at locations KRCB once could have applied for to improve their coverage to "listenable."

    I do know that the KCSM staff thought ill of KRCB, when it cut into their reception after it signed on as a local public radio/NPR outlet for Sonoma County (or at least for part of the county). KCSM-FM eventually put up a translator to keep the jazz programming listenable up to the Russian River. While today, KRCB-FM continues to limp along with a barely audible signal until you get north of Windsor. And no indication from their earlier press release about the monetary windfall that any of it will be used to engineer or purchase a decent signal for their FM service.

    Perhaps their radio signal will at least be carried on a subchannel of the San Mateo TV signal, which I understand has been the case for some Comcast subscribers who get KRCB-TV in Marin County. But opening up 91.1 FM in San Mateo, Alameda, San Francisco and Marin counties to KRCB programming sure would be interesting. I'd bet if they did this, they'd add more hours of jazz programming to their schedule, since the success of KDFC on the big 89.9 signal made them drop their classical format a few years ago. I wouldn't count out the radio angle on this story, tho', from my observations, I also wouldn't count on anything happening with any urgency.

  8. #8
    Worth noting: KCSM is in Pledge Drive mode -- their Fall drive ends Sunday and they are only halfway to their goal. That's unusual -- they almost always meet their goal or come very close. I have to wonder if what happened in February has finally caught up with them; perhaps their more casual listeners are just now figuring out that the deejays who did "live" shows every night at 10pm are gone, replaced by pre-recorded stuff from Chicago, for reasons that were not exactly well-explained? Certainly an interesting coincidence that they're having a bad drive for the first time in many moons.
    Last edited by RadioJunkieMike; 09-21-2017 at 11:28 AM.

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