La Campesina’s KUFW 90.5 FM is a Spanish-language music giant in the Fresno and Visalia-Tulare-Hanford markets in central California. Like KNAI, Phoenix, which we wrote about on July 15th [link] KUFW is part of the La Campesina network. La Campesina is owned by the Cesar Chavez Foundation.
KUFW is similar to KNAI in many ways. Both feature Latin Pop with an emphasis on Mexican artists. Both are known as relentless promoters. Both reach large noncommercial audiences. Now KUFW has agreed to pay the FCC a $12,500 fine for (in the FCC’s words) willfully and repeatedly broadcast prohibited advertisements.
The original FCC complaint happened because of events that occurred several years ago. The Chavez Foundation fought the FCC for several years and the FCC refused to grant KUFW a license renewal. Now Chavez Foundation is gladly paying the fine so it can trade the license and move to commercial frequency where it says it will operate as a for-profit business.
In an unusual twist, KUFW has decided to become a commercial station via a signal swap with the Educational Media Foundation (EMF) the nation’s largest noncom religious broadcaster. Once the deal is finalized, 90.5 FM will be owned by EMF and La Campesina will move to 106.3.
KUFW is a factor in two Nielsen Audio Diary markets: Fresno (market # 67) and Visalia-Tulare-Hanford (market # 104). In Spring 2015 KUFW had almost 100,000 estimated weekly listeners. Fresno’s Spring 2016 ratings are on the right. KUFW did not subscribe to 2016 data.
[Also in Fresno, note the nice increase of weekly listeners by KVPR-FM.]
OVER THE LINE
There was never much doubt that KUFW’s announcements violated the FCC standards. On the right is one of four spots cited by the FCC. In the FCC’s words:
According to the FCC, on August 30, 2006, the Enforcement Bureau's San Francisco Field Office conducted an inspection of KUFW and recorded a segment of its programming that appeared to include commercial announcements. KUFW acknowledges that it executed contracts with these for-profit entities to air the announcements for monetary remuneration.
The Licensee is apparently liable for a forfeiture in the amount of $12,500 for its apparent willful and repeated violation of the Commission's underwriting rules.
Now, ironically, it appears La Campesina can take a victory lap. When KUFW goes commercial and moves to 106.3 it will have superior coverage of metro Fresno )maps below). Folks may wonder if KNAI in Phornix this will make the same changes.
COVERAGE MAP OF 90.5 KUFW NOW
COVERAGE MAP OF KUFM WHEN IT MOVES TO 106.3