|Rachael Anne Goodman|
Rachael Anne Goodman is a terrific storyteller. According to her personal website [link], the Peabody award winning documentarian has spent her career introducing listeners to women musicians, poets, California Farm Workers and more.
Now Goodman is telling a new yarn about a new community radio station that, according to her, is about to go on the air in Santa Cruz, California. The new station is designed to fill the void caused by the bankruptcy and sale of KUSP, a station Goodman was involved with for many years.
Since the demise of KUSP, Goodman has been organizing folks to bring KUSP 2.0 to the Central Coast. She says things are moving fast. Here is an overview of what Goodman says is happening:
When KUSP was sold to Educational Media Foundation (EMF) in 2016, Goodman and her associates formed Central Coast Community Radio, an organization founded to create a new station to carry on KUSP’s traditions. Central Coast soon learned that best option for a station was to purchase KSRI FM 90.7 also owned by EMF. KSRI currently carries EMF’s satellite-delivered, automated Air1 music format.
|KSRI COVERAGE AREA|
Central Coast and EMF discussed $300,000 for the frequency. EMF reportedly was interested, but said “show us the money.” Goodman formed a new 501c3 organization called Natural Bridges Media and began raising money.
Goodman claims Natural Bridges has received pledges for around $265,000. She says things have been worked out with EMF and Natural Bridges is only waiting for FCC to approve the deal.
Goodman claims to have “reserved” the call letters KSQD – K-Squid. On a new website is promoting K-Squid [link] she is soliciting volunteers to do shows and help operate the station.
K-Squid is now raising more money to build and operate the station for at least a year. Once another $80,000 is raised, K-Squid will be good to go.
THINGS MAY NOT BE AS THEY APPEAR
We fact-checked Goodman’s version of current events and found some major discrepancies:
• We could find no evidence that Natural Bridges actually has a deal with EMF to purchase KSRI. According to Goodman the purchase price was to have been $300,000. Now the price is $265,000. Goodman has produced no paperwork (that we are aware of) to verifying EMF’s intention to sell KSRI for either amount.
To learn if a deal imminent, we contacted Tom Birch of Media Services Group, the broker that handles most of EMF’s station transactions. We have not heard back from Birch. KSRI is not listed as being for sale on the Media Services website.
This leads to the question of whether their actually is a deal. If so, why can’t Goodman produce a letter of intent from EMF?
• Natural Bridges Media, the nonprofit organization Goodman claims will be the licensee of 90.1, does not appear to exist. We checked with the State of California Franchise Tax Board and the IRS and neither had any record of Natural Bridges applying for nonprofit status.
• Goodman claims that the call letters KSQD have been “reserved.” The FCC says it has nothing on file saying this is true.
• Goodman claims that her organization is waiting for FCC approval of the transaction. However, the FCC says no pending transaction has been filed with the Commission.
• Before granting a federal license, the FCC requires the new owners of a station to verify they have the money to build and operate it. No foundation support or line of credit is mentioned in the station’s online business plan [link].
The business plan does include the chart on the right. It is a dream sheet with no indication of how these estimates were obtained.
KEN SAYS: We wish we could be more positive about Goodman and her station plans. Goodman is very talented communicator. But, based on what we’ve seen, she is not prepared to operate a station.
PUBLIC RADIO NEWS/TALK FROM A COMMERCIAL RADIO PERSPECTIVE
Mike Kinosian is a commercial radio ratings guru who is also Managing Editor for Talkers Magazine [link], a valuable source of information about the business of commercial news/talk radio.
Recently Kinosian has been analyzing Nielsen Audio results for NPR News/Talk stations and comparing the results with commercial stations. Like Spark News, he is aware that in quite a few markets public stations are beating heritage commercial station in average-quarter-hour (AQH) share.
On the right is a chart in which Kinosian compares the AQH performance of commercial and noncommercial news/talk stations in the March 2018 PPM ratings.
You can see Kinosian’s full report at [link].