|City of license||San Francisco, California|
|Broadcast area||San Francisco Bay Area|
|Frequency||880 (kHz) (1963-1977);
90.3 (MHz) (1977-2011);
Online-only (2011- )
|First air date||1963|
|Callsign meaning||USF, University of San Francisco|
|Owner||University of San Francisco|
On January 18, 2011, the station's longtime student-run, freeform/eclectic music format was abruptly dropped from the 90.3 FM frequency following the announcement of the station's sale. That same day, the University of Southern California announced a deal with Entercom Communications to acquire the call sign, programming and intellectual property of longtime classical music outlet KDFC-FM, and began airing the station's programming on the 90.3 FM frequency (as well as on also-acquired KNDL) later that same day.
USF will keep the KUSF call letters (for branding purposes) and intellectual property and continue it as an online-only station.
From 1963 until 2011, KUSF was a student-run broadcast station owned by the University of San Francisco. Following the frequency's sale, KUSF announced plans to become an online-only station.
The station is located in the basement of Phelan Hall on the University of San Francisco campus, and is funded by the University of San Francisco, local and merchant underwriting, individual donations, and foundation grants.
KUSF began in 1963 as a campus-only AM station managed by the Associated Students of the University of San Francisco (ASUSF). In 1973, USF was offered an FM radio station by a small local Bible college that wished to discontinue its radio operations. USF accepted the offer and on April 25, 1977, KUSF became an FM station broadcasting on the 90.3 frequency. The old AM station later became the student-managed KDNZ.
Originally broadcasting six hours a day, KUSF began broadcasting 24 hours a day in 1981. In its early days KUSF was a conventional college station, broadcasting programs of interest to the university and greater San Francisco community. However, KUSF soon garnered attention by playing new underground music: it was one of the first radio stations to play punk rock. Many now-famous acts also first gained exposure on KUSF, most notably The B-52's and Metallica.
The station's musical programming varies from rock to hip-hop to world music. New music programming is broadcast Monday through Friday from midnight to 6 PM. Cultural programming takes over weekdays from 6 PM to midnight, and all day Saturday and Sunday.
Awards and recognition
KUSF was nominated for "College/Non-Commercial Radio Station Of The Year" in the 2008 PLUG Independent Music Awards. In July 2000, KUSF was named one of twenty recommended radio stations in the United States by US Airways' "ATTACHE" magazine. KUSF possesses Gold Records from groups including R.E.M., the Bangles, Red Hot Chili Peppers, Cowboy Junkies, Midnight Oil, the B-52's, and Love and Rockets. KUSF has received numerous for the long-running community service series that is broadcast weekly. A Certificate of Merit was awarded to KUSF by the American Heart Association for outstanding service in stimulating public support in the fight against heart disease. On June 7, 1998, San Francisco Mayor Willie Brown held "Fighting Back Day in San Francisco" in honor of KUSF's community service series for senior and disabled citizens. The mayor also held "KUSF 90.3 FM Stereo Day In San Francisco" on April 25, 1998, KUSF's birthday. KUSF was the recipient of the National Association of College Broadcasters' National College Radio Award for "Best Community Service Programming" in 1993-94. KUSF was named Best Radio Station by SF Weekly in 2001, 2003,2004, 2006, and 2007.
KUSF sponsors Rock-n-Swap, a large record collectors' fair held five times a year on the USF campus. Rock-n-Swap features music-related items of all kinds, including but not limited to vinyl albums, CDs, DVDs, books, and posters. All proceeds benefit KUSF. Rock-n-Swap will be held at McLaren Hall on the University of San Francisco campus on the following 2009 dates: January 11, March 8, May 10, August 9, 2009.
KUSF holds numerous concerts in the Bay Area.
KUSF is currently managed by alumnus Steve Runyon, who was also the student manager of the original AM station. The station staff include volunteers from both the university and the surrounding community.
Sale to USC and switch to KDFC, KUSF goes online-only
On January 18, 2011, The University of San Francisco announced plans to sell the 90.3 FM frequency to the Classical Public Radio Network, which is owned by the University of Southern California. The KUSF call sign and intellectual property will remain with USF, which plans to launch an upgraded online-only station. In addition, USC announced that it had reached an agreement with Entercom Communications to take over the intellectual property of local classical outlet KDFC (102.1 FM), and moved the station's programming and eventually the call letters to the 90.3 FM frequency. Entercom, in turn, flipped the 102.1 FM frequency to a simulcast of San Jose station KUFX 98.5 FM on January 24.
Upon announcement of the sale, KUSF locked its doors, shut down its website temporarily and went off the air.
- KUSF's website
- public service awards
- Hartlaub, Peter (June 27, 2011). "KDFC moves up the dial as a nonprofit, KUSF dies". The San Francisco Chronicle.
- "San Francisco's longtime classical KDFC (102.1) is moving to non-com signals". Radio-Info.com. January 18, 2011.