Tag Archives: kcsm

KCSM-TV Spectrum Pot Of Gold Dissolves Into Dueling Lawsuits

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By Tracy Rosenberg. Published in the AFT Advocate – May 2017 http://aft1493.org/may-2017-advocate-kscm-tv/

For years, KCSM-TV, one of two noncommercial broadcasting outlets owned by the College of San Mateo, trained generations of students in communications. The program was probably the best broadcasting training available at a public two-year college and one of the best in the whole country.  The TV station, the 5th largest public TV outlet in the state of California, had fallen on hard times in recent years, losing its PBS affiliation and running annual operating deficits. The trustees of the San Mateo Community College District, during a prolonged process to sell the license, kindly referred to KCSM-TV as a “junker car”, reflecting the District’s lack of enthusiasm for revitalizing its public television station.

Every junker has a suitor

But every junker has a suitor, and a hedge firm came calling for KCSM-TV’s carcass. Here is how we got to dueling lawsuits. Continue reading KCSM-TV Spectrum Pot Of Gold Dissolves Into Dueling Lawsuits

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KCSM TV Spectrum Sale Dissolves Into Lawsuits

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California’s fifth largest public television station, KCSM-TV, has been the property of the College of San Mateo and its governing board, the San Mateo Community College District, for more than half century.

Recently the station, which once trained much of the Bay Area’s broadcasting corps with probably the best educational program ever offered at a public community college, has been very much unwanted property.

The station was put up for sale, twice, and some very reasonable offers from new operators were turned down in favor of a deal with a hedge fund, the Blackstone Group, to have subsidiary Locus Point Networks, eradicate the station entirely by selling its spectrum to wireless companies in the FCC’s spectrum auction.

The get rich quick scheme foundered. The District’s authorized bidder, who appears to have been VP Jan Roecks, failed to make a bid at some point in the complex procedure and KCSM-TV was dropped from the auction.

This article by Media Alliance ED Tracy Rosenberg describes the troubled history in the AFT May 2017 Bulletin.  Continue reading KCSM TV Spectrum Sale Dissolves Into Lawsuits

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KCSM-TV Update

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Posted by Tracy Rosenberg on July 29th, 2014

Media Alliance has been involved with the sale/liquidation of the 5th largest public television station in California, KCSM-TV, headquartered at the College of San Mateo for 50 years, for several years. Since 2011, we’ve been following the station’s fate through two sale processes into the final May 2014 decision, when the trustees of the San Mateo Community College District signed on the dotted line with a fully-owned subsidiary of hedge firm the Blackstone Group to sell off the station’s spectrum to wireless companies in a spectrum auction.

On the evening the final decision was made in May of 2013, the trustees rushed to a vote and called private security over concerns about disruptions to the meeting by a few community advocates who came to the meeting to try to change the board’s mind – including MA executive director Tracy Rosenberg, former KRON host Henry Tenenbaum, KAXT owner Ravi Kaipur and patent attorney and media activist Pat Reilly. Continue reading KCSM-TV Update

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Scandalous Privatizaton of Noncommercial TV Spectrum

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by Ellen Goodman – Rutgers Institute for Information Policy and Law – May 28 2013

About 20% of the hugely valuable TV spectrum — slated for auction in 2014 — is reserved for noncommercial stations.   Only noncommercial stations (mostly owned by universities and community non-profits) can operate on this spectrum and when they sell, they must sell to other eligible noncommercial operators. Two years ago, Congress made the fateful decision to allow noncommercial stations to cash out of their spectrum when it goes up for auction to wireless providers.  That means that a university licensee can sell its spectrum and put the proceeds into a gym or a dorm.  Or, the licensee can enter into a deal with a commercial entity to split the proceeds in return for subsidizing its operations until that fateful auction day.   It’s like this:  a nonprofit is granted (at no cost) public land to operate as a park, and then allowed to sell the land on the commercial market, splitting the proceeds with a private equity firm.  The park is gone, and the public gets nothing other than more commercial real estate.

Continue reading Scandalous Privatizaton of Noncommercial TV Spectrum

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KCSM-TV Sale Postponed

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October 25, 2012

For Immediate Release

Contact: Tracy Rosenberg, Executive Director, Media Alliance (tel) 510-684-6853

KCSM-TV Sale Postponed

San Mateo Community College District Votes to Reject All Bids for the 5th Largest Public Television Broadcasting License in California

San Mateo, CA-On October 24th, the San Mateo Community College District Board of Trustees voted unanimously to reject the final two bidders (of an original six) for the broadcast license for KCSM Television, bringing to an end an 18-month process by the District to try to sell the television broadcast license housed at the College of San Mateo since 1964. KCSM Television reaches 10 Bay Area counties and is broadcast on 60 municipal cable systems in Northern California. Continue reading KCSM-TV Sale Postponed

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Questioning The KCSM Sale

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Originally published in the AFT Advocate – Feb 17 2012

As part of an epidemic of higher education institutions ridding themselves of educational television and radio licenses, the San Mateo Community College District has announced the upcoming sale of KSCM-TV, although not (yet) KSCM-FM, the district’s jazz radio station. Bids were due on February 14th to the District’s Board of Trustees. Continue reading Questioning The KCSM Sale

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Public TV For Sale

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Originally published in the SF Bay Guardian – Feb 4 2012

The San Mateo Community College District Board of Trustees has announced the upcoming sale of its independent public television station, KCSM-TV. Some potential new owners are cause for alarm.

A January 10th walk-though for potential bidders was attended by the Christian broadcasting giant Daystar Television. The fastest-growing faith-based network in the country, Daystar’s mission is to reach souls with the good news of Jesus Christ as one of a “new breed of televangelists.” Continue reading Public TV For Sale

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