KUSP

After a last-ditch mayday effort, Santa Cruz and South Bay independent radio station 88.9 KUSP has failed to raise the funds required to continue operations.

Hoping to raise a minimum of $300,000 by the start of May, station personnel that comprise the Pataphysical Broadcasting Foundation have since revealed that that amount only covered the estimated cost of developing the new music format. Despite promising numbers and a total of $114,000 across roughly 1,000 individual donations — for an average donation of $110 per person — showed that those who believed in the station were willing to prove it.

However, the reality remains that the station is in debt to the tune of $780,000. In order to combat the reality of such a figure, the board members of the PBF elected new Directors of the Board and officially voted in favor of authorizing the potential sale of the license at the meeting on Wednesday, May 4.

The money raised during the appropriately titled “Mayday! M’aidez!” campaign will be used for its intended purpose: continuing the sounds. According to the KUSP website, after May, only about $50,000 will remain available. To stretch that as far as possible, the PBF board voted to lay off all employees save for Operations Director Alex Burke. Possessing an intimate understanding of the day to day functions of the station, she is being internally promoted to station manager.

As of May 7, normal broadcasting has ceased. Now, listeners tuning into the 88.9 band will hear an automated mix of the station’s pre-curated library – essentially, the whole library is on random. Where commercials would appear, there will be station news and support towards local business and other underwriters that continue to support the station.

The final week of curated music is available for listening on the KUSP Music Player and there is a treasure trove of information in the station’s archive of talk and information shows as well. Until then, all there is to do is smile and listen.