Rice: Battle Lines Being Drawn

In response to an earlier post about Rice University, correspondent Julie noted: “Rice University started secretly looking for potential buyers about a year ago. They didn’t get an offer they couldn’t refuse.” Indeed. It seems that the solons at the Harvard of the South feel this is the way to bring up young Owls to better cope with today’s reality: Sneak behind their backs and spring it on them when they’re not looking.

Jim Radio sent along an exchange that shows the fat lady has yet to start warbling, though, with thanks to RadioActive Gavin Dahl, Community Broadcast Coordinator of Common Frequency, and Joey Yang, the student manager of KTRU-FM:

Hey Joey:
In the two months since we first spoke you have been busy! Common Frequency would still like to offer free technical assistance to work toward keeping KTRU in the hands of students. What’s the latest? Who is the attorney you’ve hired? Are you trying to fight the transfer or is there any room for another strategy, such as what we suggested back in August?Gavin

No worries, I’m not the technical guy at all, still learning about this stuff.

If you can convince Rice to keep the translator, and feed it with the HD2 channel of KPFT (or another station, if somebody else less “political” offers you the spectrum), there is still the issue of U of H’s desire to keep the translator. It is possible this could be addressed by encouraging U of H to apply for a “hop” for the 91.7 frequency.

My understanding is the hop would live near U of H, receiving the 91.7 signal and sending it out to cover more ground. Todd knows all about this, but it is a kind of workaround that is apparently still kinda uncommon and tricky, but totally legal.

Hey Gavin,
1) The sale has been finalized, unfortunately. We’re taking this to the FCC with a petition to deny the transfer of the license. The sale also includes the translator — no FM for us in the near future, unfortunately. We tried, though; Rice just dug themselves too deep of a negotiation hole (out of sheer ignorance) to win the translator back after they initially offered it to UH without knowing how well it could serve us.

2) We’ve hired the _____ firm out of DC, who will be taking us on pro bono. They’ll be helping us compile information and arguments and filing the petition to deny. [Austin Airwaves, and others, will also be filing Petitions to Deny. — Jim]

3) We’re still exploring other options, including leasing an HD-2 stream from another station [that would be KPFT — Jim].
Any other ideas?  Thanks!

Joey

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