Cougars on Rice

Students at the University of Houston have also expressed their dismay at the surreptitious sale of the Rice University 50,000-watt radio station, KTRU, to UH, a school that already owned and operated an NPR station. According to this post on the Houston student website, Daily Cougar.com, a number of students spoke up at a recent Board of Regents meeting:

Multiple students consecutively spoke to the straight-faced board members at the Wednesday meeting, and each student expressed a loss of confidence they had in the institution. Many UH students referred to the deal as a “black eye” on the university.

Nick Cooper, Rice alumnus and member of the local award-winning jazz band Free Radicals, told UH Regents they should “be ashamed at the way the situation was handled.”

Cooper said the loss of KTRU would be a monumental blow to local musicians like himself who gain exposure through the student run station.

Jonathan Stewart, an executive member of Rice’s student government association, went as far as to warn the Regents against entering into a contract with an institution such as Rice.

He said that the institution has practiced the utmost secrecy with its students and entering into any kind of contract with them would be “bad business and a risky investment.”

The Regents told the students that they could not respond or comment on this matter at this time.

Reactions have been similar throughout the UH community.

“As a communications student at UH, I am disheartened by our administration’s underhanded dealings,” Vincent Capurso, a volunteer D.J. at KTRU, said. “Is this what we are teaching business majors, deception?”

KTRU music director Kevin Bush said “they never suspected anything like this was going on behind their backs, but that the incident has confirmed suspicions about how the administration does business”

“They [the UH and Rice administrations] took steps to make sure it was something that wouldn’t draw our attention,” Bush said. “Although the Texas Watchdog article(s) may not demonstrate any legal malfeasance, they do show that the process was very underhanded.”

Among the comments was this from a UH grad, Robert:

am ashamed to have graduated from the University of Houston. If the sale goes through, I will never ever donate another penny to University of Houston; and given any opportunity, I will warn anyone considering attending UH that they should somewhere else because of the KTRU matter. Losing KTRU would be a major blow to the city of Houston.

Again, with major budget cuts in the horizon, why is UH trying to buy KTRU? UH through KUHF, already have FOUR stations….

None of this makes any fiscal sense. NONE OF IT.

And this from Yoyo:

Wow! What a lot of fish! Shem! Most of the important people involved don’t seem to care about anything except getting money, resume points, and a 24-hour news station, variously. Do you see KUHF, Rice, or UH telling the world, whether in the Houston Chronicle, on 88.7, or elsewhere, that they are buying KTRU, and moving all the classical-radio programming to a station with half the reach? That reeks of people who could care less about the music listeners and just want the money. (Ver’s de money, Lebowski??) I bet a lot more people would scream bloody murder if they found out that once they’re 8 miles from Rice they can barely get static-filled reception of the only classical radio station in town.

Did you know that KUHF wanted to raise 1.1 million this past fundraiser, but only managed to reach less than 1 million? So KUHC is starting out with a budget shortfall, already.

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One Response

  1. This is starting to have the appearance that the brokers involved improperly advised the principals by inducing them to violate the spirit if not the letter of the law with regard to openness, for their own self interests in earning a commission fee.

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