Loan from city saves Salt Lake’s KCPW

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Salt Lake City’s KCPW-FM has secured a loan that will allow it to stay in business. The Salt Lake City Council unanimously approved last night a $250,000 loan to the community-licensed station, which will go toward repaying another lender.

KCPW was staring down an Oct. 31 deadline for repaying a $250,000 loan from National Cooperative Bank. Failure to do so would likely have shut down the station, which is still working to pay off several loans that financed the 2008 purchase of its license from previous owner Community Wireless of Park City. (Earlier coverage in Current.) KCPW tried to raise the money during a recent 12-day on-air drive but fell significantly short of the goal.

KCPW now must repay the city within six months. It will stage another on-air fundraiser before the end of the year to reach that goal, says General Manager Ed Sweeney, and will also seek to raise funds through email blasts and direct mail.

Even if it succeeds, other financial challenges will loom ahead. KCPW must also pay back a second loan from NCB for $1.8 million that comes due Sept. 30, 2012.

“We’re not out of the woods by any stretch,” Sweeney says. “But it was nice that the city stepped up and is still supportive of what we’re doing.” Some council members at last night’s meeting praised the station’s service to the community, according to the Salt Lake Tribune.

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