Governing board rejects final bids for San Mateo’s KCSM

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Trustees of the San Mateo County Community College District in California have rejected offers from two finalists vying to acquire KCSM-TV, a pubcasting station that was put up for sale in December 2011 after accruing an $800,000 deficit.

The two bidders were San Mateo Community TV Corp., aligned with Independent Public Media and headed by former pubcasters John Schwartz and Ken Devine; and FM Media TV Inc., affiliated with Public Media Co., an independent arm of Public Radio Capital. Six entities initially bid for the station.

San Mateo Community TV Corp. offered $5.8 million, and FM Media TV Inc. bid $7 million, according to public records that the Bay Area advocacy group Media Alliance posted on its website.

During an Oct. 24 meeting, Jan Roecks, the college’s director of general services, told trustees that the college had been negotiating extensively with both entities since March, according to meeting minutes.

FM Media TV Inc. “has not been able to demonstrate funding as promised,” Roecks told trustees. Ken Ikeda, Public Media Co.’s co-managing director, told Current that FM Media has financing in place. The challenge, he said, was demonstrating that to the college’s satisfaction. “We made every effort and have every intention to continue work to acquire the station,” he said.

San Mateo Community TV Corp. “has not been able to demonstrate  . . .  that it could meet the FCC’s requirement of local representation, or at least that it could do so within a reasonable time,” Roecks told the board.

Roecks told Current that she will update trustees on the sale at their Nov. 14 meeting, and declined further comment.

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