KUSP to go Triple A as board taps Ferraro for turnaround

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Leaders at KUSP-FM in Santa Cruz, Calif., hope a format change and a veteran Triple A general manager can help rebuild the financially troubled station.

According to the Santa Cruz Sentinel, KUSP’s board of directors agreed Monday to adopt a Triple A format and dump its current news/talk lineup. The board also announced that former Lee Ferraro, formerly g.m. at WYEP in Pittsburgh and interim finance director at Triple A station Radio Milwaukee, had been hired as interim g.m. The Sentinel reported that Ferraro said a music format made sense because of KUSP’s overlap with news station KAZU in nearby Seaside.

“Right now there’s an echo chamber,” Ferraro said. “We would have cannibalized each other, and they’re winning.”

KUSP recently dismissed General Manager Terry Green, who had been with the station for 12 years. Green had also loaned the station $35,000 in 2013, according to federal tax records.

KUSP’s most recent audited financial report from December 2014 said the organization “has suffered recurring significant reductions in grant revenues and has a net deficiency in net assets that raise substantial doubt about its ability to continue as a going concern.” The station had recorded severe cash shortages over the previous five years.

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