Public radio station KUSP in Santa Cruz, Calif., is selling off what’s left of its assets, including its license, to settle its substantial debt after filing for bankruptcy Aug. 12.
At least one noncommercial entity is looking to bid for KUSP’s license, the Monterey County Weekly reports. The Community Radio Phoenix Project, a group of former KUSP staffers, members and volunteers, has raised $80,000 so far.
John Richardson, the bankruptcy trustee in charge of selling the station’s assets, told the paper that he expects the license will bring in “a couple hundred thousand up to a half a million” and that he has received three or four inquiries from possible buyers.
Mik Benedek, g.m. of public radio station KAZU in Pacific Grove, Calif., declined to tell the paper whether his station’s licensee is considering a bid. KUSP and California State University Monterey Bay previously explored a merger, but the deal fell through.
KUSP’s $843,000 in debt includes amounts owed to public media entities, such as $357,000 to NPR, $56,000 to American Public Media, $12,000 to CPB, and $10,000 to the Pacifica Foundation.
The station sought a sale to California’s Classical Public Radio Network last year but opted against the deal after receiving a large donation. It switched to a Triple A format in an effort to improve its financial situation. KUSP had also explored a partnership in 2014 with an undisclosed public broadcaster, which also failed to proceed.