A religious broadcaster emerged as the top bidder Tuesday in an auction for the broadcast license and other assets of bankrupt KUSP in Santa Cruz, Calif.
Educational Media Foundation won with a $605,000 offer, outbidding two competing parties: a local organization with ties to KUSP, and public radio station KCRW in Santa Monica, Calif. The religious broadcaster reached an initial agreement to sell at $400,000, before continued bidding drove up the price.
KCRW ended up as a backup bidder, putting it in line to buy the assets at $600,000 if EMF can’t complete the sale.
Community nonprofit Media Watch/Central Coast Community Radio raised nearly $95,000 on youcaring.com and failed in its bid. “Now the group is hoping to obtain a different radio frequency that would serve Santa Cruz, Watsonville, parts of Monterey and Pacific Grove, and possibly the Big Sur coast,” according to a press release.
KUSP filed for bankruptcy in August under nearly $850,000 in debt.
According to court documents, KUSP’s assets included broadcasting equipment, furniture, a music collection and “1 Lot Misc. Wine.”