Salt Lake news station back in jeopardy

KCPW in Salt Lake City is less than two weeks from a loan default that could put it off the air. The new nonprofit licensee celebrated its purchase of KCPW frequency to maintain the news/talk station in 2008, but it’s now struggling to make payments on loans that financed the $2.4 million purchase. Wasatch Public Media has until Oct. 31 [2011] to pay off a $250,000 loan from National Cooperative Bank, and if it fails, the bank will call in a separate $1.8 million loan. A rescue package put together last week by Salt Lake’s Redevelopment Agency fell through over the weekend.

Rural translators threatened with loss of their frequencies

Translators — the lonely relay-runners of broadcasting — are a rural institution under siege. While pubcasters use hundreds of them to reach remote pockets of their audience, they are being bumped off, one by one, by competitors for the frequencies that they use. In both radio and TV — particularly radio — they’re sitting ducks, vulnerable to being shoved aside by any applicants for full-service stations on the same frequencies. And religious broadcasters are filing apps by the hundreds. In TV, many translators will soon be knocked off the air as sheriffs, fire companies and DTV stations start using the UHF channels the FCC has given to them.