KHSU Frequently Asked Questions about the Status of KHSU andthe KHSU Community Visioning process
Humboldt State University has provided a list of Frequently asked questions and answers about the status of KHSU and the "Community Visioning" process that was annoucned by HSU President Lisa Rossbacher in July 2018.
Is HSU planning to sell the station?
No, the University is not planning to sell the station. The University values KHSU as a vital public radio service for the community and the region. The station supports the mission of the University to educate, to promote understanding of social, economic, and environmental issues, and to develop responsible members of a diverse society.
Is the format going to change?
There are no plans to change the programming format of KHSU. Even though specific programs may be moved or changed from time to time, the University will continue to maintain and strengthen KHSU’s programming to serve the local community.
What process is followed for personnel changes at KHSU?
Personnel changes are always difficult. These decisions are made after consultation among the Office of Human Resources, the Sponsored Programs Foundation, and the Vice President of the University Advancement. For reasons of legally required confidentiality, and out of respect for any employee involved, we never discuss the details of such decisions.
Is the University going to move the station?
During a required seismic upgrade project, the KHSU studios are moving to a different location on campus, the Feuerwerker House located on L.K. Wood Drive at Library Circle. This move is necessary because the construction project is making the Theater Arts building uninhabitable for a year or more. Improvements are being made to Feuerwerker House to build studio and control spaces so that KHSU’s operation will continue without interruption. KHSU is only one of a number of University programs being displaced by the construction. It has not yet been decided whether KHSU will move back to Theater Arts following the construction there.
Who owns and controls KHSU?
Humboldt State University is licensed by the Federal Communications Commission to operate KHSU as a public radio service. The University provides the studios and facilities and the transmitters and other equipment required to operate the station and create its programming. The General Manager and Broadcast Engineer are employees of the University. Other station staff are employed by the HSU Sponsored Programs Foundation. KHSU is a part of the University Advancement division of Humboldt State University. The day-to-day management of the station is the responsibility of the General Manager who reports to the Vice President of University Advancement. The KHSU Community Advisory Board is a group of volunteers representing communities throughout KHSU’s broadcast area which provides the General Manager with feedback on programming, policies, and community outreach, and helps to set station priorities.
Is KHSU controlled by NPR (or CPB)?
No, NPR provides neither oversight nor funding to stations, nor does NPR dictate any programming to stations. National Public Radio and the Corporation for Public Broadcasting are two separate organizations. NPR produces programming which is made available to public radio stations nationwide. The CPB provides funding and oversight for public radio stations. CPB requires annual independent audits and closely monitors station operations.
Who pays for KHSU?
Overall, the University pays for about 44% of the cost of the station, listener supporters 24%, underwriting 19%, and 13% from the Corporation for Public Broadcasting. In addition, KHSU has been building the level of support from foundation and government grants for specific programs and initiatives.
How does HSU support the station?
The University provides the studios, facilities, transmitters, and other equipment required to operate the station and create its programming. These are real and tangible costs involved in operating the station and, if HSU did not provide these, KHSU would need to acquire them at its own expense. The value of these services is calculated following a consistent formula and are reviewed by KHSU’s independent auditor and the CPB each year. In addition, the General Manager and Broadcast Engineer are employees of the University.
Doesn’t most or all of the CPB money just go to NPR programming?
No, the CPB does not require KHSU to make payments to NPR or to purchase any NPR programming. KHSU’s grant from the CPB requires that a percentage of the funding be spent on syndicated programming in order to ensure that station provides a range of diverse viewpoints. CPB funded stations like KHSU can meet this requirement by either producing local programming for distribution to other public stations or by purchasing syndicated programming. But there is no requirement that programming be purchased from NPR. KHSU can purchase programming from any source that produces a syndicated public radio program. CPB funds that are not used to purchase programming can be used for general operating expenses.
Are donors and underwriters pulling their support from the station?
In protest of recent developments at the station, some donors and a few underwriters have withdrawn their support. While any loss of support is a serious concern, we are grateful that these protests account for only a small percentage of overall support. We hope that these former supporters continue to listen and support KHSU in other ways.
Is the General Manager approved by NPR?
No, neither NPR nor CPB have any say in who a licensee chooses for management. The selection of the General Manager is an entirely local decision. There is no such thing as an “NPR manager” and there is no master list of people who are either approved by NPR or deployed to NPR member stations.
What is the CSU Advisory Review and what problems are they looking for?
The CSU provides an advisory review service available at the request of a campus president. The advisory review can cover any topic or question. The advisory review will result in a report and recommendations to the President. The reviewers are not necessarily looking for problems, but they are reviewing the station and its operations to identify opportunities for improvement. The President’s request to the CSU Advisory Services covers a broad range of areas including safety and security, volunteer engagement and training, accounts payable processes, communications among staff and between HSU and KHSU, oversight of the FCC broadcast licenses, and a possible engineering compliance audit by the California Broadcasters Association. The reviewers began their work in mid August and expect to complete their report this fall.
I’ve heard that there were minor violations of FCC regulations. Why did you report them to the FCC?
There is no such thing as a “minor” violation of Federal regulations. All radio stations must follow the regulations issued by the FCC. Violations can result in thousands of dollars in fines for each separate violation. Self-reporting KHSU’s violations helped avoid fines and other sanctions that could have occurred had we simply waited for the FCC to investigate a complaint about the violations.
What is the KHSU Visioning Process? When is the community involved?
HSU has asked KHSU stakeholders to undertake a “visioning” process to chart the future of the station and its services. Here is the proposed timeline:
President’s Cabinet visioning took place in June and July. The President and Cabinet examined where KHSU fits into the community and HSU at this point in its history. Their assessment included the historical role of KHSU, the current role, and the future possible role of public media in our community. Their draft was delivered to the Community Advisory Board (CAB) in late July.
The CAB's visioning should be completed by the end of August.
KHSU staff's review of the joint President Cabinet/CAB visioning should be completed by the end of September.
Community review and comment on final visioning will be conducted by the California Center for Rural Policy during October and November.
HSU's President and Cabinet will finalize the Visioning Statement and release it before the end of the year.