Concerts

KTRU Meeting Confronts Long Odds Of Blocking Frequency's Sale

"Your frequency is gone."

It was a statement that certainly didn't make Rice alum and former KTRU Station Manager Tag Borland any friends on Thursday evening. But his pragmatic outlook is probably the most important point of view brought up at Thursday evening's Battle Plan meeting of the Save KTRU movement in the Rice Media Center.

The night started similar enough to Tuesday's meeting, with a cluster of around 70 KTRU-loving folk anticipating the forthcoming words when current DJ Vincent Capurso stood up with a microphone.

"We're all here to try and answer one question - how do we kill Superman?" said Capurso before settling into the serious matter at hand: Blocking of the sale of KTRU's transmitter and broadcast frequency by Rice University to the University of Houston System.

His attempt to break the ice via humor, however, seemed foreboding, with everyone in the room acknowledging that the chances of winning this fight are slim at best. The administrations of both Rice and the University of Houston have agreed to the deal, which is currently pending paperwork and, following the mandatory 30-day period for public comment, FCC approval.

"This is a war, and we are actively engaged," Capurso stated during his opening remarks, a sentiment echoed by meeting organizer Nick Cooper of Free Radicals, who acknowledged "we have an uphill battle." The KTRU group's lean chance of success has not affected the desire to fight for the broadcast signal, though. Seated at a panel table, he announced that after a brief period of questions, the meeting would break into task groups, much like on Tuesday.

During this period, Borland spoke, citing his connection to KTRU as well as the fact his company, Logitek, has been involved in this deal. A declaration that some of the studio equipment belongs to the company, not Rice, brought applause and a wash of hope through the crowd. He stated that his company also supplies KUHF, as well as some other radio stations in the Houston market, and that he has "personally invested" thousands in the Rice radio station.

It was then that Borland uttered the sentence at the top of this article and remarked his regret that over the years, the students running KTRU had "pissed away" the institution by abandoning the student body and not working with the administration. While this didn't please the crowd - Cooper actually cut him off at one point - Borland urged the group to focus on what could be accomplished, remarking that KPFT has offered up the bulk of its HD2 frequency to DJs from KTRU.

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Marc Brubaker
Contact: Marc Brubaker