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Thursday, July 1, 2010

Man Who (Helped) Shut Down KPSU Responds

Posted by Stefan Kamph on Thu, Jul 1, 2010 at 2:59 PM

In response to my article this week about the shutdown of PSU's radio station, KBPS Managing Director Bill Cooper had this to say:

Mr Kamph,

I need to make a couple of points in regard your most recent story on the KBPS/KPSU saga. First, I wasn't shouting, I was speaking forcefully. If I had been shouting you would have known it. Moving on...you make it seem as if it was my decision alone that ended the KBPS/KPSU relationship. This is not the case. The decision was reached after considerable discussion among a number of district officials and myself and after consultation with officials at PSU who indicated they would have no objection to ending the contract in light of the ongoing content issues. Also, I never "went ballistic" when Jud Randal indicated that he was going to tell the staff about the contract being allowed to expire. I just explained to him that the day he told the staff would be the day the contract ended. As I told you (and was slightly misquoted) the person being let go doesn't know they've had their last show until they've had their last show.

Bottom line, those on the student staff who pushed the envelope to the point of breaking it just don't get it...freedom of speech is a right...broadcasting is a privilege. What happened last Thursday may not have been illegal under FCC rules, but it violated the PPS directive to be conservative on the air and recognize that some college appropriate programming is NOT appropriate for a high school radio station. There has been a pattern of abuse in this regard for at least the five years that I have been manager of KBPS.

Hopefully the fire storm of controversy surrounding this issue will die down soon. I continue to wish KPSU well in whatever the future holds for them.


Bill Cooper
General Manager AM-1450 KBPS Radio
Benson Polytechnic High School

Before I called Cooper, various sources warned me that he would shout at me on the phone. I thought they were exaggerating, and I tried to give him the benefit of the doubt. He is, after all, a professional broadcaster. But the guy sounded angry. It was loud. As evidence, I'll give you a rare glimpse into my notebook:

Yellin

Aw, hell. Next time I'll just tape record the conversation.

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