The article below originally appeared in the San Mateo Daily Journal and is being reprinted with permission.
County community college officials are ready to seal a deal selling the district’s television station, finalizing a Santa Rosa public broadcaster’s acquisition of the channel.
The San Mateo County Community College District Board of Trustees are set Wednesday, July 25, to approve a proposal to sell KCSM-TV to the Rural California Broadcasting Corporation for $11.5 million.
Approval would mark the first step forward in a process tangled by litigation, when a previous district partner hired to guide the sale sued to halt the process due to allegations the KCRB deal is invalid.
LocusPoint Networks filed a claim last year in county Superior Court asserting the $12 million sale of the station is invalid, according to allegations the RCBC purchase disobeys terms of an earlier contract between the networks and district.
As the court case has moved along, RCBC and the district have shared legal costs, and terms of the agreement up for approval lay the groundwork for addressing potential future settlements. In recognition of the courtroom expense, the district credited the buyer roughly $500,000.
With the deal nearing finalization, Nancy Dobbs, CEO of Northern California Public Media, shared her appreciation.
“Through our purchase of the station, we have preserved an important public asset that will likely have otherwise been lost,” she said in a prepared statement.
Northern California Public Media, which owns RCBC, will change the station’s call letters to KPJK and it will continue hosting public television broadcasting, beginning Tuesday, July 31.
KCSM was launched in 1964 and broadcasts a variety of programs, some of which were used for educational purposes before online classes came into favor. The district’s popular jazz radio station is not part of the deal.