KPSU contract up in the air

A contract securing KPSU’s citywide AM broadcast is up for negotiation after a bout of unsuccessful talks previously made it seem that the contract was dead.

The contract, between KPSU and Portland Public Schools allows Portland State’s student radio station to broadcast on the school district’s radio channel 1450 AM.

At the beginning of the fall term, talks with KPSU and the school district had broken down and KPSU had been told that their contract would not be renewed. Shortly thereafter, PSU stepped into the discussions to facilitate conversation.

The school district returned to the table, but remains firm that the amount of airtime KPSU receives will be less than previous years, according to PSU and Ava Hegedus, KPSU station manager.

The contract is scheduled to sunset this Friday and, without renewal, KPSU would be left with only a low-power campus broadcast and a streaming webcast.

Hegedus is perplexed as to why the contract is in question.

“At no point did we ever refuse their demands,” she said.

Dee Wendler, head of PSU business affairs, reiterated that KPSU is flexible on the terms of the contract and is hopeful that the relationship will continue.

“We would try to work with them around their scheduling needs,” Wendler said.

Wendler is optimistic about the negotiations.

“Obviously whenever you go into an intergovernmental agreement things are a little bit more complex.”

“We have a long history of successful agreements with Portland public and we have more scheduled for the future and we want that relationship to continue,” she said. “It’s in our best interests to be good partners.”

While indications are that talks are tenuous but progressing, the nature of the contract or current negotiations couldn’t be discussed in specifics.

“Official word is that we’re still in negotiations,” Wendler said.

But Hegedus isn’t confident that the contract will be reinstated, and is unsure of its future.

“They’ve had five different voices coming at us at all angles this whole time.”