KCPW Gets Loan From Salt Lake City Redevelopment Agency
October 13, 2011 at 3:54 AM (PT)
A $250,000 six-month loan from the SALT LAKE CITY REDEVELOPMENT AGENCY has bailed out WASATCH PUBLIC MEDIA noncommercial KCPW/SALT LAKE CITY for now, allowing the station to pay off a loan due OCTOBER 31st but raising questions of the station's journalistic independence, reports the SALT LAKE TRIBUNE. The loan was granted by the city agency after a City Council vote that overruled its citizen loan committee's advice to reject the loan. The station, which leases its offices in the Downtown Library and space for its satellite dish on Library Square from the city, trades airtime for PSAs and event broadcasts as partial payment for the leases and may do so for part of the loan interest payments as well.
The station's President, ED SWEENEY, acknowledged that the station's financial relationship with the city might raise questions of credibility and independence but said, "We have a very stringent editorial fire wall," and added that the loan "is not going to change anything." News Dir. JEFF ROBINSON agreed, saying that the station "will go on covering the city as we have been. We'll make decisions exactly as we did before."
In SEPTEMBER (NET NEWS 9/2), SWEENEY said that a drop in pledges and a decision by lender NATIONAL COOPERATIVE BANK led to the need to pay off the loan, which will allow for refinancing. He said at the time that other than the need to refinance the loan, the station is in good financial shape.