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Locals get fewer choices for public radio 

Man the tote bags! Some North County radio listeners are likely to lose their choice of public radio station signals if San Luis Obispo-based KCBX gets federal approval to purchase the license of the San Ardo-based tower of KUSP FM in Santa Cruz.

The stations—KCBX is at 90.1 FM, while KUSP is heard locally at 91.7 FM—have submitted an application to the FCC and expect to finalize the transfer in September.

KUSP General Manager Terry Green said the money from the sale—no amounts were disclosed—would benefit KUSP’s core programming and improve its online presence.

“From KUSP’s perspective this is very much about being able to deliver content online to people everywhere,” Green said.

In a written statement, KCBX General Manager and President Frank Lanzone said the sale would improve access to KCBX programming in the North County.

Still, it would mean some people would lose a public radio option.

“It’s been nice having a choice,” said Mitch Hesse of Morro Bay, who said he heard of the plans while listening to KUSP on a recent Saturday.

While the two stations offer similar national programming, the programs are offered at different times from each other. They also each offer original local programs and music.

Hesse’s such a fan of public radio he said sometimes, when he misses the jokes in “Wait Wait … Don’t Tell Me!” he listens to the program again on the other station. No more.

And as for the increased Internet options, he said he’s glad for it, “but when you’re in the car, you’ve only got what’s on the radio.”

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