GETTING A GOOD LOOK AT KTRU WITHOUT TIPPING OFF STUDENTS Or: Beware of those “inspectors” the owner brings through. Emails obtained by Texas Watchdog detail a sneaky technique agents acting on behalf of Rice University may have used to put together the sale of student-run radio station KTRU to the University of Houston — without having complete access to the facilities. In an email sent in May of this year to another broker representing the university in the still top-secret transaction, the director of acquisitions of Public Radio Capital suggested a way to put together a complete list of the station’s assets without “tipping off” the students in charge of the station that a sale was being negotiated: “We request that Rice provide a cover story for an independent 3rd party engineering consultant, to be chosen by UH, to perform an inspection of the transmitter building, transmitter equipment, transmission line, tower and antennae. Rice should actually hire the consultant we specify, so there will be no question as to the source of the inspection, which of course will have to be coordinated with the station engineer somehow. Rice can use any reason it chooses, some of which can include change of insurance, inventory needs, or any other plausible explanation.” Other emails indicate Rice officials had wanted to put KTRU up for sale 2 years ago; UH became interested in the station — now slated to broadcast in a classical-music format — early last year. [Texas Watchdog; previously on Swamplot] Late Update: Rice didn’t have to lie.