Chapter 36 July Meeting – Entercom Studio Tour

Last year, newly consolidated CBS and Entercom broadcast teams moved to a new facility on Granite Ridge Drive, across from the iHeart and NBCUniversal studios, forming a new media row. I got to peek at the new studios recently and can report they’re gorgeous. The new digs incorporate a modern Audio Over IP (AoIP) architecture by SAS, so fewer wires were used in building the system out. JR Rogers has invited us to take a tour. 

Join us Friday, July 19th, at 12:00 noon at Entercom, 9665 Granite Ridge Drive, Suite 600. We’ll have a light lunch and a tour of the facility. Members and guests are always welcome. Reserve your spot by sending a message to rsvp@sbe36.org.

Oh, and by the way, we have some cool DOOR PRIZES for you.

KVIB-LP FM Granted License to Cover

On June 27, 2019, the FCC granted low power FM broadcaster KVIB-LP a license to operate on 101.1 MHz from its facility at the World Beat Cultural Center in Balboa Park, San Diego. However, as of the first week in July, no signal was heard when in the vicinity, and no new transmit antenna is in place there. KRTH-FM has a dominant 50 kW signal on 101.1 from Mt. Wilson, easily receivable throughout most of the San Diego area. World Beat can’t build a tower above tree level due to its location in the flight path for the San Diego Lindbergh Field airport.

Family Radio Wins FM Auction

KECR 910 kHz El Cajon won the latest FCC auction to get an AM “cross-service” 10 watt translator on 100.1 MHz at Mt. San Miguel. According to the July 3, 2019 FCC announcement, Family Radio prepaid $35,000 for their bid.

The new translator assignment is part of the FCC’s AM Revitalization program in which AM stations, where possible, have been granted FM translator channels to retransmit their primary signals.

Many AM stations in San Diego now have an FM translator in place in San Diego County.

2019 EAS Test Reporting System (ETRS) Update

June 5, 2019

Larry Wilkins, CPBE, CBNT, AMD
Chair, SBE EAS Advisory Group

The Federal Communications Commission has announced that all EAS participants must renew their identifying information in the EAS Test Reporting System (ETRS) Form One on or before July 3, 2019. This is in conjunction with the nationwide test of the EAS scheduled for Aug. 7, 2019, at 2:20 p.m. Eastern Daylight Time (EDT).

EAS participants must renew their identifying information required by ETRS Form One on a yearly basis. The ETRS site is online and available now at the FCC site:
https://www.fcc.gov/general/eas-test-reporting-system.
It can also be reach by going to fcc.gov and clicking on ETRS under the licensing and database tab.

All the information for logging in and completing the form is on the ETRS home page. Make sure you have the company Federal Registration Number (FRN), station Facility ID, along with correct login information from last year available before you visit the site.

Additional information is available in the Public Notice:
https://docs.fcc.gov/public/attachments/DA-19-505A1.docx

Review all the information and make any corrections or changes before submitting the form. You will receive a confirmation email after it has been successfully submitted.

On or before 11:59 p.m. EDT, Aug. 7, 2019, EAS participants must file “day of test” information sought by ETRS Form Two. On or before Sept. 23, 2019, EAS participants must file the detailed post-test data sought by ETRS Form Three. ETRS Forms Two and Three will become available in the ETRS at the time of initiation of the 2019 nationwide test.

KWFN “The Fan” Building FM Booster Network

Entercom, owners of KWFN 97.3 FM San Diego, commissioned GEO Broadcast Solutions to install a network of FM boosters for the station. The FCC in late May issued a license to cover the construction of a co-channel FM booster station for La Jolla (Bird Rock). They were also granted Construction Permits for boosters in Escondido, Romona, San Marcos, and Encinitas.

Entercom management hopes the five new boosters will help extend coverage and reduce multipath in the regions chosen for enhancement. Remember that KWFN swapped frequencies with KSON in November 2017 in order to give KSON’s country music fans greater coverage from Mt. Soledad. This left KWFN disadvantaged serving north San Diego County listeners.

KWFN-FM1 is atop a building on La Jolla Boulevard in the Bird Rock neighborhood. The FCC granted the license for this site May 15, 2019. JR Rogers, San Diego market Technical Operations Director, said, “The project in La Jolla is a piece of the ‘Grand Experiment.’ La Jolla was our test case and seems to be doing what we need it to do. We will be adding a few more to see if the system benefits or hampers us.”

In late May, the FCC granted four additional KWFN (FM) Construction Permits. KWFN-2 would be located on a cell tower near downtown Romona; KWFN-3 at the 92.1 facility near San Marcos that used to house KSOQ 92.1, the original and highly effective KSON booster; KWFN-FM4 Escondido at Black Mountain and aimed north-northwest to serve the I-15 corridor, an infamous FM reception strip; and KWFN-FM5 Encinitas at the I-5 Leucadia Boulevard exit to serve the I-5 corridor northwest toward Carlsbad and Oceanside.

GEO Broadcast Solutions installs GatesAir low power boosters that both synchronize their low power signals with the main transmitter signal and rebroadcast the HD signal. Synchronization can now be maintained to within ±2 µS. The boosters are fed by IP.

GEO asked the FCC late last year to allow booster station to originate some programming so that they could geo-target advertising (“ZoneCasting”) and emergency alerts as cable companies have long done. The FCC has not acted on that rule change.

KXST (later KPRI) 102.1 Oceanside experimented with boosters in the 1990’s to help extend their signal to geographically challenged locations to the south, like Mission Valley and Pacific Beach. However, they had no means to synchronize the signals, so the boosters tended to create significant interference zones with mobile reception sounding like multipath. The project was scrapped after a short time and the station changed its city of license to Encinitas in order to move the transmitter to Mt. Soledad.

Society of Broadcast Engineers, San Diego