KFMB-TV Applies for Big Power Increase

Channel 8 applied in late November to increase their power output from 19.8 kW to 87.4 kW ERP. KFMB Stations RF Supervisor Rick Bosscher says they can implement that power level with existing equipment. The station still uses an RCA omni-directional transmission antenna built in 1972 that handled 50 kW transmitter power. Their Harris iCD 30 transmitter, capable of 10.5 kW, has been loafing along at 2.4 kW. There’s an older Harris that can also handle the new power level, and that will continue as a backup unit.

VHF TV stations have had a hard time competing with UHF stations since the digital transition in 2009 because home viewers are trying to use indoor antennas with small apertures designed for UHF reception only. Signal penetration through metal-reinforced stucco causes a loss that used to create a poor viewer experience for rabbit ear antenna viewers, but those viewers who put up with static-filled NTSC video found themselves unable to get a usable ATSC picture at all.

The FCC opened a window this fall for all TV stations to upgrade their signals within the existing rules limiting interference. A number of UHF and VHF stations are taking advantage of this opportunity to boost their power.

Callsigns Change with Entercom Takeover

Stations around San Diego filed a number of callsign modifications with the FCC after Entercom sold a number of stations to Educational Media Foundation and, in San Diego, KSON and KEGY “Energy” swapped frequencies.

Station Old Callsign New Callsign
Entercom 97.3 San Diego KSON KEGY
Entercom 103.7 San Diego KEGY KSON
EMF 92.1 Escondido KSOQ KYDQ
EMF 100.3 Los Angeles KSWD KKLQ

Holiday Luncheon December 20

We had such a good time at Mimi’s Cafe last December, we’re doing it again. You can order anything on the menu, spread good cheer and shop talk, and hopefully, you can win a good door prize.

Whether you’re a member or not, please join us Wednesday, December 20, 2017 at 12 noon at Mimi’s Cafe, 5180 Mission Center Road in Mission Valley, San Diego. This is a no-host luncheon–expect to pay $15 – $20 for lunch, a drink, and tip.

Reserve a spot at the big table by sending a list of your attending party members to RSVP@SBE36.ORG.

Chapter 36 Names New Officers

Members of SBE Chapter 36 have elected a new slate of officers to serve in 2018. The new leaders include:

Chairman: Tony McDaid, IT Engineer at iHeartMedia.
Vice-Chairman: Mike Curran, contract engineer.
Secretary: Jessica Colyer, Director of Business Development, D2D Technologies.

The chairman can appoint various positions, including Program Chairman. Bart Schade of Path1 volunteered for, and will likely serve, that position.

The new officers will be inducted at the December 20th luncheon.

FCC Approves Entercom Takeover of CBS Radio

The FCC approved Entercom’s merger with CBS Radio, making it the second-largest broadcasting company after iHeartMedia with 235 radio stations in the USA. The merger is expected to formally occur this week as the offer expires November 16th.

Locally, CBS stations KYXY 96.5 and KEGY 103.7 join Entercom stations KBZT 94.9, KSON 97.3, and KXSN 98.1. In order to keep from exceeding the FCC-imposed limit of owning five FM stations in a single market, Entercom sold KSOQ 92.1 Escondido to Educational Media Foundation (EMF).

The San Diego Entercom stations are planning to move to a new studio and office facility on Granite Ridge Drive across the street from iHeartMedia and NBC 7.

KSON has been advertising a mysterious Reset Our Preset move scheduled for Friday, November 17. We hear that KSON is moving its country format from 97.3 to 103.7 due to its better coverage of North County from Mt. Soledad since KSON’s Class A satellite station KSOQ near Escondido was sold. KSON’s main transmitter is at the KOGO towers in Emerald Hills, San Diego.

UPDATE: KSON moved to 103.7 MHz Friday, November 17, 2017 as speculated. The station began running a loop telling listeners of 97.3 to tune to 103.7 and Energy listeners to “set a preset” to 97.3 (though they aren’t playing that format at this time). 

Society of Broadcast Engineers, San Diego