iHeartMedia Declares Chapter 11 Bankrupcy

iHeartMedia today announced an agreement with its creditors to enter into Chapter 11 reorganization. This long-anticipated move will greatly reduce or eliminate the controlling equity Bain Capital and Thomas H. Lee Partners had held since taking control of Clear Channel Communications in 2008.

In San Diego, iHeartMedia owns five FM and two AM stations. Local operations are not greatly affected except that some equipment vendors are not extending credit.

HC2 Buys KSKT-CD San Marcos

HC2 filed with the FCC this week to buy KSKT-CD, a 3 kW  channel 36 LPTV facility on Mt. Woodson, for $4-million from NRJ. NRJ had recently bought the station to serve as a relay for KSCI Los Angeles to replace KUAN-LD, a decades-old translator that would have been displaced in the repacking auction.

HC2, formerly known as Primus Telecom or PTGI and based in Herndon, Virginia, late last year purchased the Spanish language Azteca America network, and already holds licenses, or has entered into purchase agreements, for over 100 LPTV stations nationwide.

FCC Visits Alleged Yuma FM Pirate

The Los Angeles office of the FCC alleges Eric V. Evans was operating a pirate FM station on 96.5 MHz on Hillside Place in Yuma, Arizona on January 30, 2018. They issued a Notice of Unlicensed Operation, a sort of cease and desist letter, last week. This notice did not detail any contact with Evans but mentioned simply that he was the listed owner of the residence.

The FCC issued a large number of these notices to alleged pirates in the past year, but the vast majority were in Florida and the area surrounding New York City.

FCC Approves Sale of KFMB Stations to Tegna

The FCC granted on February 6, 2018 the application to transfer control of the longtime family-owned KFMB Stations to Tegna of McLean, Virginia. The Meyer family, most lately Elisabeth (Meyer) Kimmel, had owned the AM, FM, and TV stations since 1964, an oddity in an industry typically held in large clusters by publicly-traded corporations.

The fate of approximately 200 employees, the most of any San Diego media company and many with long seniority, lies now with the media giant made primarily of the stations from the Gannett, King Broadcasting, and Belo groups that have merged over the past few years.

The change brings up numerous questions: Continue reading FCC Approves Sale of KFMB Stations to Tegna

Bext Takes Over RF Specialties of California

Bext, a San Diego-based supplier and service provider of FM Antennas, RF Combiners, RF filters, FM Transmitters and many things RF, recently bought RF Specialties of California and moved their employees to their Tenth Avenue facility downtown. Steve Moreen, the past owner of RF Specialties of California and Program Chair of SBE Chapter 36, last year began a sales position for Dielectric, the antenna manufacturer busy with TV channel repacking orders.

I asked Bext owner and general nice guy Dennis Pieri about the sale. Continue reading Bext Takes Over RF Specialties of California

Society of Broadcast Engineers, San Diego