iHeartMedia Applies to Buy KFMB-AM from Local Media San Diego

iHeartMedia applied yesterday with the FCC to transfer ownership of KFMB-AM 760 kHz San Diego from Local Media San Diego for $1.2-million. The FCC had granted a transfer of ownership to LMSD from TEGNA just a month ago. iHeart has been operating KFMB-AM on a temporary local marketing agreement (LMA) since the FCC grant. The new owners will have to change the station call letters as part of the transfer agreement.

The addition of KFMB to the iHeart market portfolio will put them to the upper limit of 5 FM and 3 AM stations. Additionally, sister station KFI (AM) Los Angeles delivers a city-grade signal into the city of San Diego and shows up in market Nielsen ratings.

Dean Imhof Moves to Full-time at Local Media SD

In mid-February, Dean Imhof took the Chief Engineer job at Local Media San Diego. He had been freelancing there to help maintain the Mira Mesa studios of 91X, Magic 92.5, and Z90.3 FM, all Tijuana LMAs. With the purchase of KFMB 100.7 FM, management apparently justified his full-time help.

Dean said he quickly got a studio outfitted with gear from the KFMB studios in Kearny Mesa, including much of the ENCO automation system, SAS mixer, half of the SAS router, and associated hardware. He’s planning to move over to the same RCS NextGen automation the other LMSD stations use. KFMB-FM (which will have to change callsigns, by the way) uses a WorldCast Audio over IP system as a studio-to-transmitter link, just as they do for the three Tijuana stations.

With the Coronavirus emergency, he’s still working at the studios, though with fewer other staff members. Some air staff and junior promotions workers are there, but sales, traffic, accounting, and digital media are mostly working from home.

For the past two years, Dean has worked as a broadcast engineer for the Turning Point Ministries in Lakeside, but work had slowed down after an initial large build-out. He’s also known in San Diego for his technical work at KFMB Stations and at Clear Channel (now iHeartMedia).

March 2020 Virtual Chapter Meeting with GatesAir: Taking Your Plant to the Next Level

We were graciously offered to join SBE Chapter 9 Phoenix after they converted their monthly meeting to a Skype online conference.

Kevin Haider will give a complete walkthrough to better understand the differences between Generation 3 and Generation 4 HD Radio technology.  This presentation will address important features such as the advantages of running a combined importer and exporter. Also, discover tools to help time alignment of the FM analog and digital audio. “Enhance your station’s HD Radio listening experience with the GatesAir FMXi Importer/Exporter.”

Join us all Wednesday, March 25, at 12 noon Pacific/Arizona time. Send a note to Ron Lane requesting to join the group.

Local Media Closes Purchase of KFMB-AM and -FM

The FCC this week granted the transfer of KFMB-AM 760 kHz and KFMB-FM 100.7 MHz to Local Media San Diego from TEGNA. Local Media paid $5-million for the two stations to complement their Mexico-licensed LMAs XHTZ 90.3, XETRA 91.1, and XHRM 92.5. The stations will all be operated from their Sorrento Mesa studio headquarters. 

Meanwhile, iHeartMedia has begun an LMA to operate KFMB-AM and as of this writing has been simulcasting KOGO-AM on 760 kHz. It’s been reported by various sources that Local Media of San Diego has immediately sold KFMB-AM to iHeartMedia for a yet-to-be-disclosed price. 

There have been talks about KOGO multiplexing its signal on the KFMB towers in Santee, and this would be a logical step in that direction. iHeart can own and operate all three outlets without exceeding FCC limits on local ownership: KOGO 600 kHz, KFMB, and KLSD 1360 kHz. 

The KFMB radio stations will have to change call letters as part of the transfer deals. 

NAB Show 2020 Canceled

The National Association of Broadcasters said this morning they would cancel the NAB Show, but CEO Gordon Smith said he hoped they could hold the show later in the year. Several major exhibitors, including Ross Video, Canon, Avid, and AJA had already called off their participation due to concerns about spreading COVID-19, the virus that the World Health Organization today labeled an “international pandemic.”

Society of Broadcast Engineers, San Diego