General Manager Chuck Dunning told a teary-eyed station staff Wednesday, January 25, that the San Diego’s CW6 News Department would stop operations on March 31. Further, he said, they would end the CW affiliation and close the Kearny Mesa facility May 31 this year. At that time, XETV Tijuana will begin relaying Canal 9 from Mexico City. Continue reading XETV to Close its US Operations
Author: Gary Stigall
Bob Gonsett, a well-known broadcast engineering consultant who counted among his clients XETV Tijuana, said this about the announced closure of their San Diego office:
XETV not only had the best channel to cover San Diego from a propagation standpoint, it also had a rich history of being technologically first in a number of important areas including the use of circular polarization which significantly improved indoor “rabbit ear” reception. Station management in the U.S. was constantly striving to make XETV Number One and they made the funds available to do so. The Tijuana transmitter plant, run by Felipe Fernandez, was a meticulous operation in full compliance with SCT/FCC mandates and from a labor perspective,
Phil always advocated the very best for his engineers. He was a true father to many. It was an honor and privilege for me to work with XETV for decades as their FCC engineering consultant.
An attentive crowd at the KFMB studios heard Sumnit Singh make a case for using the technology developed for consumer mobile devices to relay news audio and video to broadcast outlets over private networks. It should be interesting to see if stations step up to the plate to capitalize this evolution, or if an organization will step up to finance the movement and then resell to broadcasters, or if the technology will die on the vine before being rolled out.
Many thanks to Sumit Singh for traveling to San Diego and for buying our lunch. Continue reading January 18 Meeting: LTE for Broadcast by Moseley
KFMB hired two Broadcast Maintenance Engineers in November.
The AM/FM/TV combo hired Julio Ramirez, previously with the Signal Wiz contract engineering company assisting with maintenance at KPRI (FM), KSDY-LD, and other clients. More recently, he had done IT work at XETV for Paul Redfield’s Orbdot contracting services company, and tech support for ESET security software. Julio enjoys music and photography after hours.
KFMB also hired Joseph Pandolfo, past Chief Engineer at each KMIR Palm Springs, WTXL Tallahassee and WDBD Jackson. He had also served with Harris Broadcast as server product field support engineer. He’s been a member of SBE since 1984 and has a CBNT certification.
In early December, 2016, the FCC issued a Notice of Apparent Liability, proposing a $25,000 fine for Iglesia el Remanente Fraternidad Elim in Panorama City in the San Fernando Valley of Los Angeles. That church has operated a radio station on 93.7 MHz while repeatedly ignoring FCC requests to shut down since 2013. In fact, the website continues to publicize the FM pirate station.
In a second Panorama City church pirate radio case, field agents traced a signal at 95.1 FM back to an antenna atop the Ministerio Internacional Luz A Las Naciones church after they received complaints about the station in March 2015. They warned the property tenant, Nelson Quintanilla, that his continued unlicensed operations could lead to more than a warning. But the station remained on the air despite repeated warnings to Quintanilla—who at one point admitted to agents he was responsible for the station. The Enforcement Bureau says when agents returned to the church in October 2016, the station was broadcasting again. They are also proposing a $25,000 fine for this case.
The SBE gang held its annual holiday luncheon this year at Mimi’s Cafe in Mission Valley and had a great time of it. Congratulations to those who walked out with prizes. Nigel Worrall received a ham radio handi-talkie from RF Specialties. Bob Gonsett, Steve Frick, and Barbara Lange walked off with chocolates or wine from Piper Digital and Utah Scientific. Everyone got great food and conversation.
Any broadcast engineering manager can tell you hiring competent help has become a challenge. I just went through a long period of interviews and failures to launch new employees for this reason or that. I know some other local managers have had trouble getting new engineers as well. Here are some of my observations: Continue reading Lessons Learned Hiring New Engineers
RadioInsight.com reported last week: “El Sembrador Ministries is exercising its option to purchase silent 1040 KURS San Diego CA from Quetzal Bilingual Communications for $900,000. El Sembrador is being credited half of its time brokerage fees paid since July 2014 subtracting $310,000 from the money owed. KURS went silent in early October after failing to pay tower owner Multicultural Broadcasting due rent. $10,816 from the deposit paid to Quetzal will go to Multicultural to restore the station’s use of the tower.”
In June this year, the FCC issued a $12,000 monetary forfeiture and short-term renewal for KURS(AM) for failure to prepare issues and program’s lists in the Station’s public file and to file biennial ownership reports.
The same station was issued a Notice of Apparent Liability for violating output power limits in June 1999.
Jaime Bonilla, associated with Quetzal Bilingual Communications, also owns group Media Sports de Mexico stations XHPRS Tecate (operated by Broadcasting Corporation of America as Max 105.7), XEPE 1700 kHz (also operated by BCA), XESDD 1030 kHz Tijuana, and XESS 620 kHz Rosarito, Mexico. XESDD was noted by local engineers for its dial position only 10 kHz away from co-owned KURS, less than 20 miles away.
The FCC awarded Venture Technologies Group of Los Angeles a Construction Permit to build an analog channel 6 VHF “Franken-FM” transmitter on Mt. Palomar. KRPE-LP is to be licensed for 3kW Visual Power with a two-element Scala yagi antenna, a move from Murrieta. Neither their FCC CP nor database query record specify antenna polarization nor whether they are in the Mexican border zone. XETV held channel 6 from 1953 until they left the air with all other Tijuana stations in June of 2015.
If you’re not familiar with the term, Franken-FM refers to TV stations built on channel 6 analog with the purpose of using only their aural carrier on 87.75 MHz since it’s tunable on just about any FM receiver. Venture currently owns Franken-FM units in Los Angeles, San Jose, Chico, and Redding. Some VTG stations have LMA’s allowing other broadcasters to rent them.
Venture is also installing a new channel 17 low power digital outlet, KRPE-LD, on Red Mountain above Fallbrook. Curiously, the city of license is listed as South Park, CA.
On October 27th, Mexican TV stations aligned their virtual channel numbers with their network identifications. After re-scanning channels, you’ll find, for example, XHTJB Tijuana, physical channel 21, identifies now as 11-1 since it broadcasts Canal Once from Mexico City, replacing its most recent virtual channel number as 3-1. That last number had been its analog channel. XHJK, Azteca 13, physical channel 28, now identifies as 1-1.
Not all stations along the border are following this protocol. Tijuana’s Canal Las Estrellas, slated to be 2-1 throughout most of Mexico, was still 57-1 when last scanned. Stations were not re-identified if it was believed their virtual channel number would conflict with a US virtual channel ID.
US TV stations in major O&O markets at one time aligned their TV channel allocations with their mother networks. CBS stations signed on channel 2, NBC channel 4, DuMont channel 5, and ABC channel 7 wherever they could.
In August 1980 I was in my second year of TV engineering at KTVZ Bend when my boss Jess Ortega and I were to be on a live, local call-in TV show at 7pm at the station, talking about TV reception. About 30 minutes before air time, the transmitter dumped. As in—we were off-the-air. We jumped into the truck dressed in our suits, drove to the transmitter site, and were able to immediately put it back on-the-air because it had cooled during our drive. The show was re-scheduled for the next evening. Continue reading Making Waves Editorial: To Chill or Not to Chill
IT Manager Andrew Moore is widening his responsibilities again as he takes the Assistant Chief Engineer KGTV, the San Diego ABC affiliate. Andrew had moved from sister station KERO Bakersfield as Maintenance Engineer in 2011, but was promoted to IT Manager in 2014. He reports to Director of Engineering Bob Vaillancourt.