All posts by Gary Stigall

FCC Announces End of Main Studio Rule

The FCC Media Bureau announced the elimination of the Main Studio Rule last week. That rule had required each AM, FM, and television broadcast station to maintain a main studio located in or near its community of license. The order also eliminated existing requirements associated with the main studio rule, including the requirement that the main studio has full-time management and staff present during normal business hours, and that it has program origination capability.

Social media commenters have expressed dismay for the “end of broadcasting” as large owner groups continue to consolidate operations in distant cities and close local studios. Others see the opportunity for “live and local” operators to stand out.

January 2018 Meeting – It’s Joe from Telos

Voice-over-Internet-Protocol, VoIP, is fast taking over copper-based ISDN as the go-to technology for remotes, studio phones, and even studio-transmitter links. If you don’t know him, Joe Talbot from Telos talks a lot about this transition and some of its fine points. At Los Angeles and San Diego SBE meetings this month, Joe will lead a “telephony roundtable,” a guided discussion about the latest issues in telephony. He can address codec preferences, network latency, and hardware issues. Bring your questions and learn a few tricks.

Join us Wednesday, January 10 at 12 noon at iHeartMedia, 9660 Granite Ridge Drive in San Diego. Joe is buying us sandwiches. Members and guests are always welcome!

About Joe Talbot

Joe has worked in the trenches of broadcasting technology, first at KWIZ Santa Ana, later as Director of Engineering at KGO/KSFO San Francisco. He earned a patent for a method for remote telephone calibration. He’s been Product Manager at the Telos Alliance since 2010.

San Diego TV Stations Turning Up the Power

Several TV stations in San Diego have applied to the FCC to raise their Effective Radiated Power (ERP) above either their traditional power or the power assigned to them for replacement channels in the coming spectrum repacking. The FCC opened an application window this fall for stations to modify their facilities to meet local propagation conditions.

KFMB-TV channel 8 applied to increase power from 19.8 kW to 87.4 kW ERP. That figure was chosen based on capabilities of their primary transmitter and does not involve a change of antenna.

KGTV channel 10 applied to increase power from 20.7 kW to 160 kW ERP. The application includes using the present Dielectric H-pol standing wave antenna. Presumably, the older Larcan transmitter will be replaced to make full power.

VHF stations are having trouble remaining competitive with over-the-air viewers who increasingly prefer inexpensive indoor antennas with UHF-sized small apertures. San Diego’s stucco construction with metal reinforced outer walls doesn’t help reception, either. The power boosts are expected to help with a new generation of viewers who are choosing to save money by sacrificing a big selection of cable or satellite TV channels.

KNSD channel 40 applied to increase power from 200 kW to 385 kW as it moves to post-repack channel 17. This returns KNSD to an ERP that compares with its neighbors KPBS, KSWB, and KUSI, as well as Tijuana DTV stations.

Edit 1/4/18 – KGTV old transmitter is a Larcan, not Comark. Duh.  

TEGNA to Acquire KFMB Stations

Virginia-based TV station group owner TEGNA yesterday announced their agreement with KFMB Stations owner Elisabeth Kimmel to take over KFMB-AM-FM-TV for $325-million cash. Since the group doesn’t currently own any radio stations, it’s likely TEGNA will spinoff the radio stations at a future date. It’s not yet known whether the sale includes the valuable real estate under their Kearny Mesa, Mt. Soledad and Santee facilities.

Elisabeth is the third-generation of Meyer family owners of KFMB who bought the stations in 1964 from Jack Wrather, creators of Lassie and The Lone Ranger.

Because of its independence and lack of debt, the stations have traditionally spent more than its competitors in the market. They have traditionally led the San Diego market in overall news ratings and have the most employees.