All posts by Gary Stigall

BCA Closes its Doors

Broadcast Company of the Americas, operators of XEPRS-AM 1090, XHPRS-FM 105.7 “The Max”, and XEPE-AM 1700 have formally shutdown their San Diego studio operations. Employees were told they needed to have their desks cleared, and all on-air and online broadcasts stopped.

CEO Jay Meyers told the San Diego Union-Tribune that “BCA was unable to come to an agreement the Mexican [station licensees] to continue broadcast operations. The company has been operating under lease deals that are not viable in the conditions that currently exist in the radio business, and attempts to find a suitable solution to fit today’s economics ended without success. BCA has suffered through years of losses and is no longer able to continue to do so. Because the company leases its broadcast signals rather than owning them, a reorganization such as the ones done recently by iHeart and Cumulus was not an option.

“It has been our pleasure to serve the San Diego listening community over the years on our three broadcast signals.”

Dean Imhof had been providing technical maintenance services for BCA. He continues working for Turning Point Ministry.

The closure of XEPRS-AM 1090 was just the latest in a series of withdrawals of the use of Mexican licenses to broadcast English-language programming targeted to USA audiences. XETV quit broadcasting CW network programs in May 2017. XHDTV discontinued broadcasting Fox’s MyNetworkTV in September 2018. Licensee Jaime Bonilla cut off XHPRS-FM 105.7 and XEPE-AM 1700 in February 2019 after lease negotiations with BCA broke down.

Local Media San Diego LLC continues to operate XHITZ “Z90.3,” XETRA-FM “91X,” and XHRM-FM “Magic 92.5.” as English-language, USA music outlets.

Mt. Woodson Access Road Closed – May 2019

Mt. Woodson communications site access road washout from recent rains.
Photo by Mike Curran.

Mike Curran reports “I received a call from Jon Cook from Palomar Communications. He has received notification from the City of San Diego that the washed out road conditions on the road up to Mt. Woodson would be undergoing repair work starting on May 13th, and will last for approximately one week. These repairs will cause the road to be closed to all vehicular traffic. Accommodations for emergency engineering personnel to make repairs up on the mountain will be made by allowing us to park at the bottom of the hill and then be shuttled by golf cart up to the construction site, then the engineering staff will have to hand carry their tools over the construction site to another awaiting vehicle and be ferried up to the top of the hill to perform their duties. So the only thing you can get up to the mountaintop is what you can carry by hand.”

May 15 Chapter Meeting – AM Audio Processing & Visual Radio

BSW Director of Business Development John Lynch will feature two products for display and demonstration. The first is the new AM Processor from Orban, six years in development. The XPN-AM-ND is an entirely new concept from the legendary Bob Orban. Longtime broadcast engineer and Vice President of Orban Labs, Mike Pappas, will make the presentation.

Participating via SKYPE will be Alex Bonello, also a veteran broadcast engineer and President of INSOFT LLC. His company created the BSW exclusive Visual Radio System known as HDV-Mixer.

Join us Wednesday, May 15th at 12 noon at iHeartMedia, 9660 Granite Ridge Drive in San Diego. Lunch will be provided by BSW. You’re always welcome whether a member or not.

No Chapter Meeting in April— See you at the NAB Show!

If you find yourself at the NAB Show in Las Vegas this year, make yourself an appointment to join us at the SBE national meeting, Tuesday, April 9 at 5:00 PM in Room N234, upstairs in the North Hall. These meetings move fast, and there are nice door prizes given at the end of the hour. A Membership Reception starts immediately thereafter and across the hall. This is a great opportunity to network with industry leaders and fellow engineers.

Yours truly will receive an award at the national meeting for having served for ten years as the Chapter 36 Certification Chair.

Also consider stopping by the SBE booth, LN4, meet your officers and administrators; buy a T-shirt, book, or cap; and enter the daily drawings for a giveaway prize.

On Saturday, April 6, just a few blocks away at the Flamingo Las Vegas Hotel, the SBE is presenting a full-day tutorial on ATSC 3.0 organized by SBE Fellow Fred Baumgartner. Fred, past manager at Qualcomm MediaFLO, is now director of the Next Gen Broadcast Implementation at One Media – Sinclair Broadcast. This comprehensive, all-day learning opportunity is open to all and costs $95 for SBE members and PBS member station employees and includes lunch. Register here.

San Diego is Done with 600 MHz TV Broadcasts

On March 26, 2019,

  • KVCR San Bernardino switched to channel 5 from channel 26
  • KSWB San Diego then switched to channel 26 from 19
  • KPBS San Diego then switched from channel 19 from 30

If you are an over-the-air viewer with a TV antenna rather than cable or satellite and you can’t receive some of the local TV stations, you will need to perform a RESCAN on your TV for the new channel lineup. Press your remote control MENU button and find the SIGNAL or ANTENNA submenu, then select AIR (not CABLE), then AUTOPROGRAM or SCAN or RESCAN. Not all TVs have the same menu titles, so you may have to consult your TV set owner’s manual. Yeah, sorry you threw that away. Check out YouTube, maybe.

What was once UHF-TV channels 38 – 51, recorded by a spectrum analyzer in University City, San Diego, March 15, 2019 by Gary Stigall, Signal Wiz, Inc.

Let’s look to see what’s going on, channel by channel. New information in bold:

15 – XHTJB, public TV “Canal Once” (channel 11) moved from channel 46 in September 2018. The FCC website has this allocation placed in Ensenada, but they’re actually in Tijuana.

16 – KDTF, Entravision’s LATV outlet, moved from channel 51 on Mt. San Miguel on November 16, 2018 using their same broadband panel antenna. They were granted a Construction Permit on February 21, 2019 to allow them to stay on 16.

17 – KNSD, NBC Universal, moved permanently to channel 17 on March 14, 2019. They had installed a new Rohde & Schwarz transmitter and UHF Dielectric Pylon antenna installed by Wireless Infrastructure Services (“WIS”).

19 – KPBS, San Diego State University’s PBS outlet, had their antenna installed by WIS in 2018 and moved from channel 30 on March 26, 2019, taking over channel 19 from KSWB, who moved to 26.

20 – KZSD, a UHF outlet of Scripps, is up on Mt. San Miguel and broadcasting a repeat of their channel 10 lineup since November 2018.

21 – XHDTV Tecate, an Entravision-leased signal from Cerro Bola, Mexico near Tecate, moved from channel 47 on March 15, 2019. Manuel Rojo says they installed a new 32-panel antenna array.

24 – KBNT-CD on Mt. Soledad made the switch from channel 25 on March 14, 2019, at 6:00 AM, according to Chief Engineer Manuel Rojo. They have a new Harris transmitter and new antenna installed by Wireless Infrastructure Services at the KGTV transmitter site.

25 – KHAX-LD Vista has a CP to get exclusive use of channel 25. KBNT-CD switched from 25 to 24 on March 14.

26 – KSWB, Tribune’s Fox affiliate, had WIS install their Dielectric slot pylon antenna last fall. They moved from channel 19 on March 26. KVSD-LD from Mt. Woodson received a Silent STA on October 15, 2018.

27 – XHBJ Tijuana moved from 44 before November 30, 2018.

30 – KPBS moved from channel 30 to 19 on March 26, 2019. Tijuana will take over this channel in the future.

31 – KSDY-LD changed from 50 to 31 on February 8, and was granted their construction permit for channel 31 on February 21. KTCD-LP will share channel 31 from Mt. Woodson at 140 W ERP omni-directional.

35 – KVSD-LD has a CP to take over channel 35, but they filed with the FCC for a Silent STA in November 2018 and have yet to return to the air. 

36 – KSKT-CA Mt. Woodson returned to air in early March, 2019 with shopping channels.

39 – KZSD-LP STA on Mt. San Miguel became KZSD-LD and moved to channel 20 in time for their November 30, 2019 T-Mobile takeover date.

40 – KNSD-TV moved to channel 17 on March 14, 2019.

46 – KTCD-LP Mt. Woodson, an Entravision signal, remains on channel 46 with a very low power analog signal. They will move to channel 31 digital as soon as possible.

47 – XHDTV went off-the-air March 14 and is expected to move to channel 21 soon.

50 – KSDY-LD moved to channel 31 on February 8, 2019.

51 – KDTF Mt. San Miguel moved to channel 16 using an STA before the November 30, 2018 T-Mobile deadline.