The FCC today announced both the winners of the spectrum auction and the station winners of cash.
There are surprises
Somehow it seems just wrong to have such classic stations as WNBC-TV New York go dark, taking their $214-million auction winnings with them. Just so you don’t get too teary-eyed, they will be able to channel share with their superior signal from Comcast O&O sister WNJU. Comcast stations in Chicago and Philadelphia will also shut down and multiplex with their NBC sister stations. For more information, see the FCC, Broadcasting & Cable and TV Technology sites.
The biggest spenders in the auction:
T-Mobile at $8-billion,
Dish Network (“ParkerB.com”) second at $6.2-billion
Comcast (“CC Wireless Investment”) at $1.7-billion
AT&T at $910-million
Interestingly, Verizon did not participate.
In San Diego DMA 28
Locally, the big money winners were KSEX-LD getting over $34.7-million and K35DG (UCSD-TV) getting $24-million to each shut down their operations. Also,
KBNT-CD will move from channel 25 to 24
KNSD-TV 40 will move from channel 40 to 17
KPBS-TV will move from channel 30 to 19
KSWB-TV will move from channel 19 to 26
You may ask yourself why make unnecessary moves? Why not just have KPBS take channel 26 and KSWB stay on 19? It has to do with the pre-determined rules on how stations were going to shuffle. Preference is given to a channel change over a loss in population coverage. KSWB was going to lose a thousand or so viewers, so bingo, they get a new channel along with a new antenna, filters, and possibly a transmitter funded by auction proceeds.
Low power UHF broadcasters on channels 38 – 50 like KSDY-LD will have to wait until the FCC opens a window allowing change applications and hope they can get spectrum. There is no guarantee and no compensation offered.
Meanwhile In Los Angeles DMA 2
If you were wondering how LA was going to fit in all those TV stations, wonder no more. Most are going to shut down for good. Ethnic viewers may lose out in the short-term, though ATSC 3.0 will allow stations to multicast like never before, and TV cable with switched digital service and FTA satellite serve those constituents well.
KAZA-TV will go off-air for $91.1-million
KBEH will go off-air for $146-million
KCBS 43 will move to channel 31
KDOC-TV Anaheim will get $66.6-million to move to channel 12
KESQ-TV 42 Palm Springs will move to channel 28
KILM will go off-air for $76.5-million
KJLA will go off-air for $135.5-million
KLCS (LA Unified School District) will go off-air for $130.5-million
KMIR 46 Palm Springs will move to channel 26
KNET-CD will go off-air for $53.7-million
KNLA-CD 50 will move to channel 32
KOCE-TV 48 (PBS) will go off-air for $138-million
KPXN-TV 38 will move to channel 24
KRCA will go off-air for $142-million
KSFV-CD 23 will go off-air for $64-million
KTLA 31 will move to channel 35
KVCR-DT 26 (PBS San Bernardino-Riverside) will move to channel 5 for $157-million
KWHY-TV 42 will move to channel 4
Not all low power stations are listed for the Los Angeles DMA.
Two TV Maintenance Engineers have moved to KFMB-TV from XETV Bay City Television just ahead of the closure of the Bay City facility down the street in Kearny Mesa.
Jeff Latimer had served as Broadcast Engineer and Facilities Manager at Bay City Television since 2012. He started March 6 as Broadcast Maintenance Engineer at KFMB Stations.
Mark Goodman had served as Director of Engineering at Bay City Television since 2013. He started March 12 as Broadcast Maintenance Engineer at KFMB Stations. He will continue some part-time work at XETV in the transition period. Mark started with Bay City in January 2006.
KFMB-TV 8 will be taking over the CW Network affiliation contract and the CW6 identity in San Diego from XETV Tijuana, which decided to close its U.S. operations at the end of May. The last day of news programming at XETV was Friday, March 31.
KFMB is also hiring news, operations, sales, and programming personnel in anticipation of the CW affiliation.
KURS(AM) 1040 kHz San Diego is now licensed as a non-commercial station and will be operated as a “satellite” of El Sembrador Ministries station KTYM (AM) Inglewood. KURS operates its transmitter out of the KNSN site just south of San Diego’s downtown at the junction of CA-15 and I-5.
Broadcast contract engineer Gary Stigall at Signal Wiz is teaming up with Wireless Infrastructure Services to provide services for broadcasters who participated in the FCC Spectrum Repacking Auction. WIS is a well-known Corona-based tower installation and services company. Signal Wiz provides broadcast engineering services to California and Arizona broadcasters and offers engineering, project management, installation, and training services for repacking. The partnership is designed to extend the capabilities of each firm.
Contact Gary Stigall at 858-349-9191 or email@example.com for more information.
Last week, the FCC recorded Entercom’s applications to transfer several of their stations into a trust for the purpose of divesting them due to exceeding the maximum stations allowed within a given metropolitan market.
Entercom, which owns four FM stations in the San Diego market, announced an agreement to merge with CBS Radio on February 2, 2017. CBS owns two FM stations in San Diego. In order to conform to the FCC limit of five FMs, KSOQ 92.1 MHz Escondido was offered into a divestiture trust for later sale.
Similarly, the new group asked the FCC to put into the same divestiture group KSWD 100.3 and KCBS-FM 93.1 in Los Angeles, though only one will likely sell.
In San Diego, two full-time engineers work for CBS Radio and two for Entercom.
A number of San Diego and Tijuana stations have changed, or are changing soon their network affiliations for various reasons.
The CW Network is moving from XETV (physical channel 23) to KFMB 8 May 31 as a cost-savings move for Televisa. The CW 6 news operation discontinues March 31, though KFMB is expected to re-start CW6 news on June 1 and take over the channel 6 cable and satellite slots with the CW6 brand.
Galavision is moving from XHBJ 44 to XETV 23 May 31. Galavision is owned by Televisa, which also owns XETV.
Azteca America has moved to XHDTV 47 from KZSD analog 39, but is expected to eventually land at XHAS 34.
Currently, KZSD 39 is duplicating KGTV 10, but is expected to leave the air during repacking.
Telemundo is moving to KNSD 40 from XHAS 34 on July 1. This has been foreseen for some time since KNSD’s owner, Comcast NBC Universal, also owns the Telemundo network.
The Enforcement Bureau imposed a forfeiture order of $25,000 against Nelson Quintanilla for operating a pirate broadcast station on 95.1 MHz in Panorama City.
They also imposed a monetary forfeiture of $25,000 on Iglesia el Remanente Fraternidad Elim, Inc. and Belarmino Lara for operating a pirate radio station on 93.7 MHz in Arleta, near the intersection of I-5 and CA-118.
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→
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.
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.