The FCC approved Entercom’s merger with CBS Radio, making it the second-largest broadcasting company after iHeartMedia with 235 radio stations in the USA. The merger is expected to formally occur this week as the offer expires November 16th.
Locally, CBS stations KYXY 96.5 and KEGY 103.7 join Entercom stations KBZT 94.9, KSON 97.3, and KXSN 98.1. In order to keep from exceeding the FCC-imposed limit of owning five FM stations in a single market, Entercom sold KSOQ 92.1 Escondido to Educational Media Foundation (EMF).
The San Diego Entercom stations are planning to move to a new studio and office facility on Granite Ridge Drive across the street from iHeartMedia and NBC 7.
KSON has been advertising a mysterious Reset Our Preset move scheduled for Friday, November 17. We hear that KSON is moving its country format from 97.3 to 103.7 due to its better coverage of North County from Mt. Soledad since KSON’s Class A satellite station KSOQ near Escondido was sold. KSON’s main transmitter is at the KOGO towers in Emerald Hills, San Diego.
UPDATE: KSON moved to 103.7 MHz Friday, November 17, 2017 as speculated. The station began running a loop telling listeners of 97.3 to tune to 103.7 and Energy listeners to “set a preset” to 97.3 (though they aren’t playing that format at this time).
According to staffers, KFMB-AM-FM-TV has been put up for sale by Midwest Television owner Elisabeth Kimmel. August Meyer, grandfather of Kimmel, bought the stations in 1964. KFMB-TV has been a strong competitor in local news and a CBS affiliate since its sign-on in 1949.
Market conditions for the sale have improved since the FCC eased ownership and local studio rules recently.
Sherman George, retired UCSD-TV Chief Engineer, pressed the RF button on their Anywave transmitter Wednesday morning, October 25th, 2017, to permanently end 27 years of public broadcasting from K35DG on Mt. Soledad. Sherman led the effort for the University of California San Diego in 1990 to start broadcasting television on UHF channel 35. For its leaving the air, the university just received a $24-million payment from the proceeds of the 600 MHz broadband spectrum auction completed this April. KTLA in Los Angeles will occupy channel 35 no later than April 12, 2019.
UCSD-TV continues to appear on local cable and satellite distribution. UCSD-TV broadcasts a mix of professor and visiting scholar lectures, music performances, and even classic movies. They also uplink to satellite UCTV for the entire University of California system from the San Diego campus for distribution statewide on consumer and campus cable and satellite systems.
Of his ceremonial sign-off, Sherman commented, “If it had only been that easy to get on the air.”
Venture Technologies, operating KRPE-LP channel 6 on Palomar Mountain, filed with the FCC in late September to install a translator on Mt. San Miguel with 3 kW ERP non-directional. Venture operates several channel 6 transmitters as FM audio stations with analog aural carriers on 87.75 MHz, capable of locking in on a car radio. XETV had occupied channel 6, but the FCC no longer lists a transmitter in Tijuana, perhaps meaning Mexico has relinquished the channel reservation.
Venture has also been granted a construction permit for channel 17 UHF on Mt. Woodson. The city of license is listed as South Park, CA. Channel 17 in this area will be relinquished to KNSD-TV when they switch from Channel 40 in phase two of the current UHF channel repacking.
As part of their deal to take over CBS Radio, Entercom announced on September 26 they are divesting three radio stations nationwide, including KSOQ (FM) 92.1 Escondido, KSWD (FM) 100.3 Los Angeles, and WGGI (FM) Benton (Wilkes-Barre market), PA for $57.75-million to Christian broadcaster Educational Media Foundation (EMF).
KSOQ has served as a simulcast outlet for KSON, quite effectively boosting the country-format station’s signal to North San Diego Country.
EMF currently operates these FM transmitters in San Diego County:
- KYDO 96.1 Campo
- KYDO-FM1 96.1 San Diego (Mt. San Miguel booster)
- K253AD 98.5 Oceanside
- KPRI 100.1 Julian
- KLVJ 102.1 Encinitas (Mt. Soledad)
The divestment was fully anticipated after the three stations were put into a divestment trust this March.
If the FCC approves the CBS/Entercom merger, the successor company Entercom will own KBZT94.9, KYXY 96.5, KSON97.3, KXSN 98.1, and KEGY 103.7 MHz, all of San Diego.
Interestingly, the Entercom has leased property for new studios directly across the street from iHeartMedia and KNSD/NBC on Granite Ridge Drive, but can’t build out the facility in concert with the CBS stations involved in the proposed merger due to SEC rules governing collusion during a significant transfer of assets.