Category Archives: Local

San Diego Broadcast Tech News

June Gonzalez, long-time San Diego office FCC agent, is retiring at the end of the month. She’s been with the FCC since they administered First Class Radiotelephone license tests.

Congratulations to new member Joshua Hager for passing his Certified Broadcast Technician (CBT) exam as part of a school course.

KPBS producer/operator Roberta Griego recently joined Chapter 36.

Zack Takes Over Western Radio Electronics Store

No sooner had Western Radio Electronics moved its store back to Kearny Mesa from Mira Mesa than Zack Electronics swept in and purchased its assets and sent its employees home. Mike Richards, who sold supplies at Western for 32 years total, said he was laid off in October.

It’s no secret that electronics retailing has suffered from a combination of increased web mail order purchasing and a decrease in do-it-yourself hobby activity as modern electronics has used large scale integration techniques increasingly difficult to build and test. In San Diego, only Willy’s Electronics remains as a strong source of audio/video installation supplies and electronic components. Gateway Electronics and its derivative SD Electronics have closed.

Mike said that all stock was sent to Zack during by end of August from a temporary facility on Convoy Court. “I understand Zack has a will call department and counter but no real storefront as majority of sales are by phone or internet,” he said.

“At the time I officially retired from Western Radio I had been with the company starting downtown in 1973 working in the stock room and shipping department, and filled in on counter sales for only 2 years, at which time I was hired by Honor Marine Communications to be a buyer and estimator for repairs and maintenance on the tuna boats (also did some bench repair work when needed in shop).

“I was re-hired by Western Radio in 1984 to become Purchasing Manager upon retirement of the head of that department. At the high of Western Radio I was managing 2 additional buyers, 1 purchasing clerk, and shipping and receiving personnel.”

Jim Dujiwich bought the company in 2004 and moved it to Mira Mesa, where it floundered with low inventory and a poor location.

Mike continued, “It was always fun and really enjoyed getting to know all the customers of Western Radio. It was sad for me to see an institution close down that had been in San Diego since 1932, but as we all know, times change and local distribution just could not maintain the kind of sales that almost all manufactures wanted to retain dealerships.”

Mike is continuing with a side business he has had since 1971, setting up live sound events, and consulting and design work for small- to medium-sized churches, resorts, and businesses. Anyone can email him at soundbymike@gmail.com.

Lombard Takes the Reins at KFMB Stations

Current KGTV Chief Engineer and Chapter 36 Chairman Andrew Lombard will assume the role of Director of Engineering beginning November 19 at KFMB-TV/AM/FM.

​This comes two months after Rich Lochmann suddenly retired from his position after nearly 20 years as Director and another 17 as Assistant Chief.

Lombard had been with KGTV for nearly seven years during challenging labor relations and then a transition to ownership by Scripps Media.

Nisie Leaves CBS Radio for Wide Orbit

Nisie Pimanmas (formerly Teeter) this month left her engineering position at CBS Radio in San Diego to become a project manager for Wide Orbit Automation for Radio at their San Francisco headquarters.

Nisie said, “The broadcast engineers in San Diego were very professional and always had a moment to spare when I had a question.  A special acknowledgement to Mike Prasser who took that leap of faith and hired an unemployed baker.  And to a special group of engineers who reached out to me or helped me get acquainted with lay of the land, thank you (Matt, Bill, Gary, John, Scott, and everone else)!”

Nisie said she resumed using her maiden name since moving to the Bay Area pending her divorce.

KNSN Gets New Owner, Transmitter

Bill Agresta of Crawford Broadcasting shows off the new KNSN Nautel J1000 transmitter. Photo courtesy Cris Alexander.
Engineer Bill Agresta of KBRT shows off the new KNSN transmitter, a Nautel J1000. Photo courtesy Crawford Broadcasting.

KNSN (AM 1240 kHz) last month updated its downtown transmitter after its recent acquisition by Crawford Broadcasting of Denver. The downtown site rebroadcasts the religious format 50kW KBRT (AM 740kHz) Costa Mesa in order to fill in some of the coverage lost when KBRT moved from Santa Catalina Island.

Multicultural Broadcasting sold KNSN at a loss to Crawford after having owned the station for only five years.

According to Cris Alexander’s entry in his Local Oscillator corporate engineering news blog, engineer Bill Agresta from KBRT replaced an aging Gates BC-1H transmitter with the new Nautel J1000. Cris was in town from Denver in September to help with some of the final touches.

The station broadcasts with only 550 watts due to its efficient 202° high tower. Agresta and Dick Warren will maintain the site.