Category Archives: Local

KSDS Gets FCC OK to Raise Power

(Disclosure: The author is employed by Bay City Television, San Diego-based programming, advertising, and marketing arm of XETV Tijuana)

The FCC issued on October 31 a construction permit for KSDS (FM), 88.3 MHz, to increase power from their current 3 kW vertical to 22 kW ERP vertical, upgrading the facility from class A to class B1. The station, operated from the campus of City College downtown, but transmitting from a tower at Mesa College in Linda Vista, has been operating since 2002 with 3 kW ERP vertical polarization after a compromise worked out with Fox Television affiliate XETV, channel 6 in Tijuana.

The latest CP approval comes as a surprise to XETV, which has fought the increase in power since 1995 on grounds that it creates a substantial interference zone since the stations are only separated by a minimum of 200 kHz between allotments, or 550 kHz between carrier centers. The stations represent a unique situation in the U.S., where a border non-commercial FM had protected a channel 6 TV signal broadcasting in English-language from Mexico. The new construction permit appears to change the crossborder relationship by declaring previous protections null and void.

The new FCC ruling says that previous international broadcast treaties do not specifically deal with the TV-FM interference issue, so the XETV signal has no rights to protection from U.S. non-commerical FM stations after all. At the same time, the order gave recognition to XETV public service efforts and ordered that KSDS broadcast its increased power in vertical polarization only. KSDS must provide a shallow null to the southeast, and they must remediate any known interference and report unsolved cases to local FCC inspectors.

KSDS intends to have its facilities ready for increased power by spring 2007.

Yuma Market First in Nation to Adopt New 12 MHz BAS Plan

The Yuma-El Centro TV market underwent a changeover to the new BAS 12 MHz per channel ENG microwave spectrum plan Friday, September 22, according to Robbie DeCorse, Chief Engineer at KYMA (NBC) in Yuma. He says that they “haven’t had any issues since the switch; it’s business as usual.

Meanwhile in San Diego, Nextel is working to get the necessary 75%
of the market under contract. Pat Hughes of Sprint-Nextel says that
they believe it will be next summer sometime before the switch takes
place here. He forsees Santa Barbara switching soon, then Palm Springs
and San Diego. Los Angeles will be last due simply to the sheer number
of people involved in the project.

Once the market has contracted for the changeover, there has to be a “caucus” to decide the exact swapover date.

Hughes encourages those who want to learn more to get updated information from their special website at www.2ghzrelocation.com.

FCC Fines 106.9 Pirate in Encanto

The FCC issued September 27 an order asking Joni K. Craig to pay $500 for operating an illegal FM transmitter on 106.9 MHz in the San Diego neighborhood of Encanto. The commission had issued in May two Notices of Unlicensed Operation (NOUO) for the pirate station, located a few blocks south of the KOGO towers. That notice addressed Alan M. Conrad and Maria A. Conrad, who are listed as owners of the property and addressed the assumed name of the station, “Radio Active Radio.

In the latest FCC order, the original $10,000 fine was reduced to
$500 when Craig provided tax documents that proved to the commission’s
satisfaction that she was unable to pay the full fine. She was also
able to convince them that she played only a passive role in the
station and “took steps to shut down the station.” San Diego inspectors
had monitored the station several times between October 2004 and August
2005.

Joni K. Craig is a spokeswoman for the San Diego Foundation for Change.

FCC Cites San Diego Radio Pirate…Again

FCC inspectors recently revisited the Golden Hill pirate station calling itself Free Radio San Diego at 96.9 MHz. An FCC Notice of Unlicensed Operation document signed by Bill Zears of the San Diego field office details an April 3 trip to the new 33rd Street transmitter site that found field strengths measuring over a thousand times Part 15 allowances. Station equipment, including the transmitter, was confiscated last summer in an FCC raid. Apparently this latest notice means that enforcement processes have started anew.

The website normally associated with the pirate station is down. The station normally plays a variety of free form music not heard on local commercial outlets, as well as community information and political talk.

We posted an interview with the station manager known only as Bob Ugly in July 2005.

John Rigg to Become Clear Channel San Diego Market DOE

Clear Channel Communications has named John Rigg to the position of
Director of Engineering for the San Diego market cluster. He had been
Radio Supervisor at KFMB AM/FM for the past four years. From 1994 to
2002, he had been staff engineer in radio and TV at the KFMB Stations
group. John succeeds Kevin Douglass, who had led the local engineering
crew since Jacor began accumulating stations here in 1996.

John will also oversee maintenance at the Finest City Broadcasting chain that was sold by Clear Channel to their previous FM General Manager Mike Glickenhaus. The Finest City chain, which includes XHITZ (FM), XETRA-FM, and XHRM (FM), occupies a separate partition in the same building in Kearny Mesa.

He supervises a crew of six veteran radio engineers, including John Morgan, John Barcroft, Ron Foo, Bill Thompson, Dean Imhoff, and Kevin Boyle.

John started in radio broadcasting in San Diego after a stint with Pacific Bell Telephone that included work with telco broadcast services. In 1989, he joined Edens Broadcasting, home of KKLQ AM and FM (now KOGO and KLNV). In 1993, they became part of Parr Broadcasting, which owned the KXST FM outlet on 102.1 (now KPRI). The next year he joined KFMB radio, where he worked for Tom Cox, later to move to the TV side until February of 2002, when he moved back to radio, but this time as Supervisor of KFMB AM and FM.

He joins Tom Cox again, who is Vice President of Engineering for the Western Region of Clear Channel Communications. John will answer to General Manager Bob Bollinger, who had been GM of KFMB radio stations when Tom and John worked there together.

John says that he sees a big challenge ahead overseeing the running of a such a large number of studios.

KFMB has not yet announced John’s successor.