iHeartMedia today announced an agreement with its creditors to enter into Chapter 11 reorganization. This long-anticipated move will greatly reduce or eliminate the controlling equity Bain Capital and Thomas H. Lee Partners had held since taking control of Clear Channel Communications in 2008.
In San Diego, iHeartMedia owns five FM and two AM stations. Local operations are not greatly affected except that some equipment vendors are not extending credit.
The FCC Media Bureau announced the elimination of the Main Studio Rule last week. That rule had required each AM, FM, and television broadcast station to maintain a main studio located in or near its community of license. The order also eliminated existing requirements associated with the main studio rule, including the requirement that the main studio has full-time management and staff present during normal business hours, and that it has program origination capability.
Social media commenters have expressed dismay for the “end of broadcasting” as large owner groups continue to consolidate operations in distant cities and close local studios. Others see the opportunity for “live and local” operators to stand out.
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).
The Board of Directors of the Society of Broadcast Engineers, the association for broadcast and multimedia technology professionals, during its National Meeting held in Denver Oct. 25-26, adopted a new member benefit that will be available beginning January 1, 2018, called SBE MemberPlus.
Continue reading SBE Adds MemberPlus Benefit
By Larry Wilkins, SBE EAS Advisory Group
All engineers should be aware by now that the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) has scheduled the 2017 national EAS test for Wednesday, Sept. 27 at 11:20 p.m. PDT. This test will be originated and distributed via IPAWS only; the same manner as the 2016 National Test. The test will be sent with the event code NPT for National Periodic Test. All stations are expected to receive the NPT message from IPAWS or off-air and then to relay the NPT message on-air using their normal studio EAS equipment. The message will be sent with both English and Spanish language text and audio.
More Details Here.