Category Archives: News

FCC Considers Eliminating Old Rules Regarding Site Sharing

Let’s say you got in early–1949 perhaps–and you now own a highly-regarded communications site on a prominent location where no one else can develop a similar site. Let’s set as a random example, Mt. Soledad in La Jolla, California.

FCC Logo

Should you be required by law to share that site with your competitors?

The FCC said so at the end of World War II, 1945, and that rule has remained in effect. And now they’re asking for comments on eliminating it.

Should they? On one hand, there are many more communications sites now to choose from. The likes of American Tower, Crown Castle, InSite, and Vertical Bridge are ready and waiting for you.

On the other hand, sites like Mt. Soledad will remain, as the FCC terms it, “peculiarly suitable for broadcasting.” What’s to keep Scripps and Tegna from excluding Entercom and iHeart from their sites at the end of their leases once the rules are changed?

If you would like to comment on the change, check out the Notice of Proposed Rulemaking FCC 19-106.

EAS Update

Stations: Confirm Your Station is Compliant with EAS Updates

By Larry Wilkins, Chair, SBE EAS Advisory Group

The FCC and FEMA are in the process of making changes in the EAS and CAP system. Most of these changes concern security issues. To aid stations in understanding these changes and what will be required to keep your EAS units compliant, we have put together the following information.

Continue reading EAS Update

FCC Okays Nexstar Purchase of Tribune Media

The FCC today announced the approval of Nexstar Broadcasting Group’s acquisition of Tribune Media. Nexstar will become the largest owner of TV stations with more than 200 outlets nationwide.

Nexstar will have to divest 21 stations in markets where their outlets will put the company over FCC station count limits. They’ve planned to sell off those excess stations to the Tegna, Scripps, and Circle City groups.

In San Diego, Tribune has operated KSWB-TV, known locally as “Fox 5,” that the group purchased in a bankruptcy sale in 1995 for $70-million.

Tribune Media owned the San Diego Union-Tribune from May 2015 until it was purchased by Patrick Soon-Shiong in February 2018.

San Diego’s 101.1 Saga Continues

Following the exploits of inserting a signal or two or three on 101.1 MHz into San Diego can be a part-time job. KRTH (FM) Los Angeles, the ancient, grandfathered behemoth it remains, covers far outside its home market. Here’s what San Diegans are doing to try to change that:

KVIB-LP San Diego, owned by the World Beat Center, was granted an STA request to remain silent on August 20, 2019. An FCC Minor Modification application dated September 10, 2019, notes a new station location at 3295 Meade Avenue in Normal Heights–a location less encumbered by antenna height limits and with greater surrounding population. [9/19/19 UPDATE – The FCC dismissed the move to Normal Heights due to spacing requirements to the new application by KECR, below, made only days before. –GS]

KECR (AM) requested a translator on 100.1 MHz, but the FCC dismissed that application, saying it violated an international agreement protecting the 2nd adjacent channel XHTY 99.7 in Tijuana. That protection extends to 72 km. They filed September 5, 2019, for 101.1 MHz instead, with a northward radiation pattern from Mt. San Miguel.

KRSP-LP El Cajon was granted a license last year to operate on 101.1 MHz, but La Maestra Clinic, the licensee, later wrote a letter to the FCC stating that in fact, the station had never been constructed or operated and was turning in its license. A later Petition for Reconsideration from another party claiming to be associated with the Clinic wanted the license reinstated. The FCC put an end to that Petition by denying it in a September 10 letter.

It will be interesting to see what happens. Any low power station will be challenged by the magnitude of the KRTH signal.

Entercom Hit by Ransomware Attacks

Radio Ink and Radio Insight are reporting that Entercom suffered a group-wide attack on their IT infrastructure over the weekend of September 7 – 8, 2019. They are said to have successfully isolated automation audio playout but are having to manually process sales orders and create operations logs.

In San Diego, Entercom stations include KBZT (FM) 94.9, KYXY (FM) 96.5, KWFN (FM) 97.3, and KSON (FM) 103.7. We have no confirmation of this attack locally as their corporate policy doesn’t allow staffers to discuss internal issues.

Ransomware attacks have made news lately as cities, school districts, and other businesses have had their computer files encrypted with an accompanying ransom notice demanding cryptocurrency for payment. Many organizations choose not to pay, but their internal recoveries can cost more than the ransom payment.

Thanks to Bill Lipis for the news tip.