Category Archives: News

San Diego DTVs Ready for Transition

Some San Diego broadcasters are making final preparations for the DTV transition at midnight tonight. KFMB and KGTV are shutting down their analog VHF transmitters on Mt. Soledad and putting digital transmitters on the air in their place. KSWB will stay on for a week with a “night light” consumer message about the transition.

KPBS Director of Engineering Leon Messenie says that his station will leave the analog channel 15 transmitter on through their March pledge drive. KNSD and KUSI now say they will wait until June 12 to drop their analog service.

The transition delay bill passed by Congress does not mandate a June 12 analog shutdown, but would give broadcasters that option, as well as fund an extended converter box discount coupon program. All network owned and operated stations will keep their analog transmitters on until June. KNSD is an NBC O&O station.

Meanwhile, XETV managers have declared their intention to turn over their analog channel 6 transmissions to another Televisa service. The exact date of the transition and content to be broadcast haven’t been determined.

Stations transitioning Tuesday night are preparing for a barrage of phone calls Wednesday morning. They expect to have additional staff members answer the phones and triage calls for the depth of their technical questions. KGTV has conducted a trade-in program for people who haven’t used their converter coupons to give them to viewers who need them.

Entravision stations, both Mexican LMA stations and US low powers, are attempting to convert to DTV. XHAS-DT in Tijuana, “T33”, signed on today for the first time on adjacent UHF channel 34. XHDTV Tecate is due to come on line soon on channel 47. KBNT has an application pending for a digital service on channel 14. The FCC signaled that it might approve that application for a low power service after stating in a recent ruling for LA County emergency services on channel 15 that its use in Los Angeles did not preclude reusing the channel for low power TV in San Diego. Channel 14 is similarly used for land mobile in the LA basin.

Eric Schecter Headed to Phoenix

Chapter 36 Chairman Eric Schecter has returned to his old position as Director of Engineering for the CBS cluster in Phoenix. He moved this month after leaving a similar job in San Diego at Lincoln Financial Services last fall. Eric resigned his office in the SBE last month when he received the job offer in Arizona.

The chapter will have to elect a replacement.

Before departing, Eric wrote us a message:

Dear Friends,

Please excuse the impersonal nature of this posting, and know that if I could write each of you individually, I would.

My arrival in San Diego four years ago was the culmination of a goal to come about as far West as anyone could.  My first opportunity back in 1996 didn’t quite work out, so when an opening to work in the America’s finest city in 2005 became available…well, it was irresistible!

Times and fortunes have changed dramatically since  ’05, and as you may know, I found myself with an unanticipated and extended “vacation” late last year. As they say, tea break over, back on your heads, and so it is that I will be leaving San Diego, and heading back to the inferno otherwise known as Phoenix. At least I get to regain my status as a Zonie!

It has been my distinct honor and pleasure to serve as your Chapter Chair for the past few years. Collectively, we’ve managed to turn the Chapter around by changing the meetings to Noontime affairs, increasing attendance and maintaining a healthy bank balance. Along the way, our esteemed webmaster and program chair, Gary Stigall, has won a National award for his hard work and dedication. I often hear other chapters comment that our site looks so good, and has such great content, that they are often tempted to do a cut ‘n’ paste! The members of Chapter 36 are some of the friendliest and most talented around.

I leave knowing that Chapter 36 is in good hands and wish all of you the best in 2009 and beyond.

Eric Schecter
Chapter 36 Chairman

Eric may be reached at eric.schecter@cbsradio.com or by phone at 602-452-1080.

Christyahna Gets New Lemon Grove AM CP

The FCC issued a construction permit for a new 1400 kHz AM station in Lemon Grove. The group operating the 2 watt KRLY-LP "Lite 107.9" in Alpine, Christyahna Broadcasting, had filed for the new 1000 watt local channel station in 2007, but Gold Coast Broadcasting, operating a co-channel AM station in Ventura County, had filed a petition to deny.

Christyahna principal Gerry Turro was past Chief Engineer at WNEW New York, then the operator of the famous "Jukebox Radio" network WJUX in northern New Jersey. The FCC eventually broke up the network of low power FM stations in 2003 after it was accused by competitors of improperly extending its coverage with translators outside its primary coverage area using fiber links to the various transmitters.

LA County Grabs TV Channel 15

On December 30, the FCC ordered Tuesday that it will process land mobile radio applications for the channel 15 (476 – 482 MHz) television band for the County of Los Angeles. In order to demonstrate their need for the spectrum, LA County had filed 57 applications on the new band.

The applications were filed as San Diego State University applied to continue using channel 15 after February 17, the analog TV shutdown date. The channel 15 analog transmission of KPBS-TV would move to serve its La Jolla audience with a digital transmitter. Currently there are two analog translators in La Jolla operating on channels 59 and 67 as K59AL and K67AL. A condition of the new order seems to allow KPBS to operate on channel 15 and KBNT on channel 14 in San Diego, outside a 130 kilometer radius of the LA County radio transceivers.

LA County told the Commission that the channel 15 band frequencies “are immediately adjacent to channels 14 and 16, that are already allocated for land mobile operations in Los Angeles and currently provde the principal radio communications for the County and other public safety agencies within its borders.” The county asserts that “there will not be sufficient capacity in the 700 MHz narrowband channels to accommodate all of the public safety users…that will operate at 470 – 512 MHz.” Since the UHF -TV frequencies are not allocated to public safety radio, LA County sought waivers of Sections 90.303 and 90.305, and Part 73 of FCC rules.

Of the order, Southern California Frequency Coordination Committee leader Howard Fine says, “It’s a spectrum grab.” He said they could conserve existing spectrum by going to narrowband modulation rather than the wasteful 25 kHz FM deviation used.

Entravision Holdings and San Diego State University filed comments against the waiver request. Both parties wrote that the Commission had already allocated the 700 MHz band for public safety use. Entravision said further that, “[t]he pool of broadcast spectrum is further diminished by the requirement to protect neighboring analog and DTV allotments in Mexico.”

KJLA and Shure Electronics filed comments claiming that channel 15 is used extensively in the LA area by wireless microphone and other auxiliary stations.

Other organizations, including the Metropolitan Water District and National Public Safety Telecommunications Council (NPSTC) wrote in favor of the spectrum waiver, saying that the 24 MHz of new spectrum in the 700 MHz band would be insufficient for future public service uses, and that channel 15 is unusable for broadcasting in the LA basin due to the adjacent channel 14 land mobile allocation.

As a condition of the order, the FCC wrote that it believes no class A TV stations outside the 140 km protected radius from LA County’s radio systems would be adversely affected by the public service allocation. Likewise, it said LA County would not be adversely affected by class A operation in San Diego. A KPBS application for digital class A operation on channel 15 was dismissed by the FCC due to Mexican objections, but is under reconsideration that appears not to be affected by this latest FCC order.

The FCC did not provide a solution for wireless auxiliary and microphone users, saying that such devices are “offered no protection” under the current rules.

FCC Commissioner to Visit San Diego for DTV Outreach

Washington, DC – FCC Commissioner Jonathan Adelstein announced he will visit San Diego on January 6 to hold a public town hall meeting on the digital television (DTV) transition.

WHO: FCC Commissioner Jonathan Adelstein
WHAT: Public Town Halls on the DTV Transition
WHEN: January 6, 4:00 PM to 5:00 PM
WHERE: Chula Vista Civic Center Branch Library 365 F St, Chula Vista, CA 91910

The FCC identified target television markets for specific DTV outreach, including all those markets in which more than 100,000 households or at least 15% of the households rely solely on over-the-air signals for television reception. The five FCC Commissioners and senior Commission staff will visit these and other markets to raise awareness and educate consumers in the days leading up to the DTV transition on February 17, 2009.

Reasonable accommodations for people with disabilities are available upon request. Include a description of the accommodation you will need with as much detail as possible. Also include a way we can contact you if we need more information. Please provide as much advance notice as possible; last minute requests will be accepted, but may be impossible to fill. Send an e-mail to fcc504@fcc.gov or call the Consumer & Governmental Affairs Bureau at 202-418-0530 (voice), 202-418-0432 (TTY).