Preventative Electrical Outages Take Down Local Radio Stations

Determined not to be blamed for fires due to sparking transmission lines, San Diego Gas & Electric has been turning off electricity prophylactically as Santa Ana winds build in northern and eastern San Diego County. Better to turn off power than have power lines spark in the wind, the theory goes. Outlying radio stations have gone off the air because of it.

We have reports of these radio stations leaving the air October 24 and 25:

  • KYDO 96.1 Campo
  • KKLJ 100.1 Julian
  • KWFN-FM2 97.3 Romona

KPRZ 1210 kHz San Marcos was reportedly able to stay on the air with a generator.

The FCC issued a Public Notice announcing the activation of a voluntary Disaster Information Reporting System in response to shutoffs by California electrical utilities PG&E and SDG&E. They are asking affected FCC licensees to report outages to the Disaster Information Reporting System (DIRS) at Of course, you’ll need to register with a User ID and password.

The FCC is asking communications providers to report outages from now until “DIRS is deactivated.” San Diego County is included in the “counties of interest” list.

Emergency Websites – Keep These Links

Many thanks to Bob Gonsett for sending us this list of emergency resources, primarily for San Diego County, available on-line:

SDG&E Awareness Info – Excellent to display at your station continuously
SDG&E Yellow Splotch Map – Anticipated power outages
SDG&E Outage Map – Real time info, two fingers to move map
Cal Fire Map
Cal Fire Stats
UCSD HPWREN Mountaintop Web Cams – Click on a thumbnail to enlarge
Inciweb – National safety incidents
Forest Service Fire
SD County Emergency Site

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.

October 16 Meeting: Laguna Designs

Designing and building well-regarded audio-video furniture requires a disciplined combination of form, function, and craftsmanship. We are privileged to have just up the freeway in Laguna Niguel one of the greats of building both for broadcast radio and post-production television. Mitch Strohman of Laguna Designs will visit this month to show us some design considerations and ideas that he’s turned into functional art.

On Wednesday, October 16 at iHeartMedia in San Diego, Mitch Strohman gave a well-narrated slide show of some of their contemporary control room furniture designs. He emphasized the evolution toward minimalist furniture using extruded aluminum support and pre-manufactured laminated MDF surface since monitors are now flat and controls are often virtual. They do a lot of sophisticated multiscreen monitor walls now, as you might imagine.

About Mitch

Mitch Strohman started Laguna Designs Inc. in 2002 as a premier, solutions provider for Broadcast and Post Production technical millwork. “Having 20 years of design and project management experience as well as an entrepreneurial flair, we recognized the need for the specialized demands of the entertainment industry. We are a boutique shop that remains entirely focused on a relatively small market niche. We strive to provide personalized and innovative solutions with focused expertise.”

Society of Broadcast Engineers, San Diego