On Friday, February 9, 2024, the FCC canceled the license of low-power FM KRLY-LP Alpine, ending the station’s nearly 20-year history. A letter from the FCC explained that correspondence requesting an explanation for the station’s silence lasting more than a year had not been answered, so, by their rules, the station’s license had expired on May 24, 2023 “as a matter of law.”
The station was granted a construction permit in 2004 with 2 watts ERP on 107.9 MHz from water tanks north and above the town of Alpine. Timothy and Kathleen Lange initially owned the station. They carried a Christian format. Gerry Turro, famous for his “Jukebox Radio” stations in New Jersey in the 1990s until the FCC shut them down in 2003 became involved and moved KRLY-LP to an Easy Listening/Standards format. Gerry had been the Chief Engineer of WNEW-AM New York.
Adam Williams took control of the station in May 2010. Alpine resident Chris Torrick, past Oklahoma radio DJ, managed the station. Chris long held a dream to own and operate a radio station.
Low power FM stations cannot broadcast commercials, so unless financed by a wealthy benefactor or well-organized collective, they usually run out of money. KRLY-LP was further burdened with rough topography, low power limitations, and adjacent channel interference from XHRST-FM Tijuana on 107.7 MHz. The station was granted a Minor Modification to move and increase power to 50 watts in August of 2022, but the CP was never built out.
Chris Torrick continues to stream his station with a country music format from his home in Alpine. He has not responded to questions about his operation.
Disclosure: Chris hired me to move the station during the summer of 2014. It had a full-sized studio with interview microphones on professional furniture, run on Prophet automation, with an AudioArts console.
CBS-TV and the Golf Channel will broadcast the annual Farmers Insurance Golf Tournament at Torrey Pines beginning Wednesday, January 24. The broadcast uses cameras placed throughout the course and requires many wireless communications channels. BSI has received a Special Temporary Authority from the FCC to operate comms on UHF-TV channel 14. Some control and intercom devices are expected on shared 450 and 455 MHz Broadcast Auxiliary System channels, coordinated by SBE volunteer Gary Stigall. If you experience interference, contact Gary.
A memorial for recently deceased veteran broadcast engineer Bill Thompson will be held Sunday, January 28, at 2:00 PM at the Kearny Mesa Moose Lodge, 3636 Ruffin Road, San Diego. Social quarters will open at 1:00 PM with the memorial service starting at 2:00 PM. A light lunch will be provided after the service.
The family says additional parking is available at 3634 Ruffin Road, but they ask that you do not park under the building. A second parking lot is available at 3626 Ruffin Road, but “do not park near the main entrance or under the solar canopy, and do not use the EV charging stations.”
On January 16, 2024, KUSI and KSWB-TV began their shared broadcast in the NextGen ATSC 3.0 format on UHF-TV channel 18 in San Diego.
Viewers who want to continue to receive KUSI over the air will need to perform a RESCAN on their TVs. This is generally done by entering the MENU, then looking for SIGNAL or RF or ANTENNA, selecting AIR (not CABLE), and AUTO-PROGRAM or SCAN or ADD CHANNELs on the MENU.
Their December 11, 2023 FCC application specified having the KUSI channel 18 transmitter hosting KSWB-TV “Fox 5” and ATSC 1.0 on the KSWB-TV channel 26 transmitter hosting KUSI, each atop Mt. San Miguel.
The FCC recently approved Nextstar’s purchase of KUSI. The two stations are now co-owned and are moving into the established KUSI studio facility in Murphy Canyon.
Some models of commonly available television sets now include NextGen tuners. KRPE-LD channel 6 on Mt. San Miguel was the first area station to begin the NextGen service.
Many thanks to Jeff Motta, Sales Manager of RF Specialties of California. Jeff made a generous donation at the end of 2023 to help support Chapter 36. RF Specialities has been based in San Diego since 2018, when Dennis Pieri acquired the West Coast divisions.
RF Specialties distributes several major brands of broadcast RF hardware, including Nautel, Dialectric, Jampro, Kathrein, RFS Systems, Bext, and Anywave. They also represent many brands of broadcast infrastructure, including DASDEC, Sage Alerting Systems, D2D Technologies, Inovonics, Mackie, and so on. Check out all of their equipment lines here.