Category Archives: Local News

KUSI and KSWB-TV Begin Their NextGen Broadcast

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. 

RF Specialties Joins Chapter 36 as Sponsor

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

Audacy Files for Chapter 11 Bankruptcy Protection

Radio Insight reports that the Audacy group filed for bankruptcy to reorganize in order to service its $2.66-billion debt load. Another $926-million of debt will mature later this year. Audacy management said it has restructured its debt with a “supermajority” of its debtors in order to reduce its service payments to a realistic level.

A memo to employees said, “Audacy will operate normally during this process. There will be no disruption to your wages and benefits. Our current leadership team will continue to lead the Company, and day-to-day roles and responsibilities will not change. Overall, it will be business as usual….”

It’s no secret that the broadcasting industry has been hit hard with reduced advertising spending as alternative media, such as streaming, grab a bigger slice of the listening audience pie. 

In San Diego, Audacy stations include KBZT  “Alt 94.9”, KYXY 96.5, KWFN “97.3 The Fan”, KXSN “Sunny 98.1”, and KSON 103.7 “New Country.” These stations were derived from CBS and Lincoln Financial ownership that consolidated through a merger with Entercom in 2017, then rebranding as Audacy in 2021. Audacy manages 235 radio stations in 48 markets, according to Inside Radio. 

Hendrik Jaehn Retires from Petco Park

The Holiday Bowl on December 27, 2023, was Hendrik Jaehn’s final production as Engineer-in-Charge at Petco Park. The San Diego Padres hired him 23 years ago to head the scoreboard video and audio control room at Qualcomm Stadium before the team moved to the new stadium downtown in 2004. He said of his duties at Petco Park, “This has been fun. It’s supposed to be work, but it’s just fun to me.”

Hendrik said Wednesday that he will be driving cross-country to a new residence in Florida over the weekend. He said he plans to travel in Europe and “maybe I’ll buy a boat and sail around for a while.”

Hendrik said he gained much of his technical knowledge while working with Fred Swift at KUSI. “Fred is another level,” he said.

He said he enjoyed teaching some of the younger technicians, but lamented the lack of basic knowledge many come into the field with. “When they don’t even have a few audio principles down, how are they supposed to even start? What can I do?”

His successor has not been announced.

FCC Lists LPFM Window Applicants

FCC New 2020 Logo

After the close of the FCC’s December LPFM Construction Permit filing window, applications began showing up among the 2,819 filed nationally. The FCC Daily Digest failed to include frequency and proposed city of license, making the listing worthless to those interested. When a well-known consulting engineer asked the FCC about this, the reply was, “Please note that while there is no legal obligation to do so, we provide these public notices of LPFM new station application filings as a courtesy.”

You can search for the applicants from the usual LMS Search page, but the winning effort goes to Michelle Bradley of RECNet.com. Check out the California page in the REC Filing Window Application Tracking System. Let’s list the San Diego County applicants with REC’s comments:

La Jolla, 94.5 MHz – Facility ID 788739 – La Jolla Community Radio Service – “Junk Application” (XHTY Tijuana co-channel, 0% chance of success)

San Diego, 95.3 MHz – Facility ID 788753 – Prophet WorldBeat Productions – “Junk Application/Application of Concern” (XHATE Tecate co-channel, World Beat Center KVIB-LP ‘shadow owner’, 0% chance of success)

San Diego, 96.9 MHz – Facility ID 787937 – Transmitter in National City near I-5 and SR-54 junction. Labors Training and Community Development Alliance – “Warning: Grant depends on Mexican agreement” (XHRST-FM 10.7 MHz IF offset) Part of MX Group 23, meaning only one applicant of this mutually exclusive group can be chosen if the Mexican government approves.

San Diego, 96.9 MHz – Facility ID 785879 – Transmitter in National City near I-5 and SR-54 junction. Football Camp for Kids – “Warning: Grant depends on Mexican agreement” (XHRST-FM IF 10.7 MHz offset) Part of MX Group 23.

San Diego, 96.9 MHz – Facility ID 788332 – Transmitter at Bonita Long Canyon Park. Justice Overcoming Boundaries in San Diego County – “Warning: Grant depends on Mexican agreement” (XHRST-FM IF 10.7 MHz offset) Part of MX Group 23.

San Diego, 106.1 MHz – Facility ID 788757 – Transmitter at Bacon and Lotus Sts. in Ocean Beach – Social Justice Advocates – “Warning: Tecate Mexico allocation, dependent on Mexican agreement.” (XHATE Tecate 10.7 MHz IF offset)