Category Archives: News

John Barcroft Steps Down as Frequency Coordinator

After at least twenty years of coordinating broadcasting auxiliary frequencies below 1 GHz, John Barcroft is passing on those duties to Gary Stigall. Fred Swift of KUSI coordinates channels above 1 GHz.

Those wishing to submit frequency coordination requests should use the form posted on the SBE 36 Coordination Page. There are links posted there for NFL and Southern California Frequency Coordination Committee that handles coordination outside of San Diego County.

Barcroft was KGB (FM) and KPQP (AM) Chief Engineer for decades before leaving in 2006 and was quite active in the SBE during his radio career. He and Ron Foo produced the SBE Chapter 36 newsletter until 1997.

Remembering Jack Rabell

Jack H. Rabell, 88, died January 2, 2020, a resident of Alpine and long-time San Diego broadcast engineer, on-air personality and car aficionado. His obituary in the San Diego Union-Tribune mentions that he moved from New York in 1946 and worked for 27 years at KOGO. He then worked at numerous stations, including KSON as a country radio personality and engineer with Dick Warren, then as an engineer at KSDO AM/FM, and later at various stations including KPRI-FM 102.1, helping to move the station to Mt. Soledad.

According to his printed obituary, “While working, he chased his passion for cars on the weekends as a classic collector, rallyist and restoration artist. His restoration talents are world-renowned and include credit for Mel Torme’s 1936 Jaguar SS-100 now on display at Peterson Museum in Los Angeles. When not working or playing with cars, Jack could be found with his family at his mountain cabin, camping around the southwest, cruising the oceans or soaking up the Mexican beaches with a cold beer in his hand.”

Services will be private.


Days before the dawn of the new decade, the TEGNA group sold the KFMB radio properties for $5-million to Local Media San Diego.

According to, the deal does not include rights to continue using the 78-year-old call letters, nor does it include any of the property at Santee (AM transmitter), Kearny Mesa (studio), or Mt. Soledad (FM transmitter).

Local Media San Diego currently leases three Mexican-licensed FM stations: CHR “Z90” 90.3 XHTZ, Alternative “91X” 91.1 XETRA-FM, and Rhythmic AC “Magic 92.5” XHRM.

TEGNA bought the three KFMB stations in December 2017 for $325-million and owns no other radio broadcasting properties, so the radio sale was expected.

It’s going to be interesting watching what happens with KFMB-AM since that entity has not turned a profit in recent years. Technically, the KFMB-AM Harris DX-50 transmitter is nearly 30-years-old. Its programming leaves it at the bottom of the San Diego market Nielsen ratings list.

Colleagues speculated that iHeartMedia might buy the KFMB radio properties, but they own the maximum number of FM stations allowed by the FCC for the market and are financially strained as a group.

Apparently, KOGO-AM has plans to multiplex on the KFMB-AM towers in Santee, though the 300-foot towers are electrically short for 600 kHz.

FCC Grants 60-day Grace Period for IPAWS Update

According to a Public Notice from the FCC, EAS participants will not have to update their IPAWS certificates by the November 8, 2019 deadline. 

FEMA and some EAS participants expressed concern over the timeframe, saying that it was not sufficient time. As a result, the FCC issued the public notice to inform EAS participants about Section 11.35(b) of the commission’s rules, which allow for operations to continue “without the defective equipment pending its repair or replacement for 60 days without further FCC authority.”

EAS participants will have until January 7, 2020 to complete the IPAWS certificate updates.

Instructions for updating certificates for the DASDEC EAS devices are here

Users of SAGE EAS equipment should have completed a software update by now. More information is here. If you haven’t already, you need to purchase the software update for $349, and SCMS is a dealer. 

DASDEC EAS Users Can Update IPAWS Certificates

From the SBE EAS List server:
If you are using a DASDEC or OneNet CAP EAS device, we received confirmation from FEMA to release the new Federal Bridge certificate bundle to our users.  Please try to have this certificate update file installed by November 8, 2019 – it is important for the proper validation of CAP alert messages from IPAWS.

The new FEMA IPAWS Certificate for DASDEC/One-Net is now posted: Instructions and download link for the bundle are found at that site.

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