Category Archives: Local

KUMI (FM) Relinquishes License

Activist San Diego (“ASD”), licensees of a new non-comm FM station, KUMI 89.9 Romona, sent a letter to the FCC dated July 19, 2021 responding to an earlier FCC letter asking for clarification regarding whether the station had ever been on the air.

Acting General Manager Martin Eder said in the response that they had offered to transfer the license to the Los Coyotes Tribal Chairman’s Association but “heard nothing in return.” Eder did not state whether ASD had actually ever installed or operated a transmitter in spite of having claimed to have been on the air since July 2019 and having held a current license.

Eder told the FCC that ASD “voluntarily relinquishes our FCC broadcast license for 89.9, Romona, CA hoping to serve the greater good.”

The FCC canceled the license July 24, 2021.

FM Stations Finish the Great Mt. Soledad Antenna Swap

[Updated July 18, 2021] Crews working at the KFMB-TV transmit site on Mt. Soledad last month replaced the 8-bay multi-station Dielectric FM transmit antenna with a new antenna. The current group of sharing stations switched temporarily to the old aux antenna Monday, June 7. Then, Wireless Infrastructure Services disassembled the ERI antenna known as “Quadzilla.” They replaced it with a new 12-bay, 1/2-wavelength spaced Dielectric antenna designed to handle the greater power from the three moved from neighborhood transmitters. 

The FCC in late February and early March granted Minor Modification applications for all of the iHeartMedia FM stations atop Mt. Soledad to consolidate at the historic KFMB-TV site, moving from KGTV’s antenna across the street. iHeart’s KMYI 94.1 and KIOZ 105.3 will join current master FM antenna partners KPBS-FM 89.5, KBZT (FM) 94.9, KXSN (FM) 98.1, and KFBG (FM) 100.7. EMF’s KLVJ (FM) 102.1 Encinitas has taken delivery of a Nautel GV15 transmitter and will move its signal from the UCSD tower site to the new master FM antenna, as well. 

iHeartMedia’s KSSX (FM) 95.7 Carlsbad moved from KGTV to KFMB-TV, but their allocation requires a separate, directional antenna that was mounted on the tenant tower at KFMB-TV. The signal has some reduction in signal toward Mexico to the southeast. Last week, Vic Soelberg installed the new Dielectric antenna. 

All the stations on the KFMB-TV site fired up their transmitters at full power during the week of July 11–17, the last ones late in the week after an air conditioning upgrade was finalized.

The FCC granted a Minor Modification application for iHeart Media to move K277DH, the KLSD (AM) translator on 103.3 MHz, from a KGTV-owned tower to the KFMB-TV tower. The CP specifies a vertically polarized Kathrein yagi with an east-west orientation at 250 watts ERP. 

Since the KFMB Stations were sold to TEGNA, InSite had been managing the site for income. American Tower Corp. recently acquired all of the InSite properties and management contracts and has taken over management of the KFMB-TV property.

FCC Asks KUMI to Do Some Explaining

A letter from the FCC to Activist San Diego dated June 24, 2021 orders the licensee of KUMI (FM) 89.9 MHz Romona to explain why it filed a License to Cover its construction but apparently never built the station.

That letter is in response to one filed with the FCC in October 2020 from John Fox, General Manager of KPRI (FM) 91.3 MHz Pala in which Mr. Fox complains that:

  • Activist San Diego was never given permission to enter the reservation land it lists as the transmitter location
  • The location licensed has not been disturbed in any way
  • Documents supporting the license application for KUMI contain false statements
  • The station had not operated on the designated frequency (89.9 MHz) anywhere in the region for the 16 months prior to the letter being written to the FCC.

KUMI’s license specifies a transmitter location on Los Coyotes Band of Cupeño and Cahuilla Indians land on Hot Springs Mountain near Warner Springs.

The FCC is requiring Activist San Diego to explain the discrepancies within 30 days or face “adverse actions jeopardizing both the Station’s license and call letters.”

Activist San Diego also operates KNSJ (FM) 89.1 Descanso, transmitting from Monument Peak with 330 watts horizontal and 290 watts vertical. The political organization is based in North Park, San Diego.

National EAS Test Resuming This August

The National Periodic Test, not conducted last year during the heat of the pandemic, is scheduled for Wednesday, August 11, 2021. The transmission will be through the network of PEP (Primary Entry Point) stations—not through the IPAWS network.

San Diego County Stations can validate the NPT using their normally assigned LP sources, like LP-1 KOGO 600 kHz and LP-2 KLSD 1360 kHz. Additionally, KPBS 89.5 MHz is considered a PEP station by virtue of its affiliation with NPR. SiriusXM Radio has also been authorized as a PEP source. But you don’t need to reconfigure your system to confirm the National Periodic Test if it’s working for normal RWTs and RMTs.

Stations Should Note Reason for IPAWS April 26 RWT Failure

When FEMA issues an IPAWS test or alert, it includes a “signature certificate.” This operates similar to a password for accessing different sites or files on a computer. In the case of a message from FEMA, a message without a correct signature the EAS device should ignore the message.

On April 26, 2021, the Required Weekly Test (RWT) from IPAWS was transmitted with an incorrect signature. The test messages had a mismatch between the digest inside the message, and the digest computed by receivers. This is a part of the validation for an alert, and checking it is required by FCC Rule 11.56(c): “EAS Participants shall configure their systems to reject all CAP-formatted EAS messages that include an invalid digital signature.”

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