Bill Thompson Remembered

Bill Thompson. Photo by Scottie Rice

iHeart Regional Lead Engineer John Rigg sent us a note on Monday, November 27, 2023: “It is with tremendous sorrow that I announce the passing of William B. Thompson. 

“Bill was a fixture in the broadcast engineering community for 40+ years.   Bill began his broadcast career in Columbus, Georgia, stopping at CNN Radio in Atlanta and then making his way to San Diego in 1988. 

“Initially working for the upstart powerhouse Q106 and Edens Broadcasting, Bill’s 35 years in San Diego have been spent entirely with iHeart Media and their predecessors.  

“Bill will be greatly missed.”

Bill had specialized in transmitter maintenance for the iHeartMedia group in San Diego. He served as LECC Vice-Chair for local EAS administration since he was the Chief Engineer of LP1 station KOGO for years.

Bringing 5G Broadcasting to the Masses

November 14 Chapter Meeting

Maybe you’ve heard that a Boston LPTV station, WWOO-LD, received an experimental license and is now broadcasting 5G technology from an antenna in downtown Boston. XGN Network is providing the technical horsepower and CEO Frank Copsidas says they chose 5G both for its economics for LPTV station owners and its potential for compatibility with existing mobile phones.

Qualcomm tried something similar to this with the MediaFLO project in the late 2000s and they discontinued the system. What makes Copsidas and their partners Bitstern and Qualcomm think they can make it work this time? What content would we watch? What does the FCC say about this? Do handsets have apps that allow access? What’s happening at WWOO-LD now?

For the answers to these and more questions, join our presenters from XGN, Bitstem, and Qualcomm as Chapters 36 and 47 host a Zoom online presentation on Tuesday, November 14 at 11:30 AM PT. Sign-up for the meeting here.

You can find videos of the 5G launches and more information at 5GBroadcasting.org.

Continue reading Bringing 5G Broadcasting to the Masses

LPFM Update

The FCC moved the Low Power FM new license filing window to December 6 through 13, 2023 from November to give more time for applicants.

Several San Diego FM stations have filed to move their transmitter sites or otherwise improve their signals before the next LPFM filing window. Their applications attempt to reserve better coverage and prevent co-channel filers from encroaching. 

KVIB-LP 101.1 San Diego was granted a Construction Permit in mid-October to move from its current location atop the World Beat Center in Balboa Park to the top of a building in University Heights near the corner of Park Boulevard and Adams Avenue. This move will significantly increase the population count served since the current location has no housing within a radius that readily prevents co-channel interference from KRTH Los Angeles. KVIB is licensed to Positive Hope, Inc., an organization closely linked with the World Beat Center. 

K206AC 89.1 La Jolla – On September 21, 2023, the FCC granted a Construction Permit to increase its power from 4 to 50 watts ERP and to change its translator source to KPBS’s HD2 service. The analog signal would then broadcast the classical music secondary channel of the San Diego State University NPR affiliate. The translator sits atop an apartment highrise building at 939 Coast Boulevard near La Jolla Cove.

KCZP-LP 93.7 San Diego filed with the FCC on August 8, 2023 to move its transmitter from its current location atop the bell tower of the St. Joseph Cathedral at 3rd and Beech street in uptown San Diego to an adjacent, taller Cathedral Plaza Apartments associated with the Catholic Diocese. The new location would provide terrain clearance to the north and some downtown building clearance southward. The station, while independent of the Catholic Church, provides Catholic network programming.

Jeff Latimer Dies in Texas

Jeff Latimer

Jeff Latimer, 53, a past broadcast engineer in San Diego, was reported by his wife Marsi in a Facebook post to have passed away in his sleep on October 21 in Texas. Jeff had worked at KUSI, XETV, KFMB, and OAN until the couple moved to Texas in 2021 where Jeff worked with Kenneth Copeland Ministries. Marsi had also said in the post that he had suffered what she termed a hemorrhagic stroke several months ago. He is survived by Marsi and their son Dallas. Marsi and Jeff had been married for 20 years. Marsi was a traffic and weather reporter in San Diego for many years.

I had the honor and pleasure of working with Jeff on a microwave system installation project. Our condolences to Marsi and her family.

Broadcaster Certifications Due for BAS Authorizations in the 12.7–13.25 GHz Band

The FCC is in the midst of a proceeding examining whether and how to repurpose the 12.7-13.25 GHz Band for new “expanded use”-namely, broadband wireless. Many broadcast stations make use of the band for crucial broadcast auxiliary services (BAS), including for links from studios to transmitters (STLs and TSLs), electronic newsgathering (ENG), and intercity relays (ICRs). Because the “expanded use” contemplated in the band may displace or require the repack of incumbent BAS operations, the Commission is requiring the majority of BAS licensees in the 12.7 GHz band to complete a certification as to the accuracy and operational status of their operations in the band.

The FCC has issued a Public Notice announcing that those certifications are due on or before November 29, 2023. It will be extremely important for broadcasters to timely and accurately complete and file those certifications; the FCC has indicated that it will use the certifications as the mechanism by which to grant or deny broadcasters’ future ability to receive various benefits in the band, including reimbursement for relocation, interference protection, and/or repacking to a new location within the band.

The below synthesizes some of the most important generally applicable aspects of the Notice; however, the following summary should not be viewed as a substitute for a careful examination of the Notice itself.

  • Certifications for BAS licenses must be filed in ULS. Broadcasters will need to file certifications for their affected 12.7 GHz Band authorizations in the Commission’s Universal Licensing System (ULS) as a “non-docketed pleading” associated with all BAS call signs to which the certification applies. The Notice provides more information on pages 2 and 3, including the required content for each certification. Because ULS functionality can at times be limited due to unexpected technical issues, it is strongly recommended that broadcasters not wait until the last minute to prepare and submit these filings.
  • Certifications must certify (1) the present accuracy of all information reflected on the license, and (2) that the facilities are operating as authorized. A sample certification format is included at the end of the Notice as “Attachment 1.”
  • Limited exemptions. If you applied for a new or modified license on or after January 1, 2021-including a modification request in response to the Notice-the specific call sign involved in the application is exempt from the certification requirement. To be clear, this exemption does NOT apply to applications solely for renewal.
  • Some modifications permitted; also due by November 29. If you discover incorrect information on your current authorizations in the Band, the Public Notice outlines the procedures you must take to modify your authorization to reflect accurate information. Minor modifications will be permitted so long as a licensee can establish in an exhibit to the application either that (1) the modification would not add to any relocation costs, if applicable in the future, or (2) a waiver of the current filing freeze would be justified. Any other (non-minor) modifications must include a request for waiver of the freeze, and will be evaluated on a case-by-case basis.

If you have BAS operations in the 12.7 GHz band, you should carefully examine the Notice and consult your regulatory counsel to ensure a full understanding of how the certification requirements and procedures affect your own authorizations.

Society of Broadcast Engineers