The FCC has cleared the way for a new noncommercial FM signal at 107.9 FM to serve the San Fernando Valley area of Los Angeles. The Los Angeles based Social Justice Radio Project (SJRP) was awarded the construction permit. The call letters will be KSXS-LP.
It has been a long and winding road for 107.9. In 2013 more than a dozen organizations applied for the license. SJRP was one of nine applicants chosen by the FCC to be part of the mutually exclusive decision process under the auspices of the FCC’s Media Bureau.
The Media Bureau denied SJRP’s original application, saying SJRP did not have “reasonable assurance” of a transmitter site. SJRP then provided a letter from the owner of a private site saying the transmitter could be located on the property. Again the Media Bureau ruled against SJRP saying the private site should have been specified in the initial application.
In June, the full FCC disagreed with the Media Bureau and reinstated SJRP’s application. Then they awarded the Construction Permit to SJRP. The Commission also denied complaints from two broadcasters who claimed 107.9 would interfere with their signals: Univision’s KLVE(FM) at 107.5 in Los Angeles, and Calvary Chapel of Costa Mesa, licensee of KWVE(FM) at 107.9 in San Clemente.
Now, SJRP can build KSXS. The map at left shows the projected coverage area. It is very similar to the area covered by KCSN 88.5 FM based in Northridge. KCSN blankets much of the San Fernando Valley but its signal is spotty “over the hill.” There are probably two million people in KSXS’s coverage area. As we all know, once the FCC approves a signal it can be modified or moved or extended with translators.
WHAT KSXS MIGHT SOUND LIKE
If KXSX sounds like what SJRP proposed, I see trouble on the horizon. In its application SJRP promised a utopian programming plan that is far, far from reality. Here are some samples:
(Verbiage in italics is directly from SJRP’s application)
• KSXS will be a fulcrum to advance civic improvement groups [who believe] that education is a fundamental human right that should be open and available to all, regardless of socio-economic status.
• KSXS will serve an audience of 18-35-year-olds who do not generally listen to public radio…
• Programming content will be provided by academics from institutions such as Princeton, Cal State, Harvard and Claremont, featuring conversations between scholars and laypersons, “the latter serving as a proxy for the typical audience member.
• Programming will include shows like “Know Thy Food” discussing the valuable work of Second Harvest (which provides food to families in need); “El Mundo Hoy” will do the same for Homeboy Industries (which offers job training to ex-gang members attempting to re-integrate with productive society); and “Aviation Week” will highlight The Young Eagles (which teaches disadvantaged children how to fly).
Of course none of the above will never happen because it isn’t suitable for broadcast radio. Already advocacy shows are lining for a checkerboard schedule. Let’s hope this is not the future of KSXS.
MORE SPRING DIARY MARKET RATINGS & TRENDS
In Richmond everyone had a good “book.” Hometown WCVE was up a bit but look at how much the out-of-towners from WVTF, Roanoke have gained weekly listeners. WVTF's
second program stream Radio IQ (24/7 news) is a growing factor in Richmond.
Hot Triple A station WNRN continues to add new listeners. WNRN also will appear in at least three or four other markets.
All Nielsen Audio subscribing stations are up in Rochester. Dual format WRUR keeps moving up. WEOS is operated via a LMA by WXXI.
In Buffalo, co-owned WBFO and WNED also had more weekly listeners in Spring 2016 than Spring 2015.
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