Monday, June 26, 2006


News10 24-Hour Doppler on Comcast

Gannett-owned KXTV-10 in Sacramento has launched "News10.2" on Comcast Digital Cable Channel 191. The 24-hour service is a non-commercial, uniterrupted stream of the News10 Doppler Radar image.

KXTV joins KCRA (Weather Plus) and KVIE (KVIE2) in offering secondary programming streams to Comcast cable subscribers and over-the-air viewers with digital/HD receivers.


HD Comes To Sacramento

Two of Clear Channel's Sacramento stations have launched High Definition radio channels. KFBK (1530) and KGBY (92.5) put HD-2 on the air in the last two weeks. They are the first area stations to begin broadcasting with the new digital radio technology.


CBS Radio To Jump In The "Stream"

After years of executive level rejection of internet streaming, Sacramento's six CBS-owned radio stations will finally join the cyber-universe with streamed versions of their on-air programming by the end of the summer.

Sports-formatted KHTK (1140); Country KNCI (105.1); Alternative Pop KZZO (100.5), Adult Hits KQJK (Jack 93.7); Urban KSFM (102.5) and AC KYMX (Mix 96.1) will go live within 60 days, as soon as equipment can be installed at three sites around Sacramento. Of the six, only KNCI is offering any sort of streaming audio, a country music channel that is not a simulcast of the top-rated on-air product.


KMPH-AM Testing

KMPH(AM), the new Modesto-based Pappas station designed to replace the now-in-transition-KTRB (on its way to San Francisco), is on the air and testing as of Monday afternoon.

KMPH, formerly licenced as KPMP, broadcasts with 5kw days and 1kw nights at 840 AM. The station's programming is still to be announced; it is operating from the former KTRB studios and transmitter sites in Modesto.

KTRB left the air in Modesto on June 19, 73 years to the day after it first signed on in Modesto.



After a year-long absence, during which THE INFORMER was seen and heard by no one in the continental United States, THE DIRT SHEET has returned...

We're ready to dish dirt and bring you the news about California media.

Stay tuned for updates. We're JUST GETTING STARTED...again.

Wednesday, June 29, 2005


Capital Public Radio Expands

The newest station in the growing family of Capital Public Radio signed on Tuesday. KQNC-88.1 Quincy launched in Plumas County, simulcasting CPR's jazz/news formatted KXJZ-88.9 Sacramento.

Capital Public Radio is licensed to Sacramento State University. KXJZ is also simulcast on KXJS-88.7 Sutter and KKTO-90.5 Tahoe City; and part-time on KUOP-91.3 Stockton. CPR also operates classical formatted KXPR-90.9 Sacramento and simulcast KXSR-91.7 Groveland.

Thursday, June 23, 2005


Sacto: Pax Denied

Paxson Communications suffers a defeat at the FCC, as its application for an extension of time to construct digital television facilities in Sacramento is denied.

The company had sought additional months to complete construction of KSPX-DT 48, the digital sibling to KSPX-29. The station's technical facilities, located in a strip mall near Mather Field, do not presently support either digital technology or studio production of any kind. In addition, the station is running behind in securing tower space in Walnut Grove for the proposed transmitter location. The analog transmitter is located above Shingle Springs in El Dorado County.

KSPX's sales and traffic functions are handled by KCRA-3, which also provides the station with two nightly rebroadcasts of KCRA 3 Reports at 7 and 11:30pm.


SF Arbitrends: It's All About KGO...Again!

The month of May was again merry for Disney news/talk powerhouse KGO-810, as Bay Area listeners 12 years old and older tuned into the heritage station more than any other. Arbitron trends numbers released this afternoon reveal that KGO's closest competitor, Bonneville AC simulcast KOIT-AM 1260/FM 96.5 is more than two full points behind in second place.

Clear Channel Urban Top 40 KMEL-106.1 holds in third, with KSFO-560 inching up to fourth and passing KCBS-740, which drops slightly to fifth. Smooth Jazz KKSF-103.7 and Classical KDFC-102.1 swap ranks, finishing 6th and 7th respectively; and three stations with urban leanings round out the top ten: AC KISQ-98.1; Hip-Hop KYLD-94.9; and AC KBLX-102.9.

Notable: continuing lackluster performances by KIOI-"Star" 101.3, "Alice" KLLC-97.3, and country KZBR-95.7 "The Bear." Each has failed to make significant gains in the last year. And the much touted "Energy 92.7" has settled, albeit with a monster hook and a killer beat, in last place.


Sacto: May Flowers For KFBK, Eagle

The May Arbitrend numbers, released late this morning, showed not much has changed in the last two months. KFBK-1530 remains the market's top rated station in listeners 12 years of age and up, with KSEG-"96.9 The Eagle" claiming top honors in listeners ages 25-54 for the fourth straight month.

In the 12+ race, KFBK was followed by perennial runner up KSFM-102.5; KNCI-105.1 climbed to third, now tied with KSEG. Smooth Jazz KSSJ-94.7 held down fifth place, with KSTE-650's talk format gaining almost a full point to finish 6th. KRXQ-"98 Rock" lands 7th; with KYMX-96.1 in 8th spot; KDND-107.9 "The End" and KBMB-103.5 "The Bomb" tied in ninth. Other notables: KHTK-1140, which held on to 13th place in spite of the Kings' early exit from the playoffs; KWOD-106.5, whose "Version 2.0" is holding on to its ratings since changing formats in April; KXCL-"Flash 103.9", which continues to trend up since moving to Lincoln from Yuba City in February; KSAC-1240, whose liberal talk format has lost more than half its listeners since the election; and KBDB-"Bob 92.1" which dipped to 28th place -- lower all-time that predecessor KREL ("Real Country.")

In listeners 25-54 years of age, Arbitron says KSEG won the month followed by sister KRXQ; KYMX climbed to third place and KNCI continues its recovery, moving into the fourth spot. Then its KFBK, KGBY-92.5 in seventh (with its best numbers since last winter); KHYL-"V101.1" sliding from third to seventh; KSTE leaping from 12th to 8th; and Infinity siblings KHTK and KSFM tied for 9th. KSSJ dropped over a point and out of the top ten; with KXCL making nice gains and getting back to #15 overall. "Super Estrella" KXSE-104.3 continued its strong showing, placing 18th and beating KHWD-"Howard 93.7" and KKFS "105.5 The Fish."


Modesto: "Gringo Suave" Hits Hot 104-7

David Armbrecht arrives from Phoenix to take the PM drive slot at KHTN 104.7 Modesto -- but don't listen for that name. He rolls as "Gringo Suave" as he slides into the chair Monday, 6/27.

Gringo was last heard as "stuntboy" for "MB's Morning Madhouse" at KZZR-Phoenix and KDON-Monterey. KHTN Assistant Program Director and Promotions Director Drew Roberts had been filling in the time period; he'll go back to promotions brainstorming for KHTN and Buckley sister country station KUBB.


SF: Starkey Stays With 49ers; Exits KGO

After 26 years, KGO Radio Sports Director Joe Starkey is leaving the Bay Area's dominant radio station.

Starkey, the longtime voice of the San Francisco 49ers, will remain with the team as its radio broadcasts segue to Susquehanna's KNBR-680 in the upcoming season. Starkey will continue to be heard on KGO-810 in University Of California football broadcasts; he's been the voice of the Golden Bears (and an employee of the University) for 30 years.

Rich Walcoff will assume Starkey's sports reporting duties on KGO's afternoon news program on an interim basis.

Wednesday, June 22, 2005


Bakersfield: KUZZ Still On Top -- Just Barely

The May Arbitrend report shows that while Buck Owens' perennial country powerhouse KUZZ-AM 550/FM 107.9 is still top dog in the market (in persons 12 years of age and up), the Clear Channel spanish "La Preciosa" combo (KKDJ-FM/KDFO-AM) is poised to overtake the number one spot in the South Valley.

The station debuted just a year ago with just under 3% of all listeners 12 and up. In May, that number had nearly tripled, bringing it to number two and just one-tenth of a point behind KUZZ. La Preciosa, a hybrid of regional Mexican musical styles, is the fastest growing format in the recent history of Bakersfield radio. The stations are part of a network spanning from San Francisco to Bakersfield and out to Las Vegas.

A pair of American General Media stations are next, with KISV "Hot 94.1" dropping almost 17% since last fall's brief stay at the top; sister KGFM-101.5 continues to grow its adult contemporary format into a tie for fourth -- almost double it's share of last summer. Buckley's Hot AC KLLY-"Kelly 95.3" climbs into the fifth spot.

A pair of Clear Channel stations land in a sixth place tie: Classic Rocker KDFO-"985 The Fox" and active rock KRAB-106.1 were flat in May's numbers. KIWI "Radio Lobo" drops to eighth, with news/talk KERN-1410 slipping slightly to ninth and R&B Oldies formatted KKBB-"Groove 99.3" in tenth.


Central Coast: Family Radio Comes to Santa Maria

A case of two extremes: last week, the tumult known as the Michael Jackson trial ended in otherwise sleepy Santa Maria.

This week: Harold Camping arrived in town.

Camping's "Family Radio" network, full of traditional Christian music and bible teaching, has signed on a full power station at Santa Maria. KHFR-89.7 hit the air Tuesday, carrying the full Family Radio network schedule plus local public affairs programs twice daily.


Fresno: Sale Completed at KFIG

Radio Central has completed the transfer of KFIG-1430 Fresno to Fat Dawgs 7 Broadcasting. No format or personnel changes.


Bay Area: Infinity Places Stations In Trust

To comply with FCC ownership rules, Infinity Broadcasting has placed two of its peninsula FM stations in trust. KBAY-94.5 Gilroy and KEZR-FM 106.5 San Jose have been placed in trust with Media Venture Partners principal Elliot Evers. MVP is a brokerage and appraisal firm based in San Francisco, which has previously worked with First Broadcasting on its Sacramento valley acquisitions.

The move by Infinity is nothing more than a cosmetic one in a legal sense, as it allows the company to continue to operate the two stations until either they can be sold or FCC rule changes on ownership limits are finalized.

Infinity owns nine Bay Area radio stations, two Bay Area TV stations; plus six radio and two TV stations in Sacramento. To satisfy FCC stipulations in parent Viacom's acquisition of KOVR-13 Stockton-Sacramento, Infinity divested KFRC-AM 610 San Francisco to Family Stations. The back half of that transaction has IBC getting KEAR-FM 106.9 San Francisco from Family in a deal totalling $60 million


Central Coast: "Hurban" Comes To Salinas

Wolfhouse Radio's KEBV-97.9 Salinas has dropped its oldies format in favor of Latin-flavored urban contemporary music, a format called "Hurban."

The station, now known as KEXA, will use the "Exa U.S." format of edgy latin rap and dance tracks and urban CHR music. Exa is based in Mexico, and the trademarked format is popular in larger centers throughout Central America and on a growing number of stations along the U.S.-Mexican border.

There were no significant staff changes, as the previous oldies format (much like the new Exa service) is satellite-delivered and automated.


RANDOM RANTINGS: Of Positions and Possibilities

The times, they are a-changing.

Doug Harvill, who's been running Infinity's six-station radio cluster in town as long as it has existed -- and who comes from humble beginnings as a DJ back east -- is leaving his creation (he'd love that, wouldn't he?) to run the seven stations Infinity owns in San Francisco.

Questions arise: Why does Harvill have to go so fast (he starts TODAY) -- and why did his San Francisco counterpart Doug Sterne leave -- so fast. And, was any of this voluntary on anyone's part? The Informer hears it may not have been, at least at the left end of the deal. And, who will take Harvill's job on a permanent basis? There's lots to do at IBC in Sactown, especially considering one station is facing the loss of its namesake (KHWD-Howard 93.7) and another is looking to renew its affiliation with a certain local hoops franchise.

Speaking of Infinity, we hear that one of that company's Sactown FM's is in the market for a new PM drive assassin -- and that they've been shopping close to home. Could there be a reunion for a popular local afternoon star at a place that used to be familiar?

Inquiring minds want to know....

The Informer

Tuesday, June 21, 2005


Bakersfield: The Doctor Is Out at KGET

Clear Channel's KGET-AM 970 is dropping longtime host Dr. Laura Schlessinger, and adding a daily talk show with retired Kern County firefighter, conservative Jack Duncan.

Duncan has hosted a Saturday talk show on KGET for a couple of months. The move is designed to bring more of a local presence to KGET, which also carries Rush Limbaugh and Glenn Beck, plus six hours of local news blocks each day.

The market also boasts two other news/talk stations, KERN-1410 (which offers the very popular Michael Savage program "Savage Nation") and KEZR-1560 (with strong local host Ralph Bailey in afternoons).

Duncan's show premieres July 5; KGET will also segue to Fox News Radio for its hourly newscasts, beginning in August.


North Bay: Doug Smith, 1959-2005

Doug Smith, morning host at KRSH-95.9 Santa Rosa, was killed Saturday night in a motorcycle accident in Sonoma County.

AP reports Smith died from injuries suffered when his motorcycle failed to negotiate a curve on River Road near the Korbel Winery. Witnesses told CHP Smith was crossing double yellow lines and passing vehicles at speeds up to 90 miles per hour.

KRSH program director Dean Kattari said Smith's was "the best morning show I've ever heard." The station's website at has set up a tribute page.

Doug Smith is survived by his wife, Tina. He was 46.


Infinity Promotes Sacto Boss

Longtime Infinity Broadcasting Sacramento Market Manager Doug Harvill has been tapped to take over as Senior Vice President and Market Manager for the company's San Francisco cluster of stations (seven in all). Harvill will also assume the role of General Manager for KCBS-740 and KFRC-99.7.

Among Harvill's achievements during his tenure in Sacramento was the creation of America's most successful sports radio format on KHTK-1140, which included the acquisition of broadcast flagship status for the Sacramento Kings.

Harvill assumes his new duties tomorrow.

Monday, June 20, 2005


EMF On The Grow Again: California Purchases

Rocklin-based Educational Media Foundation is growing again, purchasing a chain of rural area stations throughout Northern California. Carousel Broadcasting is selling the stations as a package deal for an undisclosed sum. EMF operates two national Christian radio formats, "K-Love" and "Air 1," and has been in a period of unprecendented growth.

The stations included in the deal: KPCO-1370 Quincy; KBNF-98.9 (Kabin 99) Chester and booster KBNF-FM-1 Portola, plus translator K253AA Susanville.


Northstate: Stations Sold

The FCC has approved the sale of four radio stations licensed to Four Rivers Broadcasting, to Ardmore, OK-based Gibbs Holdings. Gibbs is an investment firm that specializes in small communications facilities and business trade publications. Terms were not disclosed.

The deal includes: KNTK-102.3 Weed; KSYC-FM 103.9 Yreka; KTDE-100.5 Gualala; and KMFB-92.7 Mendocino.


Bakersfield: Jimmy Bays, 1927-2005

Actor, singer and former Bakersfield television star Jimmy Bays has died of Parkinson's disease at age 78.

Known best in the South Valley, Bays and wife Sandra hosted the Sunday-morning series "The Sandra and Jimmy Bays Show" on KERO-23 from 1964 to 1971. In addition to prominent local newsmakers, the Bays hosted entertainment personalities and ordinary citizens in one of the area's best remembered and most unique local programs.

Bays also appeared in bit parts in numerous theatrical productions and films, including "The Godfather." Bays also opened Bakersfield's first discotheque, The Yum Yum Room.

Memorial services will be held in Bakersfield on Tuesday.

Saturday, June 18, 2005


North Valley: Family Stations Acquires TV

Family Stations, the Oakland-based Christian broadcaster, has acquired translator station K47GR 47 Redding from Woodcook & Allen Communications. The 818 watt station is rebroadcasting the signal of Family's KFTL-CA 28 San Francisco.

Family now owns three translators in the North Valley area. It is the former owner of full power KFTL-64 (now KTFK) Stockton.


Who Is Mark C. Allen?

Not much is known of Mark C. Allen, who suddenly finds himself in the role of communications mini-magnate in some of America's smallest, most unique broadcast regions. His television properties include:

Allen's first acquisition was (and is) KCNR-AM 1460 Shasta City. Over the last three-plus years, the tiny 750 watt station has been off-air about as much as its been broadcasting, bouncing from format to format. KCNR just resumed broadcasting last week after 15 months of silence. Allen has installed the Jones Radio Network's "Music Of Your Life" satellite format there. Four years ago, and under original calls KMCA, Allen was fined by the FCC for a host of violations at its main studio site. Last year Allen sold the CP for KJPR 1330 in Shasta Lake to Jefferson Public Radio.


Central Coast: Update Your Bookmark

Just a year after it changed to Spanish talk from an all-sports format, Carmel Valley's KXME-540 has changed its calls to KRXA...with no explanation.


North Bay: New Spanish Voice

Non-profit Spanish broadcaster Radio Bilingue has acquired KVFR-88.5 in the Mendocino county town of Laytonville. The 1kw non-commercial FM was part of Harold Camping's Family Stations group, based in Oakland. KVFR has now flipped to a Spanish format of oldies and traditional music.

Radio Bilingue owns and operates 3 FM's in Fresno, and additional stations in El Centro and Salinas.


Central Valley: Wilks Takes Over

Wilks Broadcasting has formally taken over operations of the Mondosphere stations in the San Joaquin Valley. They include: KFRR-104.1 Woodlake; KJSX-95.7 Fresno; and KUUS-105.5 San Joaquin. The stations operate from studios in Fresno.


Sacto: Pirate FM Goes Silent

As reported earlier this week, an alleged pirate broadcaster in Northeast Sacramento county has been transmitting a stereo signal full of eclectic music, occasionally profane language, and virtually no chatter. The station, at 92.9 FM, was transmitting as recently as 8pm Friday; as of midday Saturday, the signal had gone off the air.

There's no word as to who was operating the signal, which was available in portions of Carmichael, Citrus Heights, Orangevale and Roseville; or whether the FCC got wind of the activity.


Modesto: LPFM On The Air

A new community FM station signed on the air in Modesto on Wednesday. KPSR-LP, operated by the Westside Project Community Center, signed on with 35 watts of power at 107.9 just before 3pm. The station promises a format of different musical styles and local events.

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