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by Myla Reson
Thursday, Jul. 15, 2004 at 9:38 AM
Yesterday afternoon power failed on Mount Wilson and Pacifica's kpfK ceased transmission for over one hour. Most LA listeners tuned to 90.7 FM could clearly hear classical musical being broadcast from Tijuana station XLNC.
Border Blaster Continues to Interfere with Pacifica's
Southern California Station
Los Angeles, CA
July 14, 2004
by Myla Reson
According to Pacifica's broadcast engineer Don Mussel,
Tijuana/Chula Vista based XLNC "has caused
interference to KPFK in Los Angeles" since its "very
first day of broadcasting". That day was Valentine's
For close to four and one half years strains of
compositions by Franz Schubert, Erik Satie, Ludwig Van
Beethoven and other classical greats have drowned out
portions of Democracy Now!, Uprising host, Sonali
Kolhatkar and other important public affairs shows on
the Pacifica Foundation's Southern California station.
Both the Mexican station and KPFK are licensed to
broadcast at the frequency of 90.7 FM, but for nearly
four and a half years XLNC has been ignoring many basic conditions of its license permit.
XLNC is out of compliance in a number of significant
1) It is licensed to broadcast at 1 kW - it broadcasts
at between 30 - 40 kW.
2) It's broadcast tower is much closer to the border
than the location allowed by law and specified in its
3) The transmitter is 400 feet higher than the
height allowed on its permit.
4) Instead of using an omnidirectional transmitter as
required, the classical music station has a massive
antenna system aimed north towards San Diego and Los
The result is devasting for many KPFK listener
sponsors. Classically trained opera singer Hope Foye
who resides in the Southern part of the KPFK signal
area goes to extraordinary lengths to listen to
Democracy Now!. This protege of the late, great Paul
Robeson must climb into her car and drive up a hill to
hear Amy Goodman's show on weekday mornings. Foye
fears that her lifetime love affair with classical
music is seriously threatened by the nuisance of
interference with her most trusted source for news and
public affairs programming.
The interfernce, however is not limited to Long Beach
and San Pedro. The contours of the land are often a
determining factor. In canyons and Northern coastal
parts of KPFK's signal area KPFK's broadcasts are
often interrupted by its Southern rival.
Over a year ago KPFK launched a campaign to get
listeners involved by urging them to contact the FCC.
To date, KPFK listener sponsors have not received a
detailed report back with respect to the results of
the campaign, but on May 27, 2004 the station's
General Manager made the following statement at a
meeting of the KPFK Local Station Board:
"Probably most of you will be familiar with the
problem that we have with XLNC frequency and that I've
been working on this for two years. What happened
initially was that XLNC was in financial trouble and
they cut a deal through the FCC where KUSC to do
programming on their frequency (which is our
frequency). After negotiations with KUSC's general
manager they have put a hold on their programming deal
with XLNC. And today XLNC is in dire straits and not
able-- well there's not much hope for them to continue
with broadcasting. I spoke-- we shouldn't be cheering,
that's a public relations issue-- So-- part of what we
talked about earlier in this year with XLNC's general
manager was for them to apply for a transfer to
another frequency. And just before I came here I had a
discussion with the GM from XLNC Mexico, and they've
actually applied to be transfered from our frequency
to another frequency. And they've actually got an
official o.k. from the Communications-- the Ministry
of Communications Department in Mexico to support the
transfer. That's the good news. The challenges here--
and I'll start working with our engineers and FCC
attorneys tomorrow on this-- the challenge becomes
that now we have to from our side get the FCC to
support this position because there's a treaty between
Mexico and the U.S. What was interesting that I found
out tonight was that the frequency 90.7 FM that's ours
at KPFK? [laughs] belongs to Mexico and not the United
States. So according to the treaty-- I think the
treaty was passed in 1996. I think we have a really,
really good chance with winning our frequency back--
our frequency back. If we can push a campaign to get
the FCC to move-- to agree to the transfer because
this is the first time we've gotten any response from
the Mexican government. And the alternative to it is
either they move XLNC or XLNC1 has to close down. And
I think that's why we're now getting their support. I
don't want to take questions on this issue I think
what I'll do is I'll just keep you updated when we
should be seeing a lot of things happening over the
next couple of weeks as we try and move forward both
legally and maybe another listener campaign to
influence the FCC's decision on this. So that I
thought was really an important issue to bring up here
KpfK's GM Eva Georgia's report is most notably
inaccurate with respect to the statement that the
frequency 90.7 fm "belongs to Mexico and not the
United States". Common sense (and an international
broadcast agreement) dictate that the frequency is
controlled by the United States north of the border
and to Mexico on the Mexican side. But the matter of
juridiction is further complicated by the fact that
the owner of XLNC operates in Chula Vista, California
and is registered as Califormula, Inc. with the
California Secretary of State.
If one goes to the website for XLNC and selects
"Reception Issues" the following statement appears:
"Classical 90.7 FM XLNC1 classical music radio station
is a non-profit, commercial-free institution, licensed
to broadcast in the San Diego/Tijuana region at 90.7
FM. When we were assigned the frequency of 90.7 FM by
the FCC in Washington, D.C. and SCT (Secretaria de
Communicaciones y Transportes) in Mexico City, we were
not aware that our broadcasts would be interfering
with the signal of KPFK 90.7 FM in Los Angeles. We
regret that, through no fault of our own, the FCC and
SCT licensed us to broadcast at the frequency of 90.7
FM, and we have formally requested a new frequency.
It is not our personal intention to interfere with the
ability of KPFK listeners to hear broadcasts from the
Los Angeles station in the Pacifica Network."
[ http://www.xlnc1.org/interference.html ]
If XLNC were following the conditions for broadcasting
set forth in its operating permit the matter of
frequency would not be a significant concern, and if
it would comply with those conditions in the interim
until a new frequency is granted it would be a great
demonstration of good faith.
Many KPFK listeners have wondered outloud whether
there are sinister forces at play, and XLNC is not
some kind of subrosa operation to keep important
information away from ears on Southern California
military bases. The writer of this piece cannot
confirm or deny such a scenario, but little comfort is
derived from the fact that XLNC owner Victor Diaz
leases his other Tijuana stations to Clear Channel.
"...Defunct WBAI High Culture Poetics and history means complete
obliteration of areas of both official and counter-culture from recorded
memory, auditory history. This defaults culture itself. It is not a
minority or majority matter, every world suffers, first, second and third,
and any more imaginable." - Allen Ginsburg, 1977
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Listed below are the 10 latest comments of 15 posted about this article.
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||Thursday, Jul. 15, 2004 at 12:21 PM
|Addendum re XLNC
||Friday, Jul. 16, 2004 at 7:29 AM
|XLNC- the CIA station
||Sunday, Jul. 18, 2004 at 5:56 AM
|my question is...
||Sunday, Jul. 18, 2004 at 6:10 AM
||Now wait just a moment
||Sunday, Jul. 18, 2004 at 11:59 AM
|after metal and hip hop
||Sunday, Jul. 18, 2004 at 12:28 PM
||Sunday, Jul. 18, 2004 at 1:42 PM
||Sunday, Jul. 18, 2004 at 1:53 PM
||oh, I get it
||Sunday, Jul. 18, 2004 at 2:10 PM
||Sunday, Jul. 18, 2004 at 7:58 PM
|Hear KPFK on their web site
||Long live KPFK, down with the trolls
||Saturday, Jul. 17, 2004 at 5:14 PM
||Tuesday, Jul. 20, 2004 at 3:30 AM
||Wednesday, Aug. 15, 2007 at 5:14 AM
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