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Excuse Me, Your Transmitter Is in the Wrong Place

FCC issues notice to Kern Community Radio; concerns include RF location

A visit by FCC agents in May to noncommercial FM station KSVG in Bakersfield, Calif., resulted in a Notice of Violation (NOV). Licensee Kern Community Radio, which airs at 89.7 MHz on the dial, was cited for three problems including apparently having its transmitter at the wrong place.

The station uses the moniker KSVG 89.7fm Savage Radio, and describes itself as “Bakersfield and Kern County’s only community radio station.” According to a station history it went on the air in 2012.

According to a commission summary, agents found the site more than 28 miles from its licensed location. During subsequent inspection of the actual location, agents were told that the site had been moved sometime in June of 2016.

The FCC said the agents also discovered that the transmitter was operating with power output of 420 watts. They calculated that with the antenna and feedline in use, the effective radiated power was 191 watts, far below the licensed 1,700 watts. According to the commission, Kern said the station had been operating at this level for about a month and that no notification to Media Bureau had been sent as required when operating at reduced power for 10 consecutive days. Finally, the agents said KSVG was receiving CAP alerts but only one other source for EAS alerts and tests, and that the second source was not one in the county EAS plan.

The commission told Kern Community Radio to write back within 20 days to explain each violation and what it is doing to correct them. Reached briefly for comment, General Manager Jake Chavez told Radio World, “Our transmitter is simply in the wrong place, we’ll take care of it.”

Interestingly, the FCC database at present lists the station as “licensed and silent.” According to earlier correspondence in the database, the station in late 2015 requested special temporary authority to go silent, citing financial reasons. In summer of 2016 it wrote back that it had resumed operations after resolving a lease issue with its landowner. Then it filed again in May of this year to “remain” silent for technical reasons. That STA was granted, with a reminder to notify the commission when broadcast operations resumed. It’s unclear how this sequence of correspondence ties in with what the FCC agents described in the current notice.