The International Broadcasting Bureau will stop broadcasting from Delano, Calif., at the end of October, RW has learned.
The decision was announced in an internal e-mail to IBB employees on July 24. The move will result in job losses at Delano; the number was not immediately available.
The announcement stated that the move is being made “as a result of the Broadcasting Board of Governors’ changing global mission to meet current U.S. government broadcast requirements, along with reduced budgets and changes in technology … As operating budgets decrease, we have had little choice but to downsize and realign the IBB transmission network.”
IBB officials told RW Thursday night that the Delano facility will remain in “cold storage standby status.” As budget allows, a spokeswoman said, “we will redistribute viable equipment to the rest of the IBB network.”
In its memo, the IBB noted the historical meaning of the Delano Transmitting Station.
“Located about 140 miles north of Los Angeles, California, the station began shortwave broadcasts to the Pacific Theater of World War II in 1944. In early days, it beamed broadcasts directly to local audiences and to retransmitting facilities in Hawaii, Okinawa and the Philippines. Later the station provided critical shortwave broadcasts to Cuba, South America and Asia. These broadcasts clearly helped shape today’s world.”
But the IBB Delano station “relies entirely on shortwave radio transmissions, a format that is relatively expensive to operate,” the organization told employees. “Although shortwave was the focus of international broadcasting for many decades, shortwave has declined in importance as traditional audiences have shifted to FM and MW radio, the Internet and television.”
A Wikipedia entry states that the Delano relay station is “famous for having a rare installation of a TCI HRS 12/6/1 directional curtain array transmission system” and said the facility was originally constructed in the 1940s as KCBR by CBS.
IBB retains U.S.-based transmitting facilities in North Carolina, Florida and the territory of the Northern Marianas.