KBRT’s Tower Move Progresses
Broadcasting hopes to break ground early next year on the new mainland tower
site for KBRT(AM) in Avalon, Calif.
The Southern California station airs on 740 kHz with
a three-tower directional antenna system located on Catalina Island, where its
lease is expiring.
The company’s plans to move off the island were reported earlier. Now, Crawford
Director of Engineering Cris Alexander, an RW contributor, writes in the
company’s engineering newsletter that it has received approval for its site
development permit to build four towers in the Santa Ana Mountains in Orange County at a site once used by KPLS/KLAA(AM).
also applied to upgrade power to 50 kW daytime from its current 10 kW.
company has been searching for a mainland site for the station since 2007. It
purchased three parcels of land, now combined into one. “With no guarantee of
commercial power availability or that the county would permit construction of the
four 281-foot towers we would need (the county height limit is 45 feet), we
made this move on faith alone,” Alexander wrote in his project summary.
company has since secured power from a nearby NOAA radar site and an easement
from a neighbor to bring the power over. The FAA has approved four 281-foot
Hatfield & Dawson was retained to complete the
allocation study and prepare the FCC application.
wrote that the FCC application was a challenge. “We had KCBS to the north (San
Francisco), KIDR to the east (Phoenix) and KFMB to the south (San Diego).
Because of all the overlaps, we had to engineer the facility to essentially
duplicate the location of our existing interfering and protected contours. I
had already done the preliminary work and decided on a four-tower rectangular
antenna array, but we had to further refine that before we were ready to file
with the FCC.”
consulting firm helped with screening for compliance with environmental and
The station was in the news in 2007 when a fire
broke out at the site and burned part of the island. The wildfire burned
thousands of acres, destroyed a home and injured several firefighters, AP
reported. A subcontractor subsequently pleaded no contest to causing the fire
and was ordered to pay restitution.
See photo simulations of the new antenna system here (PDF).