KPBS 89.5FM Grows in San Diego County
Transmitter Moves to Mt. Soledad and Increases Power
With the flip of a switch, the KPBS 89.5FM transmitter is now broadcasting from Mt. Soledad in La Jolla. The transmitter had previously been located on Mt. San Miguel in East County. The Mt. Soledad site allows the station to boost its power, increasing the strength of the radio signal. As a result, most listeners will be able to receive a stronger, clearer signal at 89.5 FM.
The move became official after months of construction followed by thorough testing and approval from the FCC. But the project had been in the works for decades. “The idea to move our transmitter started about 20 years ago,” said KPBS General Manager Tom Karlo. “The Mt. Soledad location has always offered a way for KPBS to provide quality news and information programs to thousands more in our community.”
Major events underscored the need for KPBS to improve its power strength and reach in the region. During the wildfires of 2007, KPBS temporarily lost power and the ability to broadcast because of fires burning on Mt. San Miguel.
While fires on Mt. Soledad are possible, the natural environment poses a much lower risk than that of Mt. San Miguel. As a news and information station, one of KPBS’ priorities is to provide ongoing news coverage during times of crisis.
“KPBS has become a reliable source of information,” continued Karlo. “We’ve demonstrated that KPBS can deliver breaking and ongoing coverage of major events in this community – be it wildfire, earthquake, or tragedy. Moving our transmitter to Mt. Soledad means that KPBS will have the ability to reach an even larger audience when it is needed most.”
As a result of the move, some homes may experience a weaker signal. However, KPBS engineers anticipate signal losses to be confined to at-home listening. To keep signal loss at a minimum, the station’s engineers are researching the best options to help boost the reception in these areas. Additionally, listeners in La Jolla who previously tuned to 89.1 FM can now access the KPBS radio signal directly at 89.5 FM. The KPBS television signal will continue to be broadcast from Mt. San Miguel.
Listeners who are impacted by the move are encouraged to readjust radio antenna(s) toward the direction of Mt. Soledad. The radio signal can also be streamed through the station’s website at kpbs.org and via the free iPhone and Android apps.
KPBS is a public service of San Diego State University, serving the region with TV, Radio and Internet content that is educational as well as entertaining—and free of commercial interruption.