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NERW 3/24: WFAU Loses A Tower, WFNX Gains A State, NERW Visits California's Coast

*There's a tower missing in central MAINE -- one of the three at WFAU
(1280 Gardiner), to be precise!  NERW reader Rob Sobczak reports
driving by the site (also home to the studios of WABK and WKCG) and
seeing two AM sticks instead of the three.  It seems the missing one
fell sometime Wednesday night, though the circumstances remain a bit
unclear.  WFAU remains on the air from the remaining two towers; no
word yet on power or pattern reductions as a result.

Just outside Bangor, Communications Capital Managers strikes again,
adding one more station to the group it's assembling in the market
(WVOM/WBYA, WKSQ, WLKE, WBFB).  This time, it's WGUY (102.1 Dexter),
for the price tag of $1.475 million, from Dan Priestly's Innovative
Advertising Consultants.  NERW thinks WGUY would make a useful
simulcast to one of the other rimshots in the group...WBYA, perhaps?

*Down to MASSACHUSETTS we go, to find yet another high-powered AM
signal on its way to the airwaves.  Carter Broadcasting's WCRN (830
Worcester) has quietly become that city's most potent AM signal,
especially with the grant this week of a daytime power increase from 5
kilowatts to 50.  WCRN's new daytime signal will use the same three
towers and the same pattern as the current signal, nulling towards the
southwest to protect WRYM (840) in New Britain, Connecticut.

WBOS (92.9 Brookline) has a new program director, but nobody will need
to give Shirley Maldonado a tour of her new offices -- until a few
months ago, she was PD of WBOS' sister station, WSJZ (96.9 Boston).
It didn't take long for the rumors to begin flying of a WBOS format
change to WSJZ's old smooth jazz format...but here at NERW we're
*still* sticking to our New Year's resolution not to speculate on WBOS
format changes.  It's getting hard...

The FCC is citing some of the Clear Channel spinoffs for a closer look
at market-concentration issues, and oddly enough, Springfield is one
of them.  Saga, which already owns WAQY (102.1) and WPNT (1600 East
Longmeadow) in Springfield, is adding just two more stations: WHMP-FM
(99.3 Northampton), a small player in the Springfield market, and WHMP
(1400 Northampton), which doesn't factor in Springfield at all.  We
don't expect this to slow down the deal much.  

Just after press time last week, we learned that WAVM (91.7 Maynard)
and the folks from WUMB (91.9 Boston) have been sitting down in an
attempt to work out their differences over their mutually-exclusive
applications for 91.7 in Boston's far northwest suburbs.  The word is
that a share-time deal could be in the works...and we think it's an
awfully good sign that WAVM's Web site <http://www.wavm.org> has taken
down its anti-WUMB page.  Next big question: Can WAVM and WUMB working
together overcome the religious-translator-network applications that
also threaten both stations in the area?

Speaking of noncomms, we finally know a bit more about that 91.3
Orleans application: at least one of the bids for that frequency would
be a second transmitter for WOMR (92.1 Provincetown), a darned fine
little community station that's not heard well outside the Outer Cape.

Congratulations to Dave Faneuf and the crew at WCAP (980 Lowell), who
took home Best Newscast and Best Sportscast awards from the
Massachusetts Broadcasters Association.  It's nice to see things going
well at NERW's alma mater...

Congratulations also to Rob Walker, who checked in to let us know he's
returned to New England (where his resume includes WICH/WCTY, WINY,
WZID, and WERZ, just to name a few) from Little Rock, where he was PD
at "Alice" KLAL (107.7).  Rob takes over as PD at WXLO (104.5
Fitchburg) in the Worcester market.

Coming soon to a TV dial near you: "WHUB."  That's the new name for
USA Broadcasting's home-shopping outlet, now known as WHSH (Channel
66) in Marlborough, and before that as music-video WVJV "V66."  July 1
will be the starting date for the new programming on the independent
station, following in the heels of USA's WAMI in Miami, KSTR Dallas,
and WHOT Atlanta.  Look for WHUB-TV to build downtown studios and try
to line up major-league sports committments to build its image in
town, just like the other three stations have done.  

(Two interesting notes here: First, "Broadcasting & Cable" reports USA
almost had a deal in the bag to buy WMFP [Channel 62 Lawrence] a few
weeks back, which leads us to wonder whether "WHUB" was almost ready
to debut from a stick in downtown Boston and leave 66 with home
shopping.  Second, it's not the first time a Boston broadcaster has
tried to use the "WHUB" calls, which have long been used on the AM
dial in Cookeville, Tennessee.  Back when Westinghouse thought it was
about to buy WKOX, circa 1993-94, the plan was to take AM 1200 sports
talk as "The Hub."  Needless to say, it never materialized.)

*The rumors in RHODE ISLAND turned out to be true: Steve Mindich is
indeed buying WWRX (103.7 Westerly) from Clear Channel in one of the
final spinoffs of the AMFM purchase.  No price has been put on the
deal, though we're hearing 16-18 times cash flow rumored.  The move
will give Mindich's FNX modern-rock network a huge boost to the south,
picking up everywhere from the far southern suburbs of Boston (where
flagship WFNX 101.7 Lynn is blasted by Clear Channel's WWBB 101.5
Providence) all the way to eastern Connecticut.

Marc "Sparky" Bramhall's "NERTV" reports a format change at Citadel's
WHKK (100.3 Middletown) and WHCK (99.7 Wakefield-Peace Dale), from
classic rock "The Hawk" to classic hits "Z100."  (By the way, NERTV --
which is not to be confused with NERW -- has moved.  Find it at

*CONNECTICUT has a new old set of call letters.  WMMM (1260 Westport)
changed calls this week to WSHU, matching its sister public radio
outlet on FM, now WSHU-FM (91.1 Fairfield).  The WMMM calls live on in
Wisconsin, on cool AAA station WMMM-FM (105.5 Verona-Madison).  

*They're looking for a new PD in Manchester, VERMONT, after John
Allers resigned from WEQX (102.7), where he was also afternoon jock at
the Albany-market adult rocker.

*Speaking of NEW YORK's capital city, there's one more piece to the
Clear Channel/AMFM spinoffs to tell you about.  WTRY(AM) is being spun
off to Chase Radio Properties, which also grabbed CC/AMFM spinoffs in
Reading, Baltimore, Biloxi, Riverside, San Diego, San Francisco/San
Jose, and Waco.  No word on price, or on Chase's plans for the
standalone AM at 980, which would have one of the market's better AM
signals (not to mention a still-unbuilt expanded band allocation), but
perhaps not the heritage WTRY calls or oldies format, which would
presumably stay on WTRY-FM (98.3 Rotterdam).

Veteran Albany TV personality George Leighton died Monday, March 13,
at age 74.  Leighton was with WTEN (Channel 10) in every capacity from
kids' show host to news reporter until his retirement in 1989.

North of Albany, All Access is reporting a rumored sale of Bradmark's
Glens Falls stations to Vox Media, the group that's made quite a name
for itself in New Hampshire and Vermont in recent months.  Bradmark
owns hot AC WNYQ (105.7 Queensbury), standards WENU (101.7 Hudson
Falls), oldies WHTR (107.1 Hudson Falls), and sports WMML (1410 South
Glens Falls).  We'll keep you posted...

Moving down towards New York City, Arthur Liu's Multicultural
Broadcasting scores another one, paying $850,000 for Bonita Bequet's
Spanish-language WNYG (1440 Babylon).  NERW suspects the strategy
behind this one may involve silencing or moving WNYG to improve the
signal of Liu's WNSW (1430 Newark NJ), much the same way New York's
WADO (1280) and WWRL (1600) improved their signals recently by
silencing Long Island's WGLI (1290) and WLNG (1600).  

New York's Radio Disney flagship is finally getting some support from
the FCC in its fight against nighttime interference from WRHC (1560)
down in Miami.  Listeners to WQEW (1560 New York) have been
complaining for years about what sounds like WRHC's high-power daytime
facility being used at night -- and this week the FCC issued a $22,500
Notice of Apparent Liability against WRHC, saying the station was
operating without a license at night and from the wrong studio
location as well.  (NERW wonders: Is this a serious enough violation
to cancel the STA under which WRHC has been using 1560, sending the
station back to its old daytimer status on 1550?)

Still downstate: Orange County's WTBQ (1110 Warwick) will do a DX test
next week, operating from 5:15 until 6 AM on Saturday, April 1, with
special programming for DXers.  The NERW-mobile was down that way on
Route 17A just last weekend, and enjoyed listening to the very local
programming WTBQ provides for its little market.  More on our
downstate meanderings (Ellenville?  Yes, Ellenville...) next Friday.

Tales of Religious Translators, Cont.: W256AJ (99.1 Utica) is sold to
WJIV (101.9 Cherry Valley) by Foursquare Gospel Church.  NERW believes
this is what used to be W259AC on 99.7, relaying WJIV anyway...Heard
testing: W268AE (101.5 Wampsville), bringing the sounds of DeRuyter's
WVOA (105.1) to Oneida and Greater Oneida...Granted: W216BR (91.1
Geneva), to Family Life Ministries -- which just bought nearby 93.7
Clyde, a full-power outlet soon to be known as WCOV, which means
W216BR may never see the light of day..."Faith Pleases God Church
Corp." applies for 91.5 in Tonawanda, which can't possibly please
Buffalo college station WBNY on first-adjacent 91.3.

Tales of Unlicensed Stations, Cont.: That 92.1 oldies pirate in
Perinton, near Rochester, had a moment in the spotlight this week
before abruptly signing off Tuesday.  Local ham radio operators
tracked it to a four-bay vertical antenna on a 70-foot guyed tower on
Dailey Road, just north of the Ontario-Monroe county line, and NERW
had a brief conversation with owner Peter Ilic Monday afternoon.  At
the time, he said he was planning to double the station's power, but
an FCC letter apparently convinced him otherwise; there's been no sign
since of the station or of its simulcast of Music Choice's "50's
oldies" channel.  (A promised Web site at <www.communityradio.cc> has
yet to materialize).

More on that Elmira TV sale we mentioned last week: It's not just
WBGH-LP (Channel 8) in Binghamton going from Smith to Ackerley; it's
also parent station WETM (Channel 18) in Elmira.  Ackerley apparently
began LMA'ing WETM in February, giving the company stations in
Rochester, Syracuse, Utica, Binghamton (all ABC affiliates), and now
Elmira as well.  As for WBGH-LP: it's dropped its simulcast of WETM's
6 and 11 PM newscasts in favor of simulcasting Ackerley's WIVT
(Channel 34) in Binghamton.  And by doing it with an LPTV, Ackerley
manages to do what would probably be impossible with a full-power
station under duopoly rules: it gets to provide both ABC and NBC
service to Binghamton.  (Could WETM eventually wrest the ABC
affiliation away from Elmira's WENY, also under new ownership?  We
shall see...)

"Number 16...With a Bullet!": Buffalo's low-rated country outlet, WNUC
(107.7 Wethersfield), took on a new identity this week.  No more "New
Country," now it's "High Caliber Country, 107-7 the Bullet," albeit
with the same airstaff and the same satellite service outside drive
time (the same one, in fact, that listeners in Rochester -- where WNUC
blasts in like a local -- can also hear on "Big Dog Country" WNNR
103.5 Sodus).  Will it help any against market dominator WYRK (106.5)?
*Off to CANADA we go, to find that Affinity has withdrawn its
application for 105.7 in Kingston.  The public hearing on the
remaining applications is scheduled for May 9.

Up in Smiths Falls, CJET (630) has been granted a move to 92.3 and
9000 watts, as well as permission to continue running its current
oldies format (usually a no-no on Canadian FM, because of the high
"hit content" of the playlist), albeit with a warning against trying
to solicit advertising in the Ottawa market and a reminder that it
must continue to focus on the Smiths Falls market -- unlike sister
station CFMO (101.1 Smiths Falls), now operating as Ottawa's "XFM".

Mentioned solely for the benefit of NERW research director Garrett
Wollman, who's the only person we know who has ever *heard* of
Fermont, Quebec: Radio-Canada has applied for 255 watts on 100.5 up
there to relay "premiere chaine" service from CBSI Sept-Iles.  (Quick,
Garrett, what's the CBME relay in Fermont?)  For the rest of us,
Fermont is up there in the remote northern Quebec mining country, far
beyond the end of the pavement and the reach of the NERW-mobile.  And
as long as we're getting beyond our usual territory...

*We've been promising a look at at our visit a few weeks ago to
CALIFORNIA, and now it's time to deliver...beginning in the San
Francisco market, where the trip began and ended.

It turns out we were there a few weeks too early to hear and see the
biggest changes there, most of which involved the TV dial.  We already
knew that KNTV (Channel 11) in San Jose was dropping its ABC
affiliation in 2002, and we knew that NBC had failed in its bid to buy
San Francisco affiliate KRON (Channel 4), losing out to an $823
million offer from Young Broadcasting (owner of Albany's WTEN, among

What we didn't know yet was that NBC would join forces with KNTV, and
that KNTV owner Granite Broadcasting (owner of Buffalo's WKBW and
Syracuse's WTVH, to name a few) would flip the traditional
affiliate/network relationship on end by agreeing to pay NBC for the
affiliation beginning in 2002.  

While we were out there, we learned that Fox affiliate KTVU (Channel
2) was adding its entry into the Bay Area's 6 PM news wars with a
newscast set to begin next week.  KTVU's 10 PM show is traditionally a
market leader, and a 6 o'clock KTVU show could become a viable option
amidst the confusion from the upcoming NBC moves.

On the radio side, not much had changed in the 16 months since our
last visit, with the minor exception of Saul Levine's Marin County
stations.  On the AM side, what had been KKHI (1510 San Rafael) had
mutated in adult standards, moving from 1000 watts on a single tower
in the North Bay to 8000 watts daytime from a four-tower array located
on the *roof* of a warehouse in Oakland.  (Take that, Bob Bittner!)

On the FM side, the former classical KKHI-FM (100.7 San Rafael) had
been sold to Salem, becoming Christian contemporary KJQI-FM, "Joy."
We also heard the simulcast -- complete with indecipherably mumbled
legals -- of San Jose's KSJO (92.3) on Walnut Creek's KFJO (92.1) and
Alameda's KXJO (92.7 -- though it's since been sold away from the
other two as part of the CC/AMFM spinoffs).  Also new was KCNL (104.9
Fremont), "Channel 104.9" with eighties hits; it had been a sort-of
simulcast to KUFX (98.5 San Jose) last time, after the death of the
old KOME.

And just after we left, 1510 flipped again -- to automated classical as
KMZT, "K-Mozart."  (One more flip that was expected the week we
visited, but was in fact delayed a week, was that of KNEW 910, from a
simulcast of KIOI-FM to business and computer news "C-Net Radio.")

Leaving the Bay Area behind, we pointed the rental NERW-mobile (a
Daewoo, as it happened) south on Highway 17 towards Monterey Bay and
the sweet sounds of KPIG (107.5 Freedom), the AAA-country hybrid
that's become (and rightly so) one of the top Webcasting

Finding the source of "Pure Pork" proved a bit of a challenge, but
after turning around several times, we finally saw the faded pink pig
hanging off the balcony of what looked like an abandoned motel behind
another office building off a run-down section of Main Street in

The office staff had the day off for the Martin Luther King holiday,
but the studio door was open and we enjoyed an awfully nice visit (and
left with some nice KPIG loot, too!)

The rest of the dial in Monterey Bay was singularly unexciting:
country KTOM (1380 Salinas) had ditched its FM simulcast (except for
morning drive) for satellite classic country; KTXX (1460 Salinas) had
returned to the air with One-on-One Sports after several dark years,
but with no local IDs for several days (it was fixed when we passed
through on the way back later in the week); KMBY (1540 Capitola) was
dark and deleted, but its flagpole-style towers still stood off
Highway 1; KRQC (92.7 Marina) had given way to a simulcast of San
Jose's KSJO (92.3) as KMJO; smooth jazz KXDC (101.7 Carmel) had become
rhythmic CHR as KBTU; and what had been urban as KISE (103.9 Seaside)
had migrated to satellite hard rock as KTEE ("The Eagle"), and
apparently switched to some form of AAA a few weeks after our visit.

On the non-comm side, the newspaper carried several stories during our
stay about KAZU (90.3 Pacific Grove), which had hit financial problems
as a community free-form station and was being sold to California
State University at Monterey Bay (CSUMB).  KAZU's troubles were a
topic of discussion at KPIG as well, since many KPIGers also work or
worked at KAZU; the theory at KPIG was that a successful commercial
station like KPIG made it harder for a noncomm station to try to do a
similar format and survive in the same market.

And on the TV dial, it was duopoly in full effect, with Ackerley
running both Fox affiliate KCBA (Channel 35) and CBS outlet KION
(Channel 46).  NBC came from Hearst/Argyle and KSBW (Channel 8), with
KNTV offering ABC service until the big flip (suspicion after that has
KSBW switching to ABC).  Spanish-speaking viewers had local news via
Univision affiliate KSMS (Channel 67), as well as a translator of
Telemundo's KSTS (Channel 48) in San Jose.  PBS, WB, and UPN all came
from San Francisco and San Jose on cable.

*The NERW-Daewoo then pushed on to the south, passing the KRML (1410
Carmel) transmitter en route to the radio-less stretch of Highway 1
that passes the stunning scenery of Big Sur en route to San Luis
Obispo.  Turning off the road at Hearst Castle, we found ourselves
tuned to another AAA station well known through its Webcast, KOTR
(94.9 Cambria), aka "K-Otter."  

Hearst Castle itself is a subject perhaps better suited to a different
travelogue, but we'll offer this lone radio-related note: according to
our tour guide, William Randolph Hearst's radios at the Castle were
connected by phone line to New York and Los Angeles, since
over-the-air reception at the remote site, at least during the day,
was all but nonexistent back then.

San Luis Obispo itself is a wonderfully laid-back college town that
seems to have been somewhat over-radioed in recent years.  The dial
sounded something like this:

920 KVEC - news-talk, much of it local and quite good
1030 KJDJ - Radio Unica, with no local IDs that I heard
1150 KBAI (Morro Bay) - defunct and deleted, to accomodate the power
increase at Los Angeles' KXTA 1150.  The towers still stand, though!
1280 KKOM (Arroyo Grande) - satellite talk
1340 KGLW - satellite talk and leased-time
1400 KKJL - satellite standards

88.5 KLVB - "K-Love" Christian contemporary (statewide network)
89.3 KLFF - religious
90.1 KCBX - public radio, with good local music programming at night
91.3 KCPR - Cal Poly State University (and we learned while watching 
VH1 in the hotel room that it was in the KCPR men's room that 
"Weird Al" Yankovic recorded his first hit, "My Bologna.")
92.5 KWSR (Paso Robles) - hot AC "Star"
93.3 KZOZ - classic rock
94.1 KLMM (Morro Bay) - Spanish ranchera
94.9 KOTR (Cambria) - AAA "K-Otter""
95.3 KXTZ (Pismo Beach) - classic rock
96.1 KSLY - CHR "K-Sly"
97.1 KWQH - religious, // KGDP 660 Orcutt
98.1 KKJG - country "K-Jug"
99.1 KXFM (Santa Maria) - oldies "99X"
99.7 KKAL (Morro Bay) - satellite classic country
100.3 KRQK (Lompoc)- Spanish hits 
101.3 KSTT (Los Osos) - AC "Coast"
102.5 KSNI (Santa Maria) - country
104.5 KIQO (Atascadero) - oldies "Pure Gold"
106.1 KWWV (Santa Margarita) - rhythmic CHR "Kiss"
107.3 KQJZ (Grover Beach) - smooth jaz

San Luis Obispo is a massively clustered market; we were able to get
bumper stickers for most of the market with just a handful of stops.  
Stratosphere Broadcasting has KSLY, KXFM, KSTT, and KQJZ, all in a
little office building on Zaca Lane near the former 1340 transmitter
site (which has since moved further to the south of San Luis Obispo
along US 101).  KZOZ, KKJG, KKAL, KIQO, and KWWV are all owned by
American General Media and operate from another anonymous office
building out near the airport.  KVEC sits by itself in a little house
a few blocks south of downtown.  

The KVEC/KJDJ transmitter site is impossible to miss coming in from
the north on 1; it's a single self-supporting tower high on a hill
above a big concrete-block building with large "KVEC" letters.  KKJL
is also on a hill near 101, while KGLW's new unpainted, unlit tower
sits at the end of the same street that's home to the KCBX studios.

In the same neighborhood south of downtown is the new studio complex
of KSBY (Channel 6), the NBC affiliate for the multi-city TV market
that includes San Luis Obispo, Santa Maria, and Santa Barbara,
covering some 85 miles of coastal California.  

KSBY's transmitter, along with most of the SLO FMs, is on Cuesta Peak
to the north of SLO; we couldn't get there from Highway 1 (and I was
told later that the road access, such as it is, is from 101 North --
next time!)

(We'd note here that the market has already seen some changes since we
left; KQJZ has dumped smooth jazz for active rock.)

So under a light drizzle, we headed south again, through the town of
Santa Maria towards Santa Barbara.  Santa Maria hears SLO radio, but
it also has some of its own stations on the AM side:

660 KGDP (Orcutt) - religion // 97.1 KWQH SLO
1240 KSMA - news-talk
1440 KUHL - news-talk, //1410 KTME Lompoc
1480 KSBQ - Spanish
1600 KTAP - Spanish ranchera
95.7 KPAT (Orcutt) - rhythmic oldies, with an incredibly buried legal
104.1 KBOX (Lompoc) - hot AC "K-box"
105.5 KIDI (Guadeloupe) - Spanish tropical
106.7 KSMY (Lompoc) - CHR, // 96.1 KSLY SLO

We saw two of the AM sites, one on the north end of town with KUHL and
KTAP, the other on the east side with KSMA and KSBQ, before pressing
on towards lunch in the town of Solvang, the only place in California
settled by the Danes.  KSYV (96.7) is Solvang's AC station; its calls
stand for "Santa Ynez Valley."

With a few hours of daylight still remaining, we steered the
NERW-Daewoo down 101 into Santa Barbara.  Here's what that dial
sounded like:

990 KTMS - satellite talk
1250 KEYT - CNN news and news from KEYT-TV 3
1290 KZBN - satellite standards
1340 KXXT - sports "Xtra," // KXTA 1150 Los Angeles
1450 KVEN (Ventura) - news-talk
1490 KBKO - Spanish ranchera "Radio Bronco"
1520 KVTA (Port Hueneme) - talk
1590 KUNX (Ventura) - Radio Unica

88.7 KFAC - classical, // KUSC 91.5 Los Angeles
89.9 K210AD - // KCBX 90.1 SLO
90.3 KMRO (Camarillo) - Spanish noncomm
91.9 KCSB - Cal State University
92.9 KJEE (Montecito) - modern rock
93.7 KDB - classical
94.5 KSPE (Ellwood) - Spanish, part // KBKO
95.1 KBBY (Ventura) - AC
95.9 KOCP (Camarillo) - classic rock
97.5 KMGQ - smooth jazz
98.3 KDAR (Oxnard) - Christian contemporary
98.7 K254AH (Isla Vista) - // KPFK 90.7 Los Angeles
99.9 KTYD - modern AC ("World Class Rock")
100.7 KHAY (Ventura) - country
101.7 KSBL (Carpinteria) - soft AC
102.3 K272DT - // KCLU 88.3 Thousand Oaks (NPR news-talk)
103.3 KRUZ - AC
104.7 KCAQ (Oxnard) - CHR
105.5 KKBE (Ojai) - AC
106.3 KKSB - country
107.7 KIST - oldies

In addition, Santa Barbara can hear much of the Los Angeles AM dial
(KFI in particular), and even a few of the FMs (KLOS, KFSG, KKLA,
KRTH, KBIG, KKGO) that haven't been stepped on by 80-90 encroachment.

Most of the Santa Barbara FMs are up in the hills with the KEYT
(Channel 3) tower; that's also where the 990 transmitter is.  The
transmitters for 1290 (whose calls stand for owner Bob Newhart), 1340,
and 1490 share a single flagpole-style tower just off 101 east of
downtown.  The 1250 site is somewhere west of town; we didn't get

We only saw one studio complex in Santa Barbara, that of the Clear
Channel stations (KXXT, KTYD, KSBL, KIST, KTMS); other groups
operating there include Cumulus (KRUZ, KMGQ, KKSB) and some

(Since our visit, 1340 has gone back to oldies and apparently to
its heritage calls of KIST, while KIST-FM on 107.7 has just dropped
oldies to go CHR as "Kiss," challenging KKSB, which also went CHR as
"Kiss" a few weeks back.  Confusing?  You betcha!)

As for TV, Santa Barbara contributes ABC affiliate KEYT-TV (Channel 3)
to the market, as well as Fox LPTV KKFX-LP (Channel 24, known on cable
as "Fox 11.")  KEYT's studios are in a ritzy hilltop community west of
downtown with an amazing view.  

Heading north again, we stopped in Santa Maria to see its TV station,
KCOY (Channel 12), the CBS affiliate for the region.  A note here
about TV: while SLO, Santa Maria, and Santa Barbara all get the Big
Four locals (as well as Univision affiliate KTAS 33), they also get a
variety of Los Angeles TV stations through translators and cable.  In
SLO, that means KCBS (Channel 2), some programming from KABC (Channel
7), KTLA (Channel 5), KCAL (Channel 9), KCOP (Channel 13), and PBS
KCET (Channel 28). 

In Santa Barbara, KEYT and KCOY take care of ABC and CBS, leaving the
cable to carry KNBC (Channel 4), KTLA, KCAL, and KCET.

In addition, nearby Ventura county offers KJLA (Channel 57), with
business programming (that used to be seen on LA's KWHY-22) and
bilingual programming at night, as well as UPN affiliate KADY (Channel
63), which runs a 10pm newscast that's simply a taped replay of KEYT's
6 pm show.

Via translator, Santa Barbara also sees TBN's KTBN (Channel 40) and

Anyway, we were heading north, weren't we?  This time, we used US 101,
passing through San Luis Obispo towards Paso Robles and the very cute
Art Deco-ish studios of KPRL (1230), a station that looks like the
epitome of a late-1940s small-town station.  Too bad there was no
actual legal at the top of the hour...though there was over on the FM
side at Spanish-language KLUN (103.1), at least.