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Chapter 36 - San Diego, California 
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January 1998 Electronic Newsletter

January Meeting

Tektronix Demos Its Lightworks Editor--Tape Need Not Apply!

Ken Tondreau and his Tektronix associates will introduce the Lightworks VIP version 1.1 REAL-TIME Editing system.

"This is a unique editing system utilizing four streams of simultaneous video and 16 streams of audio. Tektronix will demonstrate how the VIP can be integrated with other real-time devices. Unlike typical Non-Linear editors, VIP a is REAL-TIME, multi-channel, multi-control, on-line edit system. With "Edit-To-It", you no longer need to digitize media before editing. The VIP is based upon the proven Tektronix Profile Server technology and provides outstanding digital video and audio quality that is also 16:9 DTV capable. Learn how on-line editing is evolving."

Meet us Wednesday, January 21, 1997 at 7 p.m. at KPBS, 5200 Campanile Drive, SDSU Campus. Come at 6:30 for pizza and conversation.

Mike Tosch of KPBS gave us these instructions: "Take I-8 to College Ave. and go South to Lindo Paseo (stop light at 7-11). Make a Right onto Lindo Paseo, going west, and drive past the KPBS building. Turn right into the parking garage. Be careful not to park in the lot immediately behind the KPBS building. In the Parking Garage, DO NOT park on the lowest, first floor or any spaced marked 'SP 750'. The correct spaces are labeled 'Faculty-Staff - SP 800'. Walk out the parking garage on the south side and around to the front lobby entrance of the building. Go in the door and follow the signs. If the door is locked, please knock. We have instructed the Campus police not to issue tickets for the evening."

Call 594-1515 if you need further instructions.

Mike will give tours of the completed, "last great analog" radio station and you can see the construction of the TV station in progress.


Last Meeting

December Lunch Brings Good Crowd to Casa Machado

Casa Machado at Montgomery Field in San Diego saw a happy crowd devour its holiday fiesta. To say more about this gathering would be like eating chops in front of a hungry hound dog. A good time had by all, and absolutely no official business discussed!

San Diego's EAS Plan:

It's a Done Deal!

By Gary Stigall

The San Diego Emergency Alert System (EAS) plan was completed and signed off by the local Chair Jeff Williams of KPOP and Vice Chair Oscar Medina of KNSD, as well as by the National Weather Service Thursday, December 18, 1997.

San Diego stations were asked to adopt the local plan effective January 1, though there has been no word as to whether the plan was ratified by Stan Harter for the State of California, or Frank Lucia for the FCC.

Named as LP-1 in the document is KOGO, 600 kHz, and LP-2 is KPOP, 1360 kHz. In addition, the plan recommends monitoring of the NOAA weather station at 162.40 MHz. Monitoring stations have retuned receivers, and the first RMT was transmitted January 7.

After the first transmission, some stations reported automatic relays of the both the LP-1 and the LP-2 messages. Jack Rabell of Jacor told KFMB that due to a wiring error, KPOP originated its own RMT, which caused the relaying station receivers to command two tests rather than one. Stations which did not have manual intervention sent both.

A copy of the plan can be downloaded as a 5K compressed MS Word file or viewed directly on a web browser as HTML.

Required monthly test (RMT's) times for 1998 have been posted on the chapter website.
The plan was the culmination of months of politics and hard work, often distracting from the daily chores of the volunteer participants.

Planning a Graceful EBS Retirement

In a San Diego EAS ListServ message, Oscar Medina reminded local engineers that "the requirement for having the old EBS equipment 'available' no longer applies. Rather than storing the old unit, you might consider installing it at the home of whom ever is in charge of the operators at your on-air position, i.e.: Chief Engineer, Traffic Coordinator, Program Manager, etc.

"Tune the old EBS unit to KOGO (the new LP1).

"Whenever an activation request or RMT is originated by the LP1 (outside of the usual 9 to 5 business hours), the EBS receiver will activate thereby notifying the supervisor that an activation has been requested. A follow up call by the supervisor to the station, to make sure the operator on duty knows what to do, will help make the EAS function better."

(And your wife will appreciate the attractive brushed aluminum front panel on your bedside stand!)

KNSD Engineers Certify

Oscar Medina, KNSD Chief Engineer, reports that staff engineers Bob Vaillancourt, Clete Darr, and John Flannery have received their "Broadcast Engineer - TV" SBE certification. John Barcroft of KGB administered the tests in November.

NextLevel Systems--A Passing Fancy

from and others

NextLevel Systems, a major DTV player with a R&D facility in San Diego's Sorrento Mesa, decided to revert its name to General Instrument less than five months after adopting the new name. Analysts are saying that the move is part of cost-cutting efforts by a company that may have bit off more development than it could chew.

It's been a topsy-turvy year for NextLevel:

According to, The San Diego plant announced layoffs of 225 in October 1997.

The U.S. District Court in Illinois has been asked to judge against NextLevel for misrepresenting the company in order to artificially inflate its stock price this year.
Richard S. Friedland, its Chairman and Chief Executive Officer, resigned on October 16, 1997.

The announcements were accompanied by news of a major deal with cable service operators that will secure the company a significant portion of the lucrative next-generation cable set-top box market. Nine cable operators will purchase at least 15 million set-top devices over the next three to five years in a deal that the company values at at least $4.5 billion.

NextLevel Systems is changing its name to General Instrument, and will operate NextLevel Communications as a subsidiary that will focus on the telephony business.

The company's stock ticker will change to "GIC" as of February 2.

GI's new chairman and CEO is Edward Breen, who has been president and acting CEO of NextLevel Systems. GI also named him to the board's executive committee.

"We have accomplished a great deal in the past 60 days to increase shareholder value," Breen said in a statement. "We expect these transactions with the leading cable [system operators] provide a strong foundation for our business."

The company had blamed its restructuring effort on its flagging satellite TV operations.,4,17460,00.html

Predictions for San Diego Broadcasting in 1998

(Mike Tosch, KPBS:) Mt. San Miguel will finally prove to everyone that it really is a volcano (it is shaped like one when seen from Kearny Mesa) and blow all the UHF broadcasters up there to smithereens!!!

(Gary Stigall, KFMB-TV:) Jacor Communications, continuing their vertical integration quest, buys Mt. Soledad cross and constructs a Jacor Community tower within.

Midwest TV, unhappy with their Padres radio broadcast contract and its big losses, begins its new Chargers contract. Losses begin to mount.

Jacor Communications, continuing their vertical integration quest, buys San Diego Gas and Electric.

San Diego continues without a class C FM classical music outlet. Meanwhile, Chumbawamba's Tubthumping makes the playlist of eight local stations.

A digital AM & FM broadcast scheme is approved by the FCC. Most local stations adopt it and start broadcasting the format by year's end--NOT!

Final broadcast DTV channel allocations are approved by the FCC. Most local stations construct facilities and start broadcasting the format by year's end--NOT!

(Fred Gotwald:) KFMB will be the first on-air with digital, running 8 channel statmux standard definition. The news department will realize that their stories fall neatly into 8 catagories. News will be condensed into 6-7 minutes running across the 8 channels. This will leave ample time for more of the infomercials with Suzanne Summers(?) and her thigh-stretching gizmos. I expect the catagories will be:

(Stan Harter, California OES:) Noted broadcast insultant, Dr. Delmar U. Davis, PH&D, predicts that there will be a major breakthrough in 1998 with his announcement of High Definition FM.

A Plea for Pix...

We'd like to spice up the SBE pages a bit for 1998. If you have photos, new or historical, for inclusion in our web or printed newsletter editions, would you kindly transmit a copy? Photos should be of interest to the San Diego broadcast community, including local manufacturers. Of special interest: newly completed facilities projects, anniversary historical photos, or new locally built products. People in the photo always make the it more interesting.

We prefer an e-mail JPEG attachment; however, printed photos can be scanned and returned if you provide a self-addressed, stamped envelope. SBE Chapter 36, P.O. Box 710702, San Diego, CA 92171.

Murphy's Corner

A common mistake that people make when trying to design something completely foolproof is to underestimate the ingenuity of complete fools. --Douglas Adams, Mostly Harmless


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For more information, or to make suggestions or comments, e-mail This newsletter was written and edited by Gary Stigall, but I appreciate your contributions. You're free to redistribute or quote, but please attribute our original material, as you would have us attribute unto you. Updated 1/8/98.

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