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Thieves gut 1150 AM transmitter site...and no one notices

(51 posts)
  • Started 3 years ago by zanderdog
  • Latest reply from semoochie

  1. Sometime last weekend metal thieves trashed the KXET transmitter site knocking the station off the air. The transmitter and all electrical equipment at the site are a total lost. Bustos is now running "for information leading to the arrest..." announcements on 93.5 FM which they have applied for an STA to keep on the air while the primary station 1150 am is off the air.

    Posted on August 18, 2011 - 07:34 AM #
  2. Alfredo_T

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    I noticed that 1150 was missing from the dial, but as I had heard 1150 disappear and re-appear previously, I thought the station was just having technical problems.

    Posted on August 18, 2011 - 07:40 AM #
  3. Don't You think it's Odd, That Bustos employee's Don't even listen to there own station, Or no listeners called them to tell them there is a problem. Tell's me one thing, there waisting there money.They Just want to tie up the dial with all there format's. Maybe one day they might sell, I would make an offer to take it off there hand's. and probley make a profit off it.. Oh well. Remember when People cared about there Station's and were proud to be part of the community.

    Posted on August 18, 2011 - 08:16 AM #
  4. announcements on 93.5 FM which they have applied for an STA to keep on the air while the primary station 1150 am is off the air.
    This should add to the debate over whether or not translators should be able to originate programming, and/or if all FM translators should have the option of retransmitting AM stations.

    They (j)ust want to tie up the dial with all (their) (formats).
    Even I understand that once someone (including corporate "persons") own a radio license, they can program it any way that's permitted under FCC rules and regulations as they wish. If someone's unhappy with the programming on a radio station, they shouldn't listen! Or if they're one of those types that aren't happy that "public interest" is considered served by running National Guard PSAs; write the FCC, their congressperson, or go out and do some volunteer work of their own.

    Posted on August 18, 2011 - 09:33 AM #
  5. Notalent

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    "Remember when People cared about there Station's and were proud to be part of the community."

    I think that was back around the same time that people also cared about THEIR spelling and grammar.

    Posted on August 18, 2011 - 09:40 AM #
  6. semoochie

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    I wonder if there are any plans to put the station back on the air. How much would it cost and would it be worth it with NO listeners? This is really sad. If they don't go back on, does Linda Weagant still get paid?

    Posted on August 18, 2011 - 12:07 PM #
  7. jay_zie

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    It wouldn't have made a difference, no one would have answered the phones since they VT most of the time

    Posted on August 18, 2011 - 01:04 PM #
  8. Andy_brown

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    If they get their STA, they can leave it dark and put the license up for sale, surely to be gobbled up by some other small group trying to flood the dial with their odor. The next owner can fix it.

    What a bunch of bozos IMO. No security cameras? Sounds like they failed on protecting their assets.

    Posted on August 18, 2011 - 01:08 PM #
  9. Let's pin down a date. This shouldn't be hard to do.

    Did anyone try and tune in KXET Saturday or Sunday and found the station off the air? Or was there a signal?

    This information might help in the apprehension of the criminals.

    Posted on August 18, 2011 - 06:28 PM #
  10. jay_zie

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    Here is my conspiracy: I think bustos planned it so they could do an insurance claim

    Posted on August 18, 2011 - 07:26 PM #
  11. jay_zie

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    Don't they need to get permission from the FCC to broadcast their programming on tthe translator? They are already doing it. These Mexicans always braking the law.

    Posted on August 18, 2011 - 07:34 PM #
  12. I thought only American citizens can own U.S. Radio stations. Isn't Bustos a U.S. company?

    Posted on August 18, 2011 - 07:46 PM #
  13. jay_zie

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    Apparently not. These illegals own this cluster in PDX

    Posted on August 18, 2011 - 08:13 PM #
  14. skeptical

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    Is a clister a person who is paid to do . . . you know . . . it?

    Posted on August 18, 2011 - 08:16 PM #
  15. First of all, if it took them awhile to notice doesn't surprise me if it is true. As far as "These Mexicans.." Bustos is an American citizen who can own stations. He is originally from Michoacan Mexico but has been here in the states forever and a day. And to what Jay-Zie is alleging....I have no clue.

    @ EarlRay the fact that Bustos is airing a bunch of formats is very much his MO. As a group of stations they are not doing too bad. But his companies have always believed in airing typically too many stations with very similar formats.

    Posted on August 18, 2011 - 08:20 PM #
  16. jay_zie

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    He is still a bean eater

    Posted on August 18, 2011 - 09:21 PM #
  17. motozak3

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    "Here is my conspiracy: I think Bustos planned it so they could do an insurance claim."
    "These Mexicans are always breaking the law."
    "These illegals own this cluster in PDX."
    "He is still a bean eater."

    Looks like someone needs to log off and buy a nice shiny new P.C.!

    Posted on August 18, 2011 - 11:40 PM #
  18. Alfredo_T

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    I wonder, would most listeners know what phone number to call if a station went off the air? I am not sure whether it is true that "nobody noticed" the station being off the air, or if the people who did didn't know what to do.

    Posted on August 19, 2011 - 08:10 AM #
  19. By the way jay_zie(clever screen name covering up your true identity), my true identity is over there in the left-hand column and I'd like to add a comment to this topic.

    Shut up, you racist putz.

    Posted on August 19, 2011 - 08:43 AM #
  20. I checked in with James Boyd last night, who is the contract engineer for the 1150 site. He said the break-in most likely occurred Friday night into Saturday morning. Whoever did this knew exactly what to do to immobilize the operation. The power lines were cut down to the conduit opening on the load side of the utility access (you can't just stretch them back into place), and the transmitter was trashed. I've had parts explode inside transmitters and still had confidence I could get the rig back to functional, but the Gates 5 for 1150 is disheartening.

    Bustos doesn't officially own the station yet. They were still waiting for FCC approval on the transfer from Adelente. The cards were already stacked against getting this thing running as it could most likely barely cover operating costs, but now the insurance company of the "former" owners will be managing the costs of the rebuild.

    Posted on August 19, 2011 - 09:26 AM #
  21. Notalent

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    Interesting that Jay-zie is now very anti hispanic when most of his posts in the past have been very friendly toward spanish language stations and Bustos in particular.

    I believe he once mentioned that he has "undocumented" folks in his own family.

    hmmm

    Posted on August 19, 2011 - 09:43 AM #
  22. semoochie

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    Thanks, Chris!

    Posted on August 19, 2011 - 10:16 AM #
  23. Alfredo_T

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    This is not the first time that tragedy has struck a Spanish language broadcaster in the Portland market. Does anybody else remember the fire that destroyed the 1010 transmitter site? I believe that was back in 2004.

    I am disheartened to hear of how the thieves totally destroyed this facility. I am reminded of how a California Family Radio AM station was gutted in a similar fashion in May of this year. How can radio station owners protect themselves against this kind of vandalism, short of having live bodies at the transmitter sites?

    Posted on August 19, 2011 - 07:15 PM #
  24. Thanks Chris!

    Posted on August 19, 2011 - 07:59 PM #
  25. motozak3

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    "How can radio station owners protect themselves against this kind of vandalism, short of having live bodies at the transmitter sites?"

    Fences made of barb-wire (instead of just coilled up around the top)
    Surveillance cameras tied through sat/microwave back to the studio (although even that's pretty dubious)
    Attack dogs (probably not, that's [presumably] a live body!)

    If nothing else, the old standby "moat-and-drawbridge" thing surely must be viable after all these centuries....

    Posted on August 19, 2011 - 08:21 PM #
  26. Andy_brown

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    An unmanned transmitter house without a burglar alarm? C'mon.

    Posted on August 19, 2011 - 09:38 PM #
  27. Is Bill Sizemore in jail yet, maybe he did it? lol

    Posted on August 19, 2011 - 09:52 PM #
  28. semoochie

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    "Bustos doesn't officially own the station yet. They were still waiting for FCC approval on the transfer from Adelente." Approval of that sale was in today's Daily Digest.

    Posted on August 19, 2011 - 11:11 PM #
  29. Alfredo_T

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    One of my first thoughts was, "how irresponsible were these guys to not have a burglar alarm at the 1150 transmitter site." Then, I read Chris's comment about how the power feed to the building was cut, and I thought that perhaps there was a burglar alarm, but it did not have a functioning battery backup. Who knows?

    The timing of this theft seems extremely suspicious.

    Posted on August 20, 2011 - 07:49 AM #
  30. msndrspdx

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    C'mon, man...ya gotta be smarter than that to run a radio station!!

    Best, M.

    Posted on August 20, 2011 - 08:04 AM #
  31. Alfredo_T

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    Posts: 5,302

    Here's an aerial shot of the 1150 AM site. Although Radio-Locator puts the location as one of the storage buildings adjacent to this site, I suspect that the trailer SSE of the tower was the actual transmitter location. This does not look like the highest security installation.

    Posted on August 22, 2011 - 04:33 PM #
  32. motozak3

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    Yeah, from my observations driving past it at least twice a week I wouldn't exactly say its surveillance is very strong at all, and that is a pretty rough part of town. Lots of addicts, street gangs, bums, politicians and other undesirable human subspecies can be found inhabiting that area. So aside from the conspiracies defined above I wouldn't be too quick to rule out substances addicts looting the place for salvage. Gotta get their fix somehow.......

    (In all honesty I didn't think anyone was even still using that tower. I'd heard it was shut down after KKEY moved out of the nearby studio building!)

    Posted on August 22, 2011 - 05:12 PM #
  33. Alfredo_T

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    Another point of interest that I noted on Google maps is that the street view shows two towers, but the aerial view only shows one tower (which matches current FCC information). Years ago, there was discussion on this forum about the 1150 directional array changing, but at the time, I thought that the plan was to add a third tower to permit a higher nighttime power. What was the motivation behind going to one tower--did a previous owner intend to sell off the land where the north tower sat?

    Posted on August 22, 2011 - 05:26 PM #
  34. motozak3

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    Posts: 4,469

    Maybe. I've not heard of a third tower there, but there does appear to be a small circle north of the former north tower's site where it c/would have been built. Maybe it was proposed and the plans must have been scrapped (politlcs/NIMBY? lack of funding?) I have only noticed the current (south) tower there in recent years. I seem to remember the north one having been torn down about the time I was in college (2003-2007).

    For reference, the former KKEY studio is the little black-roofed building to the left of the strip mall, facing Fourth Plain. Last I saw the building was for lease and if I remember right, it was previously either a dentist's or chiropractor's practice.

    Posted on August 22, 2011 - 05:53 PM #
  35. Pat

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    The third tower disappeared in 2006. Then they built new houses right up to the property lines.

    Posted on August 22, 2011 - 06:40 PM #
  36. semoochie

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    There were originally(since 1968)three towers. They had a construction permit to increase power to 10KW but it involved moving the north tower and removing or disabling the center one. As I recall, they chose to remove it, followed by the north tower. At that point, the local government wouldn't let them replace it so they had no choice but to modify the construction permit for 5KW nondirectional. Under the old rules, it wouldn't have been authorized because you were required to cover the downtown area of your community of license with 25mv/m of signal, which the old directional pattern did.

    Posted on August 23, 2011 - 12:41 AM #
  37. According to the 1150 history, they went 5kw non-directional in early 2009.

    Posted on August 23, 2011 - 01:04 AM #
  38. "At that point, the local government wouldn't let them replace it..."

    According to James Boyd, their contract engineer, The city of Vancouver / Clark County had no issues having the north tower replaced for the 10kw opperation. Bustos simply decided not to put any additional funding into the site.

    Also, the center and north towers from 1968 were apparently ready to fall down according to tower company that eventually removed both from the site. Which was what started the entire process of either going 10kw with two tower or the now 5kw non-DA.

    Posted on August 23, 2011 - 12:13 PM #
  39. semoochie

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    I must have gotten the wrong story but it made sense at the time. So, seven months before the end of their construction permit, they decided that not only didn't they want to improve coverage but actually opted to decrease coverage everywhere south of Vancouver? Those towers were guyed. Do you mean that they were so weak that they'd just collapse onto themselves, despite the guy wires? They seemed to be OK for the first 30 years and another 14 for the original tower.

    Posted on August 23, 2011 - 07:03 PM #
  40. jay_zie

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    Bustos will probably re-negotiate with Adelante Media and get a better deal and end up acquireing KEXT for almost no $ and then they will get the equipment back into the tower miracuosly.

    Posted on August 26, 2011 - 04:42 PM #
  41. This update from All Access:

    ---------------------------------------Vandalism Knocks Portland AM Off Air---------------------------------------

    ADELANTE MEDIA OF OREGON LICENSE, LLC has applied to the FCC for a Silent STA for Spanish Hits KXET-A (EXITOS 93.5)/PORTLAND, OR. The licensee told the Commission that vandalism at the station took the station off the air on AUGUST 14th and repairs will take more than 30 days. The station continued on its FM translator K228EU.

    Posted on September 9, 2011 - 08:14 PM #
  42. msndrspdx

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    Posts: 1,641

    Here we go again! No security at KXET? C'mon, man... ya gotta be able to protect (and run) a station better than that! Or is Bustos cutting corners budgetwise too many times?

    Best, M.

    Posted on September 9, 2011 - 08:20 PM #
  43. motozak3

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    Don't know about that, but it hardly looks like there's any surveillance 'round there, fer shur. (See my comment above.)

    And they couldn't have picked a worse part of town to be that way. Out there, if your property's not sufficiently surveilled (or at least alarmed) you may as well have a sign saying something to the effect of "come on in! Steal whatever you want, we don't care, just remember to turn off the lights when you leave!"

    Posted on September 9, 2011 - 09:07 PM #
  44. It's been over 3 months since KXET was knocked off the air. Does anyone know the latest on when we might hear something on 1150KHz again?

    Posted on November 26, 2011 - 11:30 AM #
  45. jr_tech

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    "The station continued on its FM translator K228EU."

    "when we might hear something on 1150KHz again?"

    Related question; Did they get an authorization (STA?) to continue to operate the translator in absence of its primary signal? If so... when does it expire?

    Posted on November 26, 2011 - 03:18 PM #
  46. semoochie

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    They have an application to remain silent, which expires one year from the beginning of the period of silence. It has yet to be granted. I see no mention of originating programming, on 93.5 or anything else about 93.5, on that application and there is no separate application. There is also no application for 93.5 since that of the authorization to rebroadcast KXET and subsequent grant.

    Posted on November 26, 2011 - 05:35 PM #
  47. This from All Access:

    BUSTOS MEDIA HOLDINGS, LLC has requested a Silent STA for Spanish Hits KXET-A (EXITOS 93.5)/PORTLAND, OR, a follow-up filing to a SEPTEMBER Silent STA filing by predecessor licensee ADELANTE MEDIA OF OREGON LICENSE, LLC. The station was knocked off the air by vandalism in AUGUST.

    Posted on December 2, 2011 - 06:41 PM #
  48. semoochie

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    In checking out the new Silent STA application, I noticed a mention of considering moving to a different tower, either a new one or diplexing. That could actually get them into Portland and maybe, be able to cut through the KEX splatter. It should be noted that ratings for KXET are at least as good as they were, before they went off the air! Apparently, there's something to be said for a centrally located 99 watt translator.

    Posted on December 4, 2011 - 01:50 PM #
  49. jr_tech

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    But how are they legally using the translator when the main station is off the air... Is there a rule that allows this operation under these circumstances?

    Posted on December 4, 2011 - 02:07 PM #
  50. outsider

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    ....jay_zie said: "He is still a bean eater"....

    I was born in America, raised in America and have never stepped foot in Mexico, but am very proud to call myself a bean eater. Beans, especially with sliced hot dogs mixed in. Yummy!

    Posted on December 4, 2011 - 02:36 PM #

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